Opinion: From our Readers - Presidential candidates need better 'tweets'

Observing the use of digital media in the US election campaign is indeed fascinating, but I would warn against PROs 'learning' from Barack Obama and John McCain's online efforts (News, 10 October). Both campaigns use online media as a one-way communication tool.

Their use of Twitter is but one example. Obama's 'tweets' tell us nothing more than what rally he is at and where to watch the video. Of the nine tweets made by McCain so far in October, seven of them merely provide links to the latest ads.

Both camps are failing to maximise the true value of social media: community and conversation. They can use social media as a listening tool, and certainly are using it to enable Joe Public to endorse their campaigns, but they should also be using it for real conversation in which they participate.

You want to know that it is the man himself busily tweeting on his BackBerry between speeches and meetings, not someone hired to churn out impersonal announcements.

- Tracy Playle, MD, Pickle Jar Communications.

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