Like so many people in the 40-something age-bracket who proudly belong to the telephone and television communication age, my first reaction to the new tools and to Twitter specifically, was: what good is another communication tool? why the 140 characters restriction? Where is the time to follow and keep the pace when the information floodgates open? Two weeks later after that first introduction to Twitter, I am still learning how to put the tool to full use and enjoying it. Meanwhile, here are my cents-worth observations with the tool thus far:
2. Twitter is a perfect medium for forming and sustaining groups regardless of their geographical boundaries.When motivated people share a common interest Twitter makes it easy to stay connected to the group.
3. I have found Twitter useful for sharing real-time updates whether from conferences, symposia, media events etc. Because I 'follow' Porter Novelli, for example, I was able to get real-time updates from the recently concluded 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival held in Austin, Texas.
4. Twitter can be effective for gathering real-time research data to generate PR campaign insights. In the Domino's Pizza Turnaround campaign that I came across in the internet recently, Domino's used the customers' feedback generated on Twitter to reinvent its brand successfully. It is also an effective tool for amplifying a campaign as was achieved by the Kotex online campaign (link was shared by a colleague). The campaign used Pinterest as the primary media for reaching inspirational women, but amplified it on Twitter, Facebook and on YouTube. The point is, on its own, Twitter cannot carry a campaign. It has to be embedded in the wider PR strategy.
5. Due to its interactive capability, Twitter, like other interactive media is a challenge for individuals and organisations because of its demands on personal and organisational time. Without a filtering mechanism, I have found that one requires a lot of time to sift through tonnes of content. An Agency would need a great content filtering mechanism to support Twitter's otherwise great uses.