PR News Hot List: Ten Twitter Accounts on Top of the GOP Convention

Informative, hilarious, engaging and controversial—those are the qualities it took to make this week’s edition of the PR News' Hot List. We've compiled the must-follow Twitter accounts leading into the final night of the Republican National Convention from Tampa, Florida. And while the convention and city were both spared from the anticipated devastating affects of Hurricane Isaac, there have still several dramatic story lines emerging from the Tampa Bay Times Forum to keep even the most apolitical Twitter users refreshing their feeds frequently. 

Each account uses a different messaging strategy, whether it's through multimedia, jokes or swings at their enemies, but the following 10 accounts all provide must-see tweets: 

  1. @gov: This account features updates from the Twitter Government & Politics team, which tracks creative and effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement, although “RTs & examples≠political endorsements.” While you wouldn't expect any engagement with Twitter users (considering the account follows no one), it is highly engaged and does retweet other accounts and reply with @mentions. @gov also provides updates on the Twitter Political Index (a daily measurement that evaluates the sentiment of Twitter users’ feelings about the candidates), behind-the-scenes photos from the convention floor and tweets-per-minute stats during prominent speeches. A sample:
    @gov: Look who we found on the convention floor- ‪@morningmika ‪@joenbc from ‪@morningjoe! Can’t wait to see it on air! ‪#GOP2012‪

  2. @TheDailyShow: Jon Stewart and The Daily Show News Team are of course crashing the party each night on TV, but the Twitter account is also keeping followers laughing between episodes. A sample:
    : Tonight's ‪@GOPConvention theme: "We Can Change It." Translation: "Romney doesn't accept the nomination til tomorrow! Anything can happen!"

  3. @GOPconvention: This one is fairly straight-forward, and with little comedy, but if you're out at a PR function and still want to keep up with the convention, this account, paid for by the Committee on Arrangements for the 2012 Republican National Convention, will deliver the narrative of the convention as it unfolds.  A sample:
    @GOPconvention: “We know what the President's got on his iPod, but we don’t know what he plans to do about the looming tax hike" - Mitch McConnell ‪#GOP2012

  4. @Stephenathome: Comedy icon Stephen Colbert delivers few, but hilarious tweets about convention in addition to his other seemingly random tweets. A sample:
    @StephenAtHome: It's night two of the Republican Convention, and I am on Cloud Nine. Though my tax returns only have me at Cloud Four.

  5. @christiekeynote: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who can usually be found tweeting at @GovChristie, had an official Twitter account made for himself for the convention. The account was used to live-tweet his speech on Aug. 28, and has since been used to link to news coverage of Christie and the governor's multimedia-rich Tumblr account, which was created to provide a behind-the-scenes look at his experience in Tampa. A sample:
    : Photo: Taking some questions after speaking to Florida and South Carolina. 

  6. @SamuelLJackson: Known for his profanity-laden and erratic style of tweeting, Samuel Jackson said that it was "unfair" that Hurricane Isaac was avoiding Tampa, and might move toward New Orleans, reports the Huffington Post. He then backed off, offering the following apologies and recommendations that those in the storm's path obey authorities. He hasn't tweeted since Aug. 28—but it will be interesting to see if he can hold his tongue any longer. A sample:
    @SamuelLJackson: Daayum! Poked a Hornets nest, huh? Apologies to God, Tampa, da GOP& Isaac(sp)! Who played the Race card?!

  7. @clayaiken: When the former American Idol runner-up tweeted to his 41,107 followers, "Playing drinking game with my brother now. We drink every time we see a black person on screen at the RNC convention.‪#soberasamormon," it sparked a war of tweets between Aiken and singer John Rich, who wrote that he should be ashamed of his comments and "take his idiotic post down." Aiken didn't delete the tweet, and defended an accusation about his charity from Rich, stating that his charity was inclusive, and that the Republican Party isn't.

  8. @indecision: Comedy Central's digital hub for political comedy is doing its part to keep things light, cracking jokes during speeches and throughout the day. A sample:
    @indecision: Paul Ryan is already helping the economy by creating jobs for fact checkers.

  9. @MittRomney: When the former Massachusetts governor accepts the Republican party's presidential nomination on Thursday night, you can expect his Tweet Index score to rise substantially. His account generally features a mix of political messaging, photos, hashtags and swipes at Barack Obama. A sample:
    @MittRomney: .@BarackObama looks at government as the source of our greatness. I look at the American people as the source of our greatness. #WeBuiltIt.

  10. @Truthteam2012: Run by the Obama 2012 campaign staff, this account live tweets fact-checks from the GOP convention. For instance, when Governor Christie was making his speech, the account tweeted: @Truthteam2012: FACT: Gov. Christie vetoed nearly $1 billion for education, health care, and tax credits for the working poor. ‪http://OFA.BO/cUJWC7. You can expect them to be extremely active during Romney's speech Thursday night.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg