How Twitter is Changing Public Relations

The PR industry is changing for good. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have completely redefined the paradigm of public relations. A couple of years back, it would have been hard to imagine a micro-blogging service, all of 140 characters messages and that too not landing directly in your Inbox could be used as an effective means for maintaining public relations.

Social Media vs. Public Relations

It might sound surprising but for a long time, social media was viewed as a competitor to conventional PR techniques. While social media analysts predicted that PR industry is now dead, the latter retaliated by arguing that social media isn’t well suited for public relationships. And then, Twitter happened. As its popularity increased, it reduced the gap between social media and PR industry. And now, with thousands of Twitter’s PR success stories, it is widely viewed as the best PR technique in today’s age of Web 2.0

Is Conventional PR Dead?

Of course not! Twitter is a fascinating way of augmenting your organization’s PR capabilities. It’s not a tool to replace conventional PR techniques. Rather, it helps spread the message to a much wider audience than any other legacy PR mode. You can tweet about a press release or about a new media event for your organization and then see how the news spreads like fire in Tweetverse.

Good Customer Service, Great Public Relations

In order to get good publicity, it is important for an organization to provide good service. Twitter provides an unparallel mode of instant & real-time customer service. Queries can be answered instantaneously and the word spreads faster than wild fire.

Many companies have realized that Twitter is not only a great tool for marketing, it’s also an innovative medium of providing great customer service, thereby leading to a good public reputation and strong public relations.

Brand Monitoring

Twitter is a great place to monitor your brand’s reputation online. You get to know what people are talking about your brand. You can search for people who’d potentially be interested in your brand and reach out to them. Using Twitter’s advanced search functionality and several 3rd party tools, you can determine if your brand is loosing its charm amongst customers and appropriately take corrective action.

Knowledge is Power

The PR industry thrives on knowledge and what better than an easily presentable source of vast knowledge like Twitter. As you follow and interact with more people, you gain more knowledge. Be it peers, competitors or clients, following them on Twitter makes sense as you gain more insights into their opinions.

Twitter is an always online 24 x 7 community with several knowledgeable and thoughtful people, so why not make the best out of it? As a wise man once said, there’s nothing better than learning from the pros.

Bill Gates once said “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relationships”. I’d rather say “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it accessing Twitter to build public relations”

Credits: by 2veritasium

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  1. Josh Chandler


    It amazes me that despite the acceptance of Twitter in the PR World a press release published at is still outranking a tweet on a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

    It just reminds me that at one time websites would submit to web directories such as DMOZ and Yahoo and think they'd reached the largest audience, then Google and MSN (Bing) come along and change the entire landscape.

  2. How Twitter is Changing Public Relations | Effective Public Relations

    […] How Twitter is Changing Public Relations Posted on June 28, 2010 by anthonymora37 How Twitter is Changing Public Relations. […]

  3. Brian Vellmure

    One key takeaway is that yes – good customer service is good public relations! What used to be a 1:1 experience between a customer and a company is now on display for the world to see.

    Organizations large and small are now realizing that building a bridge between customer service and PR (formally disconnected business silos) is providing great opportunities for positive branding and increased customer acquisition and retention.

    Best regards,


  4. Douglas Idugboe

    In the personal world, it's commonly said that familiarity breeds contempt but in the business world, familiarity breeds trust. Trust is the lifeblood of any brand, without it, consider your brand dead since yesterday.

    We've heard it said many times that people buy from people they trust; what better way to establish that trust than a good public relations campaign that could easily be facilitated by using the tools of excellent customer service and social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc, with little or no cost involved.

    Thanks Brian for reiterating the bridge of great customer service as an even more effective form of public relations.

  5. Wellons Communications

    This is very true. Twitter and other social media networks are not only changing public relations, but also life in general.

    We blogged about this topic, check it out at

  6. Dino Dogan

    I went to a Social Media round table in NYC few weeks ago. It was infested 🙂 with PR and marketing folks. Two things became clear as they were asking questions.

    1. There is a huge amount of fear since the knowledge-base is no longer horded and dispensed via established “higher-learning” institutions, therefore, these “schooled” folks didn't A. Posses the knowledge and B. Didn't know how to go about acquiring it (isnt it sad that our schools do NOT teach us how to learn?)

    2. The other things that was clear was that they couldn't figure out how to continue to manipulate the public given that there is a huge amount of transparency. This could be a post all of its own…interesting thought tho, right? How would Edward Bernays approach Social Media? (dont know who Edward Bernays is? Look it up kids, you'll be glad you did 🙂


  7. 40deuce

    I totally agree with you here Doug. Social media (especially Twitter) is great place for PR.
    I actually just came out of PR school not to long ago where I tried to focus my attention on the social web as I knew it was going to be the next step in PR. I now use all of that knowledge to do my job. I build community. I use PR tactics of outreach to our publics, I just do a lot of it via social media.
    I especially agree with your “good service = great public relations.” One thing I preach both for myself and for my company is that if you're making people happy and satisfied online it will always help in the long run. It may not show as sales right away, but your good reputation will always help positively with the bottom line eventually.


    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  8. Douglas Idugboe

    Great Pointe Sheldon! – Yes, your social media PR strategies could produce instant results but always think from a long term perspective of your brand.

  9. Douglas Idugboe

    Don't know who Dino is? Watch out folks, coming to a Smedio page near you 😉

  10. Douglas Idugboe

    Great point Josh. One of the reasons releases on PR sites outrank social blast is mostly based on the underlying static nature of PR sites and the fluid nature of social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

    Thanks for pointing that out Josh.

  11. Facebook and Twitter redefine public relations : Online Social Media

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  18. Graham Parker

    Is it pure coincidence that you point us all toward Twitter to find out more about the people behind Smedio when you say your aim is “to continuously define the business value of new media and the social web by equiping you with the needed insight and innovative ideas to help your business grow even more, using technology, new media, and the social web”?
    It seems like you are just promoting one form of social media, in fact the above looks just like an advertisement for it – are you connected with it at all?

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      Graham, it’s a pity you feel that way. We use all major social and new media platforms. The reason we use our Twitter handle in our bios is because it works best in the professional setting instead of sending readers to our personal Facebook accounts.

      This is just one of our hundreds of articles. Look around and you might find some that sound like advertorial for other social platforms as well.

      Remember to check out our Facebook page here: 🙂

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