PR & Twitter…

I have spent a lot of time knocking Twitter over the past twelve months. (In fact I think it’s fair to say that I’ve probably been less than complimentary about it in every single talk I’ve given…)

About a month ago, I decided to delve a little deeper into it.  I downloaded some software and have been lurking ever since. (Not very Web 2.0 of me I admit).

It’s certainly interesting.  There’s some good discussion and you get a lot of fantastic links to information, blog posts etc. You could think of it as an additional "RSS" feed if you like.

Having said that, I haven’t yet mastered the whole "participation" element. I am still struggling with yet another channel, more information and I’m not sure I have anything terribly interesting to add in between e-mail, RSS, meetings etc. But that’s a work in progress….

The reason for the post, is that if like me, you still don’t get Twitter then there’s two interesting posts about how Twitter might be useful from a PR perspective – I think the jury is still out on the longevity of the medium, but these are worth a read in terms of putting some perspective on how Twitter can help in online communication/networking:

I will never tire of saying that you need to build your network, and its trust in you, before it can work for you. Any venture into Twitter starts with a small network, and an unclear view of how you will get value. However, as you stay with it, and find more relevant contacts through your current group.

For me the biggest issue remains time.  The biggest challenge of "Web 2.0" (sigh) isn’t "…the death of <fill in your choice here>" but rather the management of time, resources and brain power.

Twitter is certainly interesting and *perhaps* it  will become an essential for all PR pros.

In the meantime I need to start thinking what I’ll get rid of.

12 thoughts on “PR & Twitter…

  1. @Mark – Hahaha yes another potential channel of questionable PR value outside finding old colleagues – I think I’m too old for all this stuff.

    BTW: General note, sometimes I do get PR invites to relevant events in Facebook, but mostly they’re irrelevant. Also given I haven’t invested 6,000 hours building my network, probably 80% of my contacts are contactable by phone or e-mail…


  2. @LindsayLebresco – while some, no actually a lot, of the tweets feel like you are in a room with people who have all these inside jokes and you have no idea what anyone is talking about, there are great nuggets to be found each day. Finding those nuggets takes time, yes, but sometimes they turn out to be gold.

  3. When I first signed up for Twitter, I thought of it as an IM address, except people could indiscriminately send me notes or questionable interest.

    Now I think the best description is the microblogging. And the important point being that what you write should be based on what interests your audience. Obviously, if you develop a business audience like Scoble, we’re not going to care where he ate dinner, whereas a personal audience might.

  4. @Doug @Lindsay @Jeremy – Thanks for the common sense, at least I know I’m not alone.

    I do think I’m starting to see some value, certainly the links to stories and news etc.

    I think my concern is that it’s yet another channel to manage, observe etc!


  5. Hey Tom,

    Just discovered your blog courtesy of Google alerts for Edelman. I work there (Chicago), running their digital group worldwide.

    Here are two great uses I see in Twitter.

    Tracking what fellow conference goers have to say about a speaker in real time. I’ve put this to work at least 6 times. It adds perspective to the moment, and provides the springboard for an instant intro and subsequent face to face meeting — with those who are also at that same show. Try it by texting “Track Conference ABC” to Twitter. Hit “Untrack Conference ABC” when you go home.

    Second, I was watching the Super Bowl last night and was fascinated to see how those I follow were commenting on most every single ad in near real time.

    What I personally see less value in are the “I’m going shopping” tweets.

    Bottom line, I really like Twitter for its immediacy — especially in group settings. Other than that, I’ll typically post when I’m bored (commuting) or have some serious downtime (the airport).



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