Adapting a PR guide to Twitter for Journos

Here’s an interesting article by Heather Whaling about how to effectively use Twitter as a PR professional. I think many of these tips work for journalists on Twitter as well…

Here’s a concluded version with my comments:

-Create media lists: PR people want to see what reporters in his or her market are tweeting. Reporters should do the same…follow the active voices in your market to know what people are saying, news related or not.

-“There’s an old adage about crisis communication: ‘If you’re not quick, you’re not relevant.’ PR pros need to understand how to manage a crisis in 140-character bursts of information. That means updating frequently, monitoring search terms and key words, being responsive (without feeding the trolls), dispelling misconceptions and communicating the facts. In some situations, it may also mean providing a call to action to activate your network.” The same can be said for TV…but let me add this: accuracy. First is useless if it’s not 100 percent true.

-Use hashtags to “birth” chat. During a massive snowstorm in February in my market in Columbia, MO/Jeff City, our viewers were following our snow hashtags (#SnowMO, for example) for instant updates, and it created a tremendous conversation among our viewers and reporting staff. Overall, our viewership, Facebook fans, RTs etc increased ten-fold.

-Offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse: “PR pros often have front-row seats to exciting developments, news and discussions –- exactly the type of details that can make a brand seem more personable. Use Twitter to share some of these experiences with your followers to strengthen your own network and help “humanize” the brand you represent.” The same goes for news…reporters out on a shift should update followers with developments. Not only does it increase transparency, it also encourages interactivity. Viewers like to know how you got to where you did and how.

Here’s the link

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