Jottings by a tech PR consultant on a tireless quest for the next best tool, application, widget or Website to help “balance” life between the cyber and real worlds.
I wish I could say my favorite tool of the day is a new discovery. One that will bring you great fame and fortune. I would love nothing better than to promise you a shiny new social media toy that will captivate you for the next few weeks or even months (if your attention span is a little longer than the norm).
But no … If I’m completely honest (and I always am).
It’s without a doubt, something you’ve been hearing about ad nauseam: Twitter.
I have to admit, I didn’t get the Twitter thing at first. In fact, I sat on my new Twitter account for a good seven months while I “played” with Facebook and LinkedIn. I signed up for Twitter more than three years ago on June 9, 2008, but my first Tweet wasn’t until January 26, 2009. I can assure you that I wasn’t going to tell anybody what I had for lunch or about my latest mundane thought. To the uninitiated, it sometimes seems that is all people talk about on Twitter.
As a PR practitioner, I was feeling growing pressure to get with the Twitter program. The catalyst for me was when one of my enterprise software clients was ready to launch a new Website alerting people to breaking news and commentary on cybercrime. It wasn’t long after that when I began to see how useful it was to my other enterprise clients who were releasing industry trend predictions and writing by-lined articles for the niche trade press.
Somewhere along the way, it dawned on me that there was more to Twitter than broadcasting. I discovered that many reporters and industry influencers were using Twitter to share personal information and engage with their followers. I set aside my biggest fear (that I would become the poster girl of what not to do on Twitter), and gingerly Tweeted a question I had for a well-respected blogger (for all the world to see). And guess what? He responded. Emboldened, I began to regularly comment on Tweets from the reporters and editors I followed. My rules of engagement are to reply only if I think I have something of relevance to add — even if it’s just an alternative point of view — or if I want more clarity.
Twitter has replaced the Power Lunch
What I came to realize is that many business and tech journalists who more often than not ignored emails and phone calls from public relations reps or tech companies were responsive on Twitter. This was indeed a revelation for me because it offered a way to build and maintain relationships with busy journalists who no longer have the luxury of time for casual meet and greets over lunch or at trade shows. Looking back over this past year, I have to admit that several of the biggest stories my clients have landed started with a single Tweet.
Twitter has become my favorite social media communication tool for business. I signed up for Google+, but I haven’t gotten into the flow with that one yet. No surprises there given my early reticence with Twitter. I’ll give you an update in another three years!