Musings of a PR Professional

Microblogging, community management, and online communities

Using Twitter for PR

In using twitter for PR, it is a great way for a company or organization to get even more personal and in touch with their publics. While blogs are great, that are only updated once a day, once a week, and maybe even once a month so while you are hearing things about the inside of a company or organization, you’re still largely disconnected. Twitter does away with that. On twitter, the slow-pokes are tweeting once an hour. Through microblogging, the conversations that need to happen to create relationships between companies/organizationsand their publics are occurring in real-time. People are more genuine, more off-the-cuff, and more tangible. As a result, the organization or company becomes more transparent, in a good way. The publics will feel like they matter, that they’re heard, and that they can trust you. It’s less Wizard of Oz and more .

Community Management

The beauty of Twitter and all other social media sites is  the fact that relationships over the Web are becoming more and increasingly more real and genuine. At the same time though, community managers should be aware that being completely yourself all the time is not appropriate. It is important to be professional and keep your personal life personal.

It is interesting to me that I have never thought about social media in this light- that things can possibly get a little to interconnected. I always assumed the more personable the better, but after reading Jeremiah Owyang‘s post Job Hazards of the Community Manager, the risks seem glaring. There is a very fine line between professional-personal and just someone’s friend they get advice from. PR practitioners on the Web now are walking that line everyday. Clearly, community managers are a necessary bridge between organizations/corporations and their publics, but how connected is too connected?

Online Communities: Second Life

We’ve mentioned Second Life a couple of times in class, but have never talked about it in detail. Second Life is an online community in which people create 3-D avatars of themselves and interact with the other player’s avatars in a virtual world. People can be whoever they want, create whatever they want, and do whatever they want. Participants have free reign, though they must abide by a few rules and they do function under an economy.  The entire community is brought to the public by Linden Lab, Inc. which specializes in streaming media technologies.

Second Life seems to be primarily a source of entertainment. However, according to the site there are the same business opportunities available in Second Life as their are in the real world. in that vein, it is very possible for companies to build the companies they have in the real world on Second Life and therefore get a lot of exposure to their brand/product to those participating in the game. Also, it is probably possible for the avatar of a company or organization to network with people via Second Life and promote their organization or company.

Twitter, online communities, and community managers serve to keep organizations and companies connected to their publics in a less obtrusive way that the typical media relations tactics. Here, conversations form because a back and forth exchange of information is facilitated.


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  1. * prprofmv says:

    Did you see the post I sent out about job openings for community managers? Many of you in this clas might get those kinds of jobs… I hope!!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 7 months ago

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