Has Twitter Changed PR?

I have something to admit. Even though know I should have been using Twitter for the past few years… I only JUST started regularly Tweeting since this year… and it’s only April!

I actually remember one of my professors telling us about Twitter when it first came out back in 2007, and she highly suggested we all get on the Twitter train. She was right. Even though it might have been very advantageous of me to get into Twitter back then and have grown my connections and knowledge base substantially – I honestly think it’s never too late to start.

My suggestion: if you aren’t using Twitter right now – you better get on it ASAP!

It is becoming more and more apparent how drastically the Public Relations industry is changing. From the spin doctors who began the concept of public relations industry to how it formed into the process of creating mutually beneficial relationships, to today’s notion of social media inspired relationship building, the profession as a whole is in constant flux. Public relations professionals have a hard time telling others what it is they can do exactly… because we don’t have a specific definition. Whether this is good or bad – it’s the reality of PR and you either embrace the constant change or get left behind. Period.

Moving forward, it is no secret how drastically the PR profession is changing once again, and it is purely due to the integration of social media. Communications departments have realized how beneficial full-time social media experts are to the overall success of the company and unless you have this knowledge you are the underdog.

I came across a very eye-opening article about Twitter’s influence on the public relations profession. The reality is, conventional PR strategies alone are no longer good enough to achieve company objectives. The use of social media techniques are vital in the survival of successful PR strategies, and thanks to the widespread usage and acceptance of Twitter, PR has begun to be re-defined once again. Twitter allows PR messaging to be picked up and spread around to targeted audiences at an exceptionally fast speed.

Even better, twitter allows people to respond almost immediately to concerns and questions being posed by their customers. Win-win if you ask me. Whether it’s good or bad, our society has come to expect immediate customer relations and by utilizing Twitter, PR professionals are able to meet and exceed their expectations. Furthermore, your company’s positive branding is the be-all and end-all when it comes to successful public engagement. No other online tool has enabled the monitoring and management of your brand as efficiently as Twitter. Ever.

So what’s the result? Twitter provides a communications medium to create excellent brand monitoring and reputation. Point blank = Good PR.

As any PR practitioner knows, our success as a communicator is purely based off of keeping up with current issues. Before Twitter, people were paid to be regular “media monitors,” whose job it was to monitor as many relevant feeds (ie. websites, newspapers, PR publications, press releases, etc.) you could find on a daily basis. This process was dull and lacked any sort of public interaction. With the use of Twitter, monitoring, tracking and most importantly engaging with publics on specific topics or trends has never been easier. Luckily for us, the public has realized the benefit of sharing knowledge and its becoming easier and easier to find the information you want through connection with engaged experts on specific topics. So, if you are going to look for knowledge why not get the most up-to-date knowledge from an expert… all in one 140 – character message!

There is no denying that social media has changed PR for good, and if you are looking for successful PR, you better believe you are going to find that practitioner – with thousands of followers – thriving on Twitter.

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