Twitter provides a connection to consumers, reporters

Twitter allows for a greater online presence, and it can provide a connection between PR pros, consumers, and journalists that is closer than other forms of social media.

Twitter allows for a greater online presence, and it can provide a connection between PR pros, consumers, and journalists that is closer than other forms of social media.

Adam Singer, director of digital strategy at Pierson Grant PR in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, says Twitter has given him a “foot in the door” with high-profile bloggers and journalists. Also, he notes that the succinctness of Twitter presents a quick introduction to what a reporter might be thinking about or a story he or she might be working on.

On the most basic level, a client who has a Twitter account has an increased online presence and his or her links to news releases or published articles show up in Google searches, says Jeremiah Owyang, senior analyst for social computing at Forrester Research.

Dan Keeney, president of Houston-based DPK Public Relations, agrees, saying, “From a very practical, factual standpoint, that's a no-brainer.” However, while Keeney says that Twitter is a good way for PR practitioners to follow journalists' beats and the kinds of stories that people are hunting, he adds that PR pros must disclose the Twitter relationship to readers.

Another difference between Twitter and other types of social media like Digg, Flickr, FriendFeed, and Facebook is that Twitter requires a commitment, Singer says.

“You really need to have someone take ownership of an account,” he says. “The Internet can be really impersonal at times, but Twitter is [about] really getting into the conversation.”

Owyang says that PR pros need to tell their clients to use the service for the long haul. They should also understand that Twittering personably is an important aspect of the community, he says.

Key points:
Involvement with Twitter requires a commitment

Listening to what reporters and consumers are Twittering about can be valuable to PR pros

Only authentic Tweets will resonate with the audience

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