On Twitter, Hold the Bitterness, and Other Tips on Social Media

Cas Purdy, PR consultant and owner of PURDYPR, shared an insightful social media tip with the online public relations community recently: “Don’t Twitter when you’re bitter.”

“Sure, if customers, partners or media outlets have posted something on Twitter that proves your company and products are better than your competitors, why not re-tweet it?” Purdy said. “But don’t use social media to go on the attack—it’s not the right forum if that’s in your PR plan.”

Purdy’s point is just one of 95 tips that have been shared as part of a new social media initiative by dna13 executives, who reached out to the online PR/communications community to build a conversation around the new role of the public relations professional in the current business environment.

PR strategies are no longer hidden behind firewalls as propriety information. Instead, social media proves that PR practitioners are more successful when they share their ideas with other professionals. Instead of competing among themselves for access to a limited number of articles or broadcasts, they are collaborating and succeeding as a group.

Using HARO (Help a Reporter Out), Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media tools to ask public relations professionals to share their favorite social media tips with the rest of the PR industry, dna13 executives gathered almost 100 tips. The following are among the best tips received:

â–¶ “The key is not to think that every social media site is right for your brand right off the bat. Instead, look for sites, and there are many that fit your marketing and communications strategy. While Facebook and Twitter have millions of users, this may not be your exact target. The key is to harvest and grow a conversation with people interested in your brand over time.” —Elissa Nauful, founder & president, Ballywho Inc.

â–¶ “PR professionals can use the online networking site Fast Pitch! to increase awareness about their clients’ businesses through interactive profiles. These interactive profiles enable PR professionals to distribute content, such as press releases and announcements.” —Yelena Brusilovsky, student, Miami University of Ohio

â–¶ “Strength is not always in numbers. There can be as much value in 600 people commenting, conversing, engaging and mobilizing around a story on a site like witness.org as there can be in an A16 story in T he New York Times.” —Michael P. Falco, digital initiatives strategist, Pro-Media Communications

â–¶ “Listen to the [online] community and engage with them in a way that’s transparent. Add meaningful commentary to the discussion.” — Gray Public Relations

â–¶ “Stay ahead of the social media curve by learning about new technology and testing the many different platforms that are available for monitoring, reporting, distribution of content, contact management and CRM.” —Deirdre Breakenridge, author, PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences ( FT Press, 2008)

â–¶ “Create goodwill: Tweet/post a personalized thank-you for those who have recently followed/become a fan.” —Michael Starosciak, public relations manager, Datamatics Management Services Inc.

â–¶ “Ditch the classic press release format and deliver a ready-made, copy-and-paste post about the event. Even offer title and tag suggestions. Make life as easy as possible for the busy blogger who is always looking for fast and easy content.” —Deborah Smith, social networking director, NetWave Interactive Marketing Inc.

â–¶ “Never over-promise results of a social media campaign to a client. The public will determine what will go ‘viral.’” —Heather Dueitt, Aspen Marketing Services

â–¶ “If you want social networking sites to work for you, you will need to establish yourself as an expert. Do this by writing helpful articles, offering sound knowledgeable advice, responding to comments and messages, building relationships and posting articles you have found that are relevant to the community. Give twice as much as you would ever expect in return.” —Dan Godfrey, Internet marketing coordinator, Branded Solutions PRN


This article was written by Dave Armon, the newly appointed vice chair of dna13, and former president and COO of PRNewswire. He can be reached at darmon@dna13.com.