3 Ways Twitter Has Revolutionized PR

In case you missed it: Twitter has officially filed for an IPO

In the public relations game, you try and make use of every new technology available. Social networking itself changed the game a great deal, both in how data is gathered about individuals to streamline outreach for marketing and PR, and how a public relations campaign is managed. But while blogging and Facebook did a lot for getting the word out and making it simpler to spread information, Twitter has had the largest impact on the industry, the population, and the world of PR.
Nobody understands this more than public outreach experts and CEOs of public relation firms, who deal with every mode of outreach imaginable. Being a master of the field takes more than just hard work and diligence. It take foresight, and knowing how the industry will change and unfold, and ensuring that you are on the forefront of new technology to get an edge. Here are three ways in which Twitter has revolutionized the public relations field:

1. 140 Characters

It has always been the goal of public relations to get a message out fast, and as pithy as possible. It’s no secret that most people have fairly short attention spans, especially today. But for all the work and effort, there were feasibility issues that made it tough to not use the entirety of a resource, even when less can be more. What sense would it make to buy a full page ad in a newspaper or magazine and only put 40 words on it? Or buy TV time and only say a few sentences? Because of the investment, and the power that it holds, there was always the feeling that more could be done with it.

But Twitter, in addition to being free, limits you to only 140 characters. This limit has forced everyone to find ways to shorten their message, and get to the point. What’s more, there isn’t a way to try and make more of it than that–140 characters is 140 characters. Therefore, you message has to be…140 characters, or less, if you want to include links to other sites, or if you are going to bundle it with…

2. Hashtags

Hashtags have gotten so big, even Facebook began to incorporate them. The idea that a word, phrase, or idea can be highlighted, and then searched to see what others are writing about the same thing, has changed the approach to mass communication. You want people who are looking at CNN stories to see what you tweet? Then make sure to #CNN. But hashtags also tell you about…

3. Trending Topics

Key words, phrases, and topics that are being written about are highlighted by Twitter as “trending.” Through this, you can find out nationally, or broken down by region or city, what topics Twitter users are focused on. This allows you to bundle your PR campaign with current news and topics of interest, making it easier to be topical and relate to the news that’s already running.

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