How can Twitter help PR?

We all know that Twitter is a tool that is becoming more and more important on the Internet, but is it actually interesting for PR? As a consequence of the debates that we often have in class, I have carried out some research on this topic. I must say, Derek, we have the way to use this tool as part of the tactics of the New Media strategy!

Twitter is not just another networking site, it is also the most popular. Considered as the “SMS of Internet” (probably it would have more sense to start calling it an “information network” or even better, a “human network”, as pointed out by one of the co- founders, Evan Williams in a really interesting article), it lets us interact with the followers (users) by means of connections and links.

Twitter is not just another tool for the service of PR; it shares the philosophy that supports our field from a societal point of view! The companies must start to understand this new perspective. It’s not just to share information, persuasion or power… The people want to share experiences, develop relationships; they debate not just about a product, but they think about its actual usefulness. As a result of a brilliant article by Thomas Baekdal, we can start to understand that we are not just living a communication revolution (and its models): it is a revolution that affects all the consumption system, and as a consequence, it also affects all its participants, including, of course, organizations.

What is the role of PR here, then? We must apply more than ever the core philosophy of our profession!  In my opinion, the future panorama that is waiting for us is especially encouraging, a challenge for all of us: professionals, researchers and students. As a consequence we shouldn’t hesitate to participate in this new network; we must learn and understand these new tools as Twitter opens doors abroad for this new reality.

Twitter hasn’t spent a lot of time since it has understood the scope of its service, neither the important role that the organisations have in it. The companies are not just products or brands, as Baekdal says in his article, but they are part of the social framework, they are experiences: they are probably part of our careers, unforgettable moments, desires or even hates and disenchantments. Simply, they are part of all of us, no matter how much we try to avoid this fact. What is more, a few weeks ago, Twitter changed the question to which you have to respond with just 140 characters, “What are you doing?” to “ What’s happening?”. From my point of view, much more relevant to what people can obtain from this service.

I want to include hereafter a list of the most useful tools that have been developed for PR use in Twitter:

  1. Tweetlevel, the most useful tool that I came across, created by Edelman. This precious treasure let measure the influence, popularity, engagement and trusts between the Twitter users.
  2. Trending Topics, developed in April by Twitter. Really interesting, because it allows you not only be a follower, but also you can participate in a real-time search.
  3. MuckRack, is the first service for PR in Twitter. It is made for journalists, in which they must pay 1 dollar for each character, and they can include what they call “News releases in one line”. Furthermore, it is really interesting the fact that they can include links.
  4., and, as services to shorten the links so makes it possible to include them as tweet (usually links have more than 140 characters).

We don’t have excuses any more. Twitter offers a World of possibilities for PR.

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4 Responses to “How can Twitter help PR?”

  • Comment from Toivo Mvula

    Twitter has the danger of becoming a service for spam.

  • Comment from zeainana

    Twitter is just an interesting tool that can be used sensibly by the organizations. There are some interesting activities that can be carried out through this means, although it’s difficult to define “spam”. If we analyse that certain tweets are sent whithout any consideration of the recipient identity or that they are not interested on the content, then yes, we can consider it is spam. Twitter must be considered as part of a strategic plan when it can be useful for a certain campaign. I must agree that Twitter is concerned about this potential problem, that’s why they launched Twitter 101. However, probably there’s much more to improve the service, not just giving guides.

  • Comment from Sophia Fantis

    Twitter is a tool that can be used by wither an individual or a company and still benefit both if it is used in the correct way. What’s important to remember here is that people/companies must use it the correct way; listen and communicate.
    I just wanted to ask, so many people are writing blogs on Twitter, and you just wrote another one, which you sensibly state that Twitter offers a world of possibilities to PR, but what did you find useful about it?

  • Comment from zeainana

    Thanks for your comments, folks! Of course it is a very useful tool! I find it very pragmatic for the PR practitioner tasks of day by day (research news, research, monitoring news…) but also to use as a part of the implementation stage of a communication campaign. In the post you can see some of the advantages that it offers. Besides that, I think that it’s clearly useful when we can take the maximum from the services that it offers.

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