#pinkslime in the Spotlight: Hashtags Take Center Stage

There’s no question that there’s a high level of excitement among PR pros when it comes to using Twitter to get out a message—whether it be for a brand, a movement or a cause. The thought of writing a compelling post in 140 characters coupled with the possibility of reaching engagement numbers never dreamed of is surely enticing. However, often overlooked in forming Twitter strategies is the hashtag—those short words/phrases preceded by the “#” sign that can mean the difference between some decent engagement and a huge viral success. Recently, hashtags have been used to rally support for or against hot-button issues, like the use of “pink slime” by the meat industry; rallying the public around the Trayvon Martin tragedy; and voicing opinions on the R-rating for the documentary film Bully (see the table for analysis of these hashtags and more).   Making Hot-Button Issues Sizzle: 4 Hashtags That Worked Hashtag Mentions: tweets + retweets (tracking period, 2012) PR Objective Effective Use of Hashtag #pinkslime 15,608 (Feb.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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