How Twitter has Affected PR

Twitter has not been around that long; in fact it is only seven years old. To say that Twitter has been successful would be putting it lightly. Twitter has more than 200 million active users. For PR professionals Twitter has changed the way they do their job. The way PR professionals get their message to the world is hugely based off Twitter today.  What exactly has Twitter done however to the way PR professionals do their job, and is it extremely prevalent throughout the PR community?

White bird with light blue backgroundTo begin we must define Twitter and what it is. Twitter is an online tool that allows its users to send updates to the people that are following them on what is happening in their life and their personal thoughts (How Public Relations Works) . It is free to join and once a member anyone can follow any other user to see their “tweets”. Once you follow someone their posts will show up on your homepage once logged onto twitter. The character limit which means how many words someone can type per entry is 140(How Public Relations Works) . Twitter allows people to stay connected to each other at the touch of a button.

Next to understand this research question we must understand the concept of public relations. The definition of PR from the Public Relations Society of America is, ““Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”(PRSA) . To break this down it means that these professionals help bring together individuals and organizations to stakeholders. They use communication strategies to bring together these individuals. To be successful PR professionals must know a great deal about their clients and understand their interests and concerns (Twitter Definition) . It used to be that most of what PR professionals did was draft press releases which ultimately were sent to the media. Today these professionals do much more; they are the face of the client (Twitter Definition). They answer the hard questions to the media, organize community volunteer programs, and form relationships with possible investors of companies (Twitter Definition).

In order to come to the answer of how twitter affected public relations, we must look at how these two subjects fit together. Well first the purpose of public relations is to build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. The purpose of Twitter is to keep people connected. So if you combine these two they ultimately benefit one another by PR professionals using Twitter to form relationships between organizations and its stakeholders.

In the past PR professionals only source to gain attention was to pay for expensive advertising, get media to present story, or to hire someone to approach people one by one. Social media which includes Twitter changed all that. Now PR professionals can publish information onto social media cites to gain attention which is cheaper, reaches more people, and fast and easy. People are greatly influenced by what they see and read on Twitter which companies can use to their advantage. Ultimately Twitter along with other social media platforms have made it easier for PR professionals to reach their ultimate goal in getting their message out to the public.

For more information on this topic visit these links to articles on Twitter,

How Public Relations Works 

Twitter Definitions

PRSA