PR Campaigns – The blog

November 21, 2008

Twitter Idiots

Filed under: CAST Communication,Uncategorized — cclark2 @ 12:04 am
Tags: , , ,

I found this article, called Twitteriocy, relevant since we just talked about Motrin neglecting the power of Twitter (and all other types of social media) earlier this week.  Written by Jeremy Pepper,  he expresses his frustration with the fact that so many corporations are what he likes to call “Twitter idiots” and they need some serious Twitter 101.  I think he brings up some valid points that I would like to share with all you.  Most of these seem pretty obvious, however a lot of things often seem obvious yet people just do not get them (i.e. Motrin).

There are two main points that Jeremy stresses in this article.  The first being that Twitter is not for everyone.  You must first ask yourself, what are we trying to accomplish with Twitter?  However, he also points out that just because you choose not to be actively engaged in Twitter, you must still monitor the site. 

The second point he stresses is that if you do decide to move forward with a Twitter account, one must be active, engaging, personable and responsive.  If you are a corporation who creates a Twitter account and do not use it to its full potential then you are wasting your time and everyone else’s.  One must not only make posts, status updates, etc. but they must be engaging for their followers.  If you are not engaging your followers then there is no motivation for them to become active with the organization.  He points out that a Twitter account should be personable.  Not just another screen name.  He encourages organizations to include names, pictures and bios.  He emphasizes that social media is supposed to encourage conversations over the web, but how can one conversate with someone with no name or personality.

Really, I think his rules are the basics of PR.  Connect to your stakeholders, have the ability to tell a story, be responsive and communicate effectively.

Just curious, how often does everyone interact with Twitter?

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13 Comments »

  1. I just created a twitter account two days ago and am definitely addicted. I love that I can get updates from sources that I care about, like CNN or the NYTimes in little bite size formats. That being said, I think it is a great opportunity for businesses who use it correctly. You bring up an excellent point that has been bothering me lately. For some companies now it seems like someone told them ‘Hey get in to social media.” So they created a profile, and do nothing else except update events. I’m sorry, but I think that is exactly as you call it: a waste of time. If you’re not using these tools in interactive ways then it is no different from handing out a flier to someone.

    Comment by agilliam — November 21, 2008 @ 12:24 am | Reply

  2. I do not completely understand the Twitter appeal. For news and public relations I guess it’s a helpful tool, but only if used correctly. At conferences and meetings and events that need updating, I definitely think it’s helpful, but other than that, I don’t quite understand it. It definitely seems like companies use Twitter (and other social media outlets) just to say they are using them. I don’t know that it’s a useful outlet unless they are indeed using them to broadcast helpful and newsworthy information.

    Comment by bkranz — November 24, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  3. I agree with both agilliam and bkranz that social media including Twitter needs to be a legitimate useful tool to an organization. I think there needs to be a strategic plan when creating a facebook group or page or creating a twitter account. The strategic plan should include a target audience, objectives the organization wants to accomplish through a particular social media and specific ways to accomplish though objectives. To me it is VERY similar to how a public relations campaign is organized and accomplished. Although like agilliam I do not think it is totally unless to just update events through a social media site. This is because the internet and social media in particular has the possibility to reach an infinite number of people. It also reaches a different audience than say the newspaper.

    Comment by erikanp2004 — November 24, 2008 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  4. Yes. Twitter can be a good or, in Motrin’s case, a bad thing. I am not a member of Twitter. In fact, I never even heard of it until this semester. I am curious to know what percentage of people that are online really pay attention to it. However, organizations need to be aware of Twitter and use it efficiently.

    Comment by davemerenda — November 24, 2008 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  5. I, like most of the people who have posted do not have a Twitter account abd like davermerenda have never heard of Twitter until this class. I’m not sure if Twitter is becoming more popular or if I just never noticed it before, but I hear a lot about Twitter in the media. I think because of the age we are living in, that we need to familiarize ourselves with sites like WordPress and Twitter. Although we may not engage in them, it’s still popular in society and the workplace. I’m not a fan of MySpace, but understand what it is and the importance of having an account. I think, if used wisely and effectively, Twitter can be beneficial and help companies.

    Comment by ambrewe1 — November 24, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  6. Twitter definitely seems to be the next big thing in social media, and for a while I could not understand why. Before I really got to understand what it was all about, I was perplexed by its popularity. However, now that I further understand its significance if used right, I am definitely a fan. If a business chooses to use it though, I definitely think that they should follow it consistently so that it has a purpose.

    Comment by cate415 — November 25, 2008 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  7. Twitter honestly makes me laugh. I mean I have one and I follow some things like cnn and some of my friends follow me but honestly I forget about it all the time. So I think the idea that people are glued to it is funny–and like I said in class, I am still completely blown by the idea that adults (older than us) are using social media as prevalently as they are. It makes me laugh, sorta. But it is also interesting.

    I do see though through this class why Twitter can be useful, but like I said, at this point, it is little more than a Facebook status update for me.

    Comment by wackyzachy47 — November 25, 2008 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  8. I created a Twitter account over the summer just to browse and get a general idea of how it works. However, I deleted my account because I have no use for it at the moment. I think the blog was right that it should be used to an organization’s advantage, but only if they go all the way. They should put in the effort to be engaging and personable. Although Twitter is rapidly gaining popularity and influence, most of my friends and family have never heard of it. I think that will change in near future as it continues to be used by the media, organizations and campaigns.

    Comment by marialinda17 — November 25, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  9. Oh Twitter…where do I begin? I am still unsure how I feel about Twitter. I think that this site is great when it is used in the right way. I do not agree with using this site for personal gain or to stay on one’s high horse. I think that if you are going to be using this site that you should do it responsibly and with the intent of broadening someone else’s knowledge. I do believe that Twitter is a very powerful thing that has already began to change the way we communicate.

    Comment by brittz87 — November 25, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  10. It is really a PR professional’s or even an advertiser’s job to keep up with what is being said about their clients on such sites as Twitter. What I found really disturbing with the Motrin case is that they had absolutely no idea that terrible things were being said about their campaign. There is no excuse for that in the PR world!

    Comment by knish21087 — November 25, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  11. I don’t Tweet, and I don’t have a Twitter account. I have no personal interest in Twitter. In my future professional life, this may change depending on the company that I work for. The blogger laid out some basic public relations rules. I agree with him that social media does not apply to every organization, even though organizations need to be aware of what is being said of them online.

    Comment by mara2009 — November 25, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  12. I think that Jeremy Pepper makes a great point. I also don’t Twitter or have any real knowledge of the site. I think that if a company does choose to use Twitter as a social media tool they definitely need to make sure that they are responsive. I think it’s a great tool to use in today’s changing media-scape, however, if you don’t know how to use it, don’t!

    Comment by ksorensen19 — November 25, 2008 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

  13. I have a Twitter account, but I haven’t signed on in over a month because it just slips my mind! Not a lot of people I know have one, although I think as I enter the professional world I will be more involved, limiting my posts to work- and industry related information. Motrin should have realized that Twitter is a growing social networking medium, and they may not even monitor sites like MySpace or Facebook that have had a bigger presence for a while. Going into PR, we should take this lesson to learn how to monitor for coverage–media or consumer–about our organizations, whether we actively use them or not.

    Comment by kakeane — November 25, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply


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