Field reporting and the power of the Tweet

Micro-blogging, often derided as a way to broadcast the mundane (“I just made coffee!”), has grown to become a very powerful force in the way the news is broadcast. This was seen during the anti-government riots in Iran last summer when the top micro-blogging site, Twitter, was extensively used to get news out of the country by people on the ground in the thick of the action. Following that event and many similar others, people are now beginning to understand the power that micro-blogging has in broadcasting messages across the Internet in real time.

Tweeting live from the event

On a recent client event, EASTWEST PR was present and broadcast the happenings of the event via Twitter. These “tweets” were sent to followers of the client’s Twitter account, which was then shared across networks by users. The literal usage of Twitter is to broadcast to your followers what is on your mind, but has quickly become a platform for people to broadcast news onto the Internet, especially by people at events or in the field. The large number of tweets emanating from the Apple iPad announcement is a case in point. At our event, we broadcasted updates in real time of what was happening to people on the other side of the world who might be interested.

This strategy is a double-edged sword because it gets the news out to people who will find it relevant because they have signed up to listen. But it is also a quick and easy way to populate the Internet, and search results, with your brand name. During the event, we made sure that we included the client’s name at least once in each tweet to maximize this effect. However, when utilizing this strategy, you must make sure that your tweets are relevant and newsworthy and to make sure that you do not send out excessive numbers as it might be seen as spam (twitspam).
Following the event, we noticed a large uptake of visibility on social media sites and search engines. If you already know how to use Twitter (or similar platforms) you will easily be able to implement this strategy. Make sure what you tweet is relevant to your followers and audience. If you do this, you will be able to reach people who are interested in you and who will carry on that message to their followers. Everyone is a field reporter now, so get out and get tweeting.
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