#PRWritingOnTwitter or In Defense of Twitter for Public Relations Writing

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The logical argument has been made – social media is creating copy carnage, much to the chagrin of polished Public Relations writers.  Squeezing into the 140-characters-or-less Twitter format seems to translate important messages into adolescent non sequiturs.  See the outpouring of celebrity Tweets on the recent tragic passing of Whitney Houston (Diddy – Whitney Houston!!! OMG!! I really can’t believe this.. This is one of the saddest days ever..”).

Obey the K.I.S.S. principle.

But here’s the thing – brevity is key in Public Relations. Any PR 101 course will include the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid – sorry, not a Gene Simmons reference) or the concept of the Elevator Pitch.  Whether pitching busy journalists, TV producers or a prospective new client, PR pros who get to the point make a bigger impact with their ideas.

Long form has its place, and there’s tremendous value in vehicles like white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc.  But Twitter’s 140-character limit lends important discipline – it leaves no room for exaggerating adjectives, run-on sentences, superfluous anecdotes, and roundabout reasoning.  Instead, writers must get resourceful with strong verbs, succinct declarations of ideas, and persuasive hooks. Twitter’s option to hash tag keywords is also a practical shortcut for connecting to a broader social conversation.  The ideal result is a concise, impactful headline that will grab the reader’s attention and have them clicking for more. These writing skills translate to press release headlines, photo captions, media calls, and sit-downs with business prospects. Get to the point and get heard! #You’reWelcome.

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