Ten Tweeter’s Tips for PR ProsDate: 2012.08.20 | Posted by: Victor |
Today’s guest post comes from Carlo Pandian, a freelance writer and blogger on social media marketing, public relations and job advice.
There’s a project going on at the moment to broadcast Tweets into space. Personally I’m not sure what response this is likely to get but luckily it’ll take a few decades for the aliens to tweet back: “OMG, we thought you were just monkeys. LOL. On our way. L8rs”. However, Twitter can pose the question “is there anybody out there” for PR purposes, even just in the terrestrial sphere. Twitter’s powerful and it can be dangerous territory. With search engines you have the comfort of knowing that it’s just a bunch of robots judging the relevance of your content; with Twitter it’s real live (if distant) people. Now that’s scary. For PR people, and their clients, using Twitter effectively is a fine art, here are a few tips.
- Twitter is not a robot (as mentioned above). You might be looking at a screen but at the other side of that screen is a person. They say that Twitter’s all about “the conversation” and you should take that to heart. This is “one to one” or “one to many” communication at its rawest however sanitised it seems from your side of the screen.
- Most PR people shouldn’t need to be told this one, but everyone should know the old adage about mixing business with pleasure – or rather not; one account for work, one account for play, no exceptions. Jobs, contracts and fortunes have been lost thanks to one or more overly personal comments in a business context.
- Divorce lawyers rely on social networking sites to find out where straying husbands or wives have been straying. Claiming it was a team building event over the weekend that kept you away from home and posting photos of you on holiday with the other man/woman is not bright but it’s incredibly common. In terms of PR don’t make claims that you can’t substantiate; followers may be following you more closely than you think.
- Relevance in all things is possibly the first rule of all things internet, PR and marketing. Follow people relevant to your industry, including journalists who specialize in your field. This gives you instant access to the latest trends and breaking news. Re-tweet to your own followers to become a recognized source of information and useful tips.
- Use Twitter as a source of information. Search engines are so yesterday in this respect; if you’re following a mix of journalists and industry specific tweeters you can tweet your questions and get answers from real people who’ll help to fill the gaps in your own (more or less) limitless knowledge.
- PR is all about communication. Twitter is all about communication. Odd then that some of the first industry chat groups on Twitter were set up by PR professionals, journalists and bloggers. Oh, no, hang on a minute that’s not at all odd is it? The technique has been taken up by other industries, but the original chattering classes remain the loudest. Visit #journchat (one of the earliest) as a starting point – you’ll never been seen loitering around the water cooler again.
- Journalists in particular love Twitter; they’ve recently managed to get rulings in the UK to allow them to Tweet from court and just about everywhere else. When the TV blacked out the Custard Pie/Murdoch incident I had the email address of the Pie Man before the studio presenters knew what had happened. Find the journalists relevant to your client’s industry and create relevant lists/profiles for each client.
- For PR professionals looking for that next gig, forget LinkedIn and CV submission sites. Yes, Twitter is the new job centre. Twitter’s been taken up by the PR industry perhaps more than any other, and in terms of sourcing jobs it’s leading the way. Other industries are catching on but, as ever, team PR is leading the way.
- Twitter likes to tell us what’s trending now; this is like insider market information. The more relevant information you Tweet to your followers on the topic of the moment, the more they’ll look to you as a first point of call for information. PR nirvana achieved.
- Less is more on Twitter; that’s the whole point of micro-blogging. Whatever your message (or your clients) practice the fine art of encapsulating it in five or less words. That’s harder than most people think but when you get it right it hits the spot – hopefully quite a lot. Humour, not involving slander or liable, is good. Make people laugh and you form a bond instantly; make them cry or bore them and you’ll not be quite so popular.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer and blogs for Media Recruitment on social media marketing, public relations and job advice. Twitter, for some reason, appeals to the chattering classes; PR professionals and journalists in particular. It’s the perfect PR tool and used wisely it can form a core strategy for all PR gurus.