Among the various social platforms, Twitter probably offers PR pros the best shot at cultivating relationships with journalists. The social network, which is akin to a newswire on steroids, provides ample opportunity for communicators to get their message(s) in front of the most appropriate reporters and journalists.
While unwritten, there are certain rules to trafficking in the Twitterverse. Communicators need to be careful with how they carry themselves on Twitter and make sure their presence on the social network holds appeal for the media and reflects well on their own personal brand.
Dennis Wharton, executive VP of Communications at the National Association of Broadcasters, will speak at the “Twitter Tactics That Build Relationships With Journalists” session during PR News’ Media Relations Next Practices Conference, which takes place December 11 in Washington D.C.
Below, Wharton provides a few tips for striking the right balance on Twitter.
- Give credit where credit is due. Be the first to tweet an important breaking story and give a shout-out to the reporter who got the scoop. Flattery goes a long way, and you can buy a lot of goodwill in the PR business by acknowledging a big story and crediting the reporter who breaks it.
- On occasion, personalize your tweets. But don’t overdo it. Your work Twitter handle doesn’t have to be all business, all the time. There’s nothing wrong with branding yourself as someone who also has a life outside of work.
- It bears repeating, even if it seems obvious: drinking and tweeting can be hazardous to your career. If you’ve had a few drinks, ask yourself if you would be tweeting the same thing if you were sober. Chances are, you wouldn’t. Social media and alcohol are a combustible combination.
To learn more about media relations trends, check out PR News’ Media Relations Next Practices Conference, which takes place December 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1