26.2.09

PR Week 'Twitter League' Misses Important Point

Today’s unveiling in PR Week of the UK PR industry’s use of microblogging site Twitter went some way to explaining why firms should use the site, but misses a couple of key points.

While Twitter is of course a great way to interact with fellow professionals and all Hatch PR members use it to interact with journalists and have won new business from people they have met on the site, there is a preoccupation in the Twittersphere over the importance number of followers and also, it’s potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. I’ll explain both points:

Followers: While numbers look great on paper (or the screen, in this case), it’s a misnomer if most of those people are spammers, pornstars or Canadian biology students and you’re a UK tech PR professional. Ignore the numbers and look instead at the calibre of the majority of the followers and who someone’s following. How can a user keep up with X thousand followers’ responses, seriously, unless it’s their full-time job to do so?

Staff: While it would also look good in theory to have all of your staff microblogging on Twitter is this really wise? I’ve seen some junior PRs post some very risqué things on the site vis-à-vis their clients, however indirect, “I’m having a crap day…” or “why do some people insist on…”. Do you, as an MD or account lead, really want an irate phone call from a client saying that they know your pitching team is hung over this morning because they were at some bash until 3am the night before?

Think about it. Twitter is a great tool but, like so many things, needs tight control and a lot of common sense.

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