Matter Chatter

5 Twitter tips for PR pros

Though resistant at first, over the past few years I and the rest of the folks at Matter have come to embrace Twitter as an incredibly useful, powerful — and sometimes even fun — vehicle for connecting and communicating. Some of us would even go so far as to say we love Twitter now. Along the way, I’ve learned to keep the following tips in mind, which definitely apply to my fellow PR professionals:

1.) Follow and engage with relevant media. Doing so will keep you on your toes and in the loop. I can’t even count the number of times me or my colleagues have scored an interview opportunity, a competitive advantage, or saved ourselves from an ill-timed phone call simply by paying attention to what the people we pitch are tweeting at any given moment.

2.) Follow your peers. It takes a village to stay on top of the latest news, statistics, resources and “uh oh” moments happening in the wacky world where PR, marketing and social media intersect. Following and engaging with other PR professionals helps all of us pick up on things we should be paying attention to and doing…and helps us avoid the same mistakes others are making, as well.

3.) Keep at it. Sure, we’ve all let ourselves lapse from time to time. But if your last tweet was “Trying to figure out how to use the Twitter” back in January 2009, chances are your clients and colleagues aren’t exactly going to see you as the most credible and knowledgeable expert on social media and communications trends.

4.) Show personality, not poor judgment. Sharing emotions, pop culture tidbits and slice of life observations are a great way to build a following, demonstrate authenticity, and actually enjoy tweeting. But on the web, there is no real “delete” button, since just about everything is captured and cached and seen by someone the second it goes out. So if you’re tweeting in the heat of the moment, step away and take a deep breath before you hit send. If you’re commenting on politics or considering an update that some would consider TMI…all the more reason to truly stop and think before you tweet.

5.) Don’t drink and tweet. It’s never as cute or witty as you thought it was when you sober up. Trust me.

  • Mandy

    I think the judgment piece is probably the most important one. Think before you tweet – it should not be a stream of consciousness… And, no tipsy tweeting is a good tip!

  • John McElhenny

    Good tips here. Twitter’s also a great way to see what potential clients are thinking about and working on. Like your tip about reporters, reading a prospect’s tweets before contacting them shows you care enough to do your homework on them. I once checked a prospect’s tweets and found that his boss was married to a high school friend of mine, a perfect “in” to start a conversation.

  • Matt Mendolera-Schamann

    Excellent point. It’s kind of scary AND awesome what a small world we live in.