Why PR Pros Should Stay On Twitter…For Now

With apologies to the Bard, to tweet or not to tweet, that is the question about Twitter.

What should businesses do on Twitter given all of the changes and, frankly, chaos that have been reported about one of the OG social platforms to make it past 2005? It’d be fruitless to point you to one source that describes what has transpired on the Blue Bird in the last two weeks, but this will take you to whatever is the latest.

In terms of advertising, we agree that ads and promotions on Twitter may juxtapose brands and products next to content that brand managers may find objectionable and that suspending advertising until the Twitter team sorts out how it will handle this makes sense for now. You’ll be in good company

However what’s a media relations person to do for their company, organization, or client vis-a-vis Twitter?  Right now? Stay the course. Posting or retweeting  news, releases, positive media stories, blog posts, substack posts, newsletters on Twitter remains an important information distribution tactic. 

Media Are Still Using Twitter

Why? Because the media – publications, reporters, producers, editors –  have not abandoned Twitter. And professionals have not abandoned Twitter; it remains a good source of tracking news in real time, engaging with reporters and amplifying your news and message.  At the same time PR pros should hedge their bets, and follow the publications and shows, and their reporters, editors and producers wherever they are – on Facebook, LinkedIn at the very least, as it appears many are using these other legacy platforms more heavily today. 

What about Mastodon, Tribel, Blue Sky, Discord, TikTok, or even Tumblr, to which many celebrities have retreated.

First, it’s always a good idea to secure your brand and your name on new platforms, even if you just park them, so that someone else doesn’t claim them first. #BestPractice

Stay on an social platform as long as its useful for your work.

Second, before you get active on any social media platform, determine who’s there, what’s the native and evolving purpose and use of the platform, and what it takes to be “native” on the platform, not just repurpose content and formats from other platforms. For now, we recommend establishing your handles and observing to see how they evolve. What’s certain is that they will all look different in a week, and then again in another week, as people, brands, influencers, and content creators figure out their own paths in lieu of or as adjacent to their Twitter strategies. All platforms take time to be on authentically and well. Don’t just jump ship from Twitter as a news distribution and engagement platform until it’s not useful as that – so far that is not broken. 

What About The Blue Check? 

Should a brand, company, organization, or person pay for the Blue Check now that it’s for sale? Our opinion: No. Not if you had the blue check before it was for sale, and not if you wanted to get verified the “old fashioned way” before the company was bought. The jury’s out on the value and perception of the new blue check – or the gray check, which appeared to be rolled out today and then stopped? We believe paying for the blue check is detrimental at this time, as it makes you or your organization look like a “poser,” and who wants that? No one rationale. 

Much like the feed that moves at the speed of light it seems, the changes on the Twitter platform continue to unfold. Stay until it isn’t useful. Continue securing your handles on new platforms as a best practice. Follow media outlets, reporters, editors, and producers wherever they go. 

I’m old enough to remember popular opinion to question how Google could possibly takeover search from Yahoo!. I worked at Sega during its heyday. If Twitter doesn’t break, and reporters still find value in it, then it’s valuable to us. But always be looking around the corner and what could be next, because it’s the Wild Wild West out there right now.

Stay tuned here for updated recommendations as we make them!

Lee Caraher