September 28, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Twitter, Bin Laden, and the Return of Jots

Twitter, Bin Laden, and the Return of Jots

Well, I certainly couldn’t stay away forever now, could I? And what better week to return to my weekly social media blog jotting than a week when social media factored so prominently into the news cycle? Raise your hand if you learned of Osama Bin Laden’s death via Twitter, Facebook, or another social network (raising hand).

Indeed, half the news stories about the amazing efforts of our own Navy SEALs I read this week mentioned the fact that most people learned the news on Twitter ages before the President’s address. Another good portion of those articles mentioned the Pakistani resident who unknowingly live-tweeted the event by complaining about the helicopters and wondering what was happening in his otherwise uneventful suburb.

I am entirely unsurprised by any of this news, and find it quite amusing to see others acting so surprised. There has hardly been a major news event since late 2008 or so that I didn’t hear about on Twitter or Facebook first. Granted, I am a bit of a power user, but it’s still compelling that even casual users are now experiencing the rapid nature of social news. It almost makes the “Breaking News” aspect of televised journalism, wherein reporters breathlessly break into, say, “The Apprentice” with a major announcement, something of an anachronism.

In the Jots this week, some reaction to social’s impact on the Bin Laden news, as well as usual great tips and tricks of our trade. Enjoy!


Things to Keep In Mind in Bin Laden’s Death – Priya Ramesh – Advice for PR pros in the wake of Bin Laden’s death wasn’t something I immediately thought of, but I found Priya’s advice truly interesting. Of course, it can be applicable in the wake of any major news story, and is probably something many in PR aren’t necessarily thinking of in their push to get their clients’ messaging out into the world. “If you don’t hear back from the reporter/blogger this week that expressed an interest in covering your story, don’t panic. Instead, send a nice note enquiring if there is anything you can do to help them with, especially if you have credible sources/data that can help them with the Bin Laden coverage. This gesture of understanding their priority and helping them with what they need is a good investment you will make to nurture your media relations efforts.”


Social Media Strategy in Four Steps – Mike Lewis – Can proper planning and preparation ever be emphasized enough? Many in my field (public affairs) do not often have the luxury of lead time when being tasked with an initiative, but when it comes to social media, taking the time to map out goals, key performance indicators, and scheduling of resources, as Mike suggests in his planning guide, can be instrumental in building a successful program. “Program building gives you a chance to focus your efforts, and to determine what kind of man power will be needed to support those efforts.  It will also set up your criteria for success in advance by creating a set of metrics. This will take some of the uncertainty out of your social media program, enabling you to know when you are doing things right and/or when adjustments need to be made.”

The Importance of Writing Well for Social Media Content – Angela Maiers – My friends make fun of me almost constantly for my frequent griping on Facebook and Twitter about the state of grammar and spelling on social networks. Sure, that’s usually for personal use, but do not think that because you’re using social for a brand, that you can let proper writing go by the wayside. If anything, it’s even more important, as Angela explains. “The skills that make us better explainers, better persuaders, better story tellers, and better thinkers are all fundamentally influenced by writing. These are the skills that allow us to sell our ideas effectively, whether in giving a presentation to potential client, proposing a new project, or convincing customers of the benefit of our newly created product.”

The Mutterings of Twitter – Mitch Joel – As someone who takes to Twitter rather frequently to complain about poor service from a brand (even as recently as connecting with FTD Flowers yesterday through the platform when I needed to change my Mother’s Day order), I found Mitch’s post particularly compelling. He points out that brands need to determine the best way to respond to what is turning into a vast ocean of complaints that may or may not have much merit. “Have you even been in a situation where you stub your toe and in the throes of agony, your spouse asks if everything is ok and you wind up responding in an angry tone? That’s Twitter. People tweet whatever internal mutterings are frustrating them at one, specific moment in time. The platform acts like a mythical sea able to wash away your random mutterings as if the act of typing and publishing the thought to the your social graph cleanses your soul (it’s not always a request for customer service). It’s a much more common practice than brands understand. Now, brands have to ensure that they’re suddenly not in a constant state of being the spouse that’s asking if everything is ok.”

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