The Difference Between A Tweet and A Twit

12Feb09

I’m a PR major. I learned to hate and love different aspects of the industry and well, I guess love won out. Although, there are the people who dream of party planning and publist-izing, I stay away from that and made my way into the digital world. Fine, whatever, here’s my point.

Why is everyone all over and upset with PR people. They have a job to do. That’s right, a job! What are a lot of reporters losing? That’s right, jobs! Now while, reporters have no problem getting on their twitters (as I learned from Valleywag) and complaining about how annoying it is forĀ  PR people to pitch to them. Talk about annoying. I get it, there is such a thing called a bad pitch. Pitches can be untargeted, mass produced, and at times, annoying. There is also an old way and a new way of doing things. The old way is quickly falling out of favor, and getting publicized.

Doing public relations well is a skill. PR people always had the rep of being annoying. I felt it was part of the relationship between reporters and PR-ers, similar to an old married couple. But now, I feel like the harsh words are part of a trend and the words are becoming more and more sincere. So what’s this new way? Digital? Now, hold up. Not everyone is on the Internet. Newspapers, magazines, outdoors still exists (even though that’s hard to believe). A hybrid model, in my opinion, works best. But I am completely digressing.

Twitter has been a tool for and against PR people. It’s the “the” thing. Reporters, clearly, are on it. Companies are on it, contacts are on it, bots and spammers are on it. It’s the cool place for any who have a use for it. It’s easy to do it wrong. It’s easy to complain about things on there.

My latest frustration comes from real world experience. I was sitting in my capstone class discussing what tools we should utlitize to promote awareness of our real-world client. The professor says that social media is hot right now. (Uh duh) That gets peopel talking. The professor says that the organization does not have a website. Immediately 2 reponses come out of from the crowd. First, “set up a blogspot blog!” “yeah, it’s free”, “yeah, it’s social media!”. Wow. Wow. Set up a real website, don’t waste your time or your status on a free, cheap looking blog! Another reponse that came at the mention of social media was “TWITTER!” another free tool that’s easy to use. Sure, that is true. It is social, it is free and it is easy. But, who would man this Twitter account? Who would read the twitter account and participate in the conversation space? Do we need to be in that space? No one, No one, No.

TheĀ  education on these tools and what PR is in the digital space is lacking. It’s so frustrating for someone like me who lives on this space, not only to get a job, but to really be a part of a community. Not knowing and still promoting and using this tool contributes to the negative twitter feedback we get from potential clients and contacts.

The reputation of PR is changing. Is it getting more popular? Is there a misconception? The people on Twitter are PEOPLE. What is twitter‘s sentiment?

Image sources (respectively): Mallix Flickr, AnitaBruzzese Twitter, Sjcobrien’s Twitter, lhnatko’s Twitter

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One Response to “The Difference Between A Tweet and A Twit”

  1. 1 Victoria Geyer

    Great post. You are absolutely on point. I believe the larger issue, is that PR needs to re-think how they are going to manage social media tools, from a business/employer standpoint? Do agencies/companies have the staff and time to be active 24/7 on social media? We thought Blackberries made work around the clock for PR people…Well, now with social media, I think practitioners are going to be longing for the days of blackberries and only e-mail– so they can actually get some sleep!


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