Business & Twitter
How you can use Twitter to help recovery from a PR disaster
There's no doubt that the emergence of social media has had one of the biggest impacts of the whole online revolution on wider society. Although the chance to catch up with old friends and keep up to date with what everyone is doing was one of the original attractions of early social networks, their speedy evolution into something far more distinctive didn't take very long.
Twitter is the perfect example of this, as it is used in so many different ways by so many sectors of society. Professional news gatherers share breaking stories and research complex issues, while celebrities have a direct channel of communication to their fans, and ordinary users organise their activities and meet-ups and share their experiences with each other and the whole world.
Reach and power
The way that Twitter has connected with people on a very real level is partly down to the way it is perfectly suited to smartphone use “on the go” 24/7. It all adds up to the network having a power to reach out to people who are beyond a small (or large) social network friendship group. This unique position in the online marketplace for communication and connections means that many people involved in the PR industry use it as an effective way to get a message across and deal quickly with situations as they arise.
For many, this makes Twitter an invaluable tool for dealing with a PR disaster. Often, the media will jump on a story and give out details that seem straightforward but later become much less clear. A perfect example of this is the Bernie Madoff scandal and the way it affected family members such as his sons and their wives.
Son Andrew Madoff and his wife Catherine Hooper were caught in the full glare of negative publicity, but Hooper's own experience in publicity helped them get through the storm and out the other side. In fact, the sequence of events was in no small part responsible for Hooper going on to set up her own successful company, Black Umbrella, which helps individuals plan personal responses to various disaster scenarios; more information on Hooper can be found in the Marie Claire article “Loving a Madoff.”
One of the reasons that Twitter is so effective for this kind of communication is that users tend to see it as a more human and personal style of online connection. The ability to respond directly and quickly to anyone at any time means that the lines of communication are very much a two-way affair, and this is why the platform is also such a great marketing tool for those businesses savvy enough to know how to use it to its full potential.
Whether it is recovering from an event that has caused reputational damage, creating an innovative marketing campaign, or simply taking advantage of being able to have direct communication between people who might not otherwise be in contact, Twitter's unique style is a vital part of the current state of social media.