Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PR and the Twitter Convert

I consider myself converted.
When I first started my Public Relations and Digital Media course and saw that part of my coursework would involve blogging and tweeting my interest was peaked. I expected it would be a nice break from the usual type of assignment. Still, I had some reservations. I  had previously started a blog but somehow I never kept up with it. I had a Twitter account but I only used it to follow a few interesting people and organizations. I was a consumer, not a producer.

However, I knew I would have to start posting now. Surprisingly, I’ve started to enjoy it and I’m even willing to tweet about things that are not related to this course. I have been almost overwhelmed by the amount of information tweeted about public relations but I enjoy keeping up to date and sharing my findings.

In addition, I have a greater appreciation for what one can do with 140 characters. I used to think Twitter was only for frivolous thoughts and gossip but now II realize how it can be used for serious news and information. The video below shows in  a  rather humorous way many of the concerns and questions which newbies often have about Twitter. For example, do I really want strangers to know what I’m doing every minute of the day? Should my communication with my friends be open to “outsiders”?. I realize now that while some people choose to use the service in this way, many use it for timely, important updates only.

As Douglas Idugboe  notes “A couple of years back, it would have been hard to imagine a
micro-blogging service, all of 140 characters messages and that too not landing directly in your Inbox could be used as an effective means for maintaining public relations.” However, Twitter is now seen as a way to help PR people reach a wider audience while  helping businesses to improve their real-time customer. It also helps organizations to monitor what is being said about their brand.

As an aspiring strategic communicator I see the value in this even if as an individual I don’t want to share all my personal information with the world.