As he says: “Twitter isn’t something that immediately strikes you as anything good and explaining the benefits of it to someone who has never heard of it – particularly a pressed for time PR person – can be quite difficult.”
OK. Here’s my current top 6 reasons to use Twitter to supercharge you PR efforts:
1. Look at the numbers – as per Stephen’s list, many more journalists are using it. Not only that, but some journalists are giving priority to communication via Twitter over any other channel. For example, I’m willing to bet that you are far more likely to get the attention of someone like, say, Charles Arthur at the Guardian, by sending him a direct Tweet and/or a link to a dedicated info landing page than by trying to call him or e-mail him. Of course, you still need a good story, but I suspect he would give you more respect for using this approach.
2. It is much easier now to manage the Twitter info firehose because of tools like Tweetdeck. Being able to keep real time tabs on specific brands/issues/people is fantastic. The kind of insight you could only have dreamed of in the past.
3. People are beginning to develop their own individual styles of Twitter usage. Smart PRs will adapt their approach depending on the various Twitter “communities” they participate in (I can now see why having separate accounts for certain things makes sense eg having a dedicated client press release account so you can separate this from more general Twittering).
4. The 140 character limit imposes a healthy discipline on communicating clearly and succinctly.
5. Lets not forget the journalist research aspect of Twitter – checking out a journalist’s recent Tweets gives great insight into the kind of things they are really interested in.
6. Being there when you can’t be there – if you can’t get to an event, you can be sure that someone on Twitter will be – and will provide useful updates and commentary on proceedings – not only that, if they are journalists, you can feed them questions that might be worth asking….
I think the excuses for not using Twitter are dwindling by the day. The only way to really understand Twitter is to dive in and use it. What are you waiting for?