Media outreach is part of public relations, so one way we PR pros connect with reporters is through Twitter.
We develop Twitter lists and research them inside and out. Then we monitor the reporters, look for opportunities to talk to them and start engaging.
It seems straightforward, right? In this business, though, there’s always a wrinkle.
In a recent situation with a client, this was my wrinkle: Should I engage reporters from my personal Twitter handle or from the client’s corporate one?
Let’s look at both sides:
Engaging from your personal account
Your personal handle is generally the way to go, mostly because you can engage with the reporter one on one. That makes a difference.
Sure, the reporter will know you’re a PR person after a quick glance at your profile, but he’ll be more apt to reply to a personal handle than an organization’s.
The downsides of this approach are:
1. Not everyone has a functioning Twitter account. (Yes, it’s true.)
2. Sometimes those who do have a functioning Twitter account don’t want to use it for work.
It’s not a slam dunk, but this approach makes sense to me.
Engaging from a corporate account
Say you don’t have a Twitter account, and no one on the team is comfortable using theirs. (That’s a stretch, especially for larger team, but it’s possible). In this case, you’d have to use the corporate account.
The downside is that it’s a corporate account. Your tweet will probably seem official and stiff. That’s fine in some cases, but not all.
One could also argue that if you’re contacting a reporter on Twitter from your personal account, you’re building equity in yourself. If you’re tweeting from the corporate account, you’re building equity in the organization.
Which do you think is the better approach? Please share in the comments section.
A version of this article originally appeared on Communication Conversations.