Twitter reigns as the de facto social media tool of 2008. But you’re probably wondering “what does its mega-popularity have to do with my business?” The answer: more than you think.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will attempt to build a solid business case for Twitter for every day business. Why? Because as you already know, we must evolve with the times. How we used to do business yesterday may not be as effective today. We’re committed to helping you cope with the dynamic marketplace and find realistic strategies for success. And I am a social media advocate. By the end, I will have either transformed you into an avid Twitter-er or crashed and burned. You decide.

First, let’s examine how Twitter will transform Public Relations.

As a public relations professional, I know there is nothing more important than relationship-building and relevancy. In the old days (3 years ago), we used to attend parties and networking events, host “lunch and learns” and hold press tours in order to establish an amicable, respectable relationship with our journos. When we pitched, it was that relationship that helped us place stories (hopefully) because we would know a journo’s beat, their preferred delivery method, tone, etc.

While the relationship-building still is at the epicenter of PR, there are tools on Twitter that help facilitate and add value to this process.

Jornchat is a live discussion every Monday 8-10pm EST where everyone from journalists, PR professionals, and students have the opportunity to work collaboratively and share insights.To participate, you simply type your comments in Twitter and include #journchat. By using a service such as you can search for and follow all Tweets that included #journchat.

HARO (Help-A-Reporter-Out) is a daily newsletter produced by Peter Shankman that provides PR folks real details of reporters looking for experts and sources for their stories. However, Peter Shankman (@skydiver) uses Twitter to announce urgent requests, which are usually from major outlets like CNN and Washington Post and The Today Show.

MicroPR is a newly developed offering created by Brian Solis and Stowe Boyd. It connects journalists, bloggers, analysts and PR/marketing professionals together in a way that was unimaginable prior to Twitter. It aims to connect information, sources and stories to the people.
Subscribe to the @MicroPR feed and definitely follow it on Twitter.

So for the public relations industry, Twitter is proving to be a fantastic representation of the changing media landscape and the role of social media: real people coming together online to share and discover new information.

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