All Work and No Tweets

You can tweet at work if you like but you might get fired. The Marines, NFL and now ESPN have announced new policies on Twitter usage.

twitter-bird-2 ESPN doesn’t want employees using Twitter for anything but ESPN-related content. No personal quirks or sports opinions. Tweet ESPN’s approved content or face suspension or dismissal. The NFL is dishing out fines to players and staff who tweet while on the field. Several teams have also prohibited members of the media from tweeting during game time. Meanwhile, fans can still tweet the play-by-play while in the stands. The U.S. Marine Corps enforced a year-long ban of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites from its networks. It’s no fun but it does create a reasonable case of leaving a window open for security issues.

As a PR practitioner, I get it. Companies want to be smart about how they use social media but they want the best of both worlds. Maintaining a social media presence serves their audiences while enforcing guidelines on usage offers protection.

Many companies, including media outlets, are still trying to figure out how social media fits in their business models and how to create policies for interaction. Will these tweet policies change companies’ perspectives on policing their social media efforts?

The best part about social media is the dialogue. No one wants to lose their job or face a penalty, but all work and no tweets will cause a twitter presence to suffer and, sooner or later, your tweets will get ignored. Until they figure this Twitter thing out, that’s the way it’s going to be.

Advertisements

Test Drive My Job

Thanks to Twitter and Mopwater PR & Media Notes anyone interested in a career in public relations can test drive my job. Well not really. But courtesy of Amanda Miller Littlejohn, an award-winning writer, journalist and marketing/public relations pro in Washington, D.C. (and one of my Twitter friends), you can get a glimpse of what PR is like through the eyes of other practitioners.

Her column, Test Drive My Job, profiles marketing, PR, advertising and social media professionals at various stages of their careers. The column features an up close and personal look of some pretty neat folks who are in the driver’s seat.

Take my job for spin around the block and let me know what you think.testdrive

Think Like A Journalist

Last month on Journchat, Twitter’s hottest new sounding board for journalists, bloggers and PR folks, there was lots of talk about where PR falls into the shift in news coverage by journalists and who bears the most responsibility in deciding what news stories are most relevant.

Journalists have the utmost requirement to be objective in their approach to storytelling, leaving a reader to determine how they feel about a topic and to draw their own conclusion. And even though most people probably don’t know or could care less about the seven elements of a news story, everyone knows a topic must be worth talking about or else it’s not news. thinklike1

As more news goes online, PR folks have to gain a greater edge on how to get a story placed. Journalists have to take a stronger approach to how they tell a story. Ultimately, that means companies have to challenge themselves a bit if they want better news coverage.

Identify the niche of your brand. Figure out what makes it stand out. Without any assumptions or false hope, be honest about where you are and why a journalist might take interest in your company.

If you were a journalist, would you write about your company? As a reader, what is it about your organization that others would find interesting? What unique facts about your business could a PR person use to publicize your business?

Try this. Write your own story about your business. No fluff – just tell the facts about you and your company in a creative way. Spend some time with it and question its level of newsworthiness. This will help you develop better expectations for your PR strategy and strengthen your ability to gain news coverage.

*** Learn more about Journchat, Monday nights on Twitter, at http://journchat.info