I was very anti-Twitter when it first came out. I just didn’t get it. When I started my first PR internship I realized it was crazy for me to not be on the Twitter train yet. Once I joined, I learned a lot about the benefits of Tweeting.
Twitter opened my eyes to so many different sides of public relations that I had no idea about. PR professionals even started to follow me! There are blogs dedicated to helping college grads find jobs and be successful in PR. These are so helpful! Twitter is very beneficial to the PR world because it is another outlet helping to get the word out about a client. It’s even a big deal for journalism.
All journalists learn from early on that a good lead is short and to the point. That is exactly what Twitter is. If you can’t get the jist of your story across in 140 characters or less, then you need to do better. Marshall Kirkpatrick talks about the importance of Twitter for breaking news in “How We Use Twitter for Journalism” and I couldn’t agree with him more. The only way I stay current with local and national news is because I follow news stations online. Many people are always refreshing their timelines on their smart phones and this is a great way for them to get up to date right at their fingertips without having to watch the news or pick up a newspaper.
Twitter is also a great way for journalists to connect on a more personal level with their followers. Leah Betancourt talks about one columnist’s Twitter success in “The Journalists Guide to Twitter“. Writers can use story specific hash tags and readers can see the different responses in one place and in real time.
As always, one must be careful about what they post on their personal and professional Twitter accounts. Journalists know that they need to keep their opinions out of specific stories and certain posts may get them in trouble. Hopefully with the growing popularity of social media, writers still remember to exercise caution when posting.
Twitter is a plethora of benefits for journalists. There are accounts that post journalism and public relations job openings and even resume advice. It can even help you get one last quote for an opinion piece and see what others have been posting about a specific subject. Something you find on Twitter could be the wheel that sets the gears in motion for your creative juices!