No man behind the curtain: Twitter is only a tool (no faith required)

Once again last week I found myself complaining that no one seems to recognize the connection between Twitter and PR. But later that same day I saw a tweet from Laurel Papworth linking back to her own blog post: BBC says Use Social Media – or Leave (citing The Guardian).

Thanks Laurel!

Journalists and bloggers: more wired than most.The whole “Twitter: Pro or Con” argument is a bit like debating “Planetary rings: pro or con.” Twitter is what it is. Those of us in harm’s way because we are in marketing, public relations, or other areas now exposed to public discussion should learn how to use Twitter, then put it to work when it fits. Whether and how to use Twitter is a choice that should be decided on the merits of the tool, not on hype or emotional reaction to random, apocryphal stories in which people tweet about brushing their teeth, etc.

A lot of bloggers and journalists already use Twitter. Based on my unscientific sample that now includes the BBC, this isn’t likely to change any time soon. So if you’re reaching out to journalists and bloggers, use Twitter.

More about this in my next post.

Now PR like journalism is really Social Media

Bruce WilsonNot surprisingly, public relations (“PR”) is undergoing revolutionary change right along with journalism. I just attended a Seattle Lunch 2.0 presentation based on the premise that social media is now the primary vehicle for PR.

Panelist John Cook is a journalist-cum-blogger, a former Seattle Post Intelligencer beat reporter and blogger for venture capital, now co-founder and executive editor of TechFlash. He made two particularly interesting points:

1) In response to an audience member who expressed the widely held view that press releases are mostly useful for SEO purposes nowadays, he said he still WANTs to receive press releases, they help him assess potential stories.

2) His “sources” for investigative journalism stories he’s covering now include people who read about his investigation online and give him tips via posts (comments on his blog, Tweets, and emails I assume) in real time.

Jaime Riley from Deloitte said that since it’s inevitable that the “Gen Y” future leaders of Deloitte will wind up using social media in the ordinary course of business, they’ve started incubating a healthy social media culture now (Deloitte has two Twitter accounts, she said–not sure if that’s company wide or Seattle or where).

Thanks MWW Group for a tasty lunch, an eloquent panel, and interesting attendees. (For more insights, and plenty of plain old redundant Twitter chatter from attendees, tweets concerning the event can be found at #mww2dot0.)