How Twitter Can Expand Your World – Frenemies and All

We admit, Twitter is difficult to understand from an outsider’s perspective. You really need to participate in the community to understand its value. But once you do engage, the power of this eclectic community comes shining through.

Several of us at PerkettPR have personal Twitter accounts and we also have a corporate entity where we share news, poll the community, post blog entries, track events and more. Twitter has become a fantastic resource for our firm professionally and for many of us, personally. So what have we gleamed from Twitter? Everything from tips on restaurants, travel services, books, technology and more, to new relationships across the globe – including many with like-minded PR professionals – who we’ll call “Frenemies.”

Although we continue to compete for business with many of our Frenemies, we have also united with them in a way we never would have before Twitter. It has provided us the opportunity to see each other beyond the walls of the firms we work for – to appreciate our industry colleagues’ writing, strategies and accomplishments, and even to commiserate over similar struggles.

Through Twitter, we’ve had the opportunity to build relationships like never before – not only with other PR and social media professionals, but reporters, bloggers, analysts and others in relevant – and sometimes not-at-all-relevant – industries. Without Twitter, Jeremiah Owyang and Guy Kawasaki might never have chatted with us about various topics – professional and personal – much less visited and mentioned our blog and our website.

Participating in debates about the debates, rallying around a community member fighting breast cancer, supporting the case of a missing child, and even an unexpected death in the community have all been part of our various experiences on Twitter in the last few months alone. We share lively business-related discussions within the community that often extend to each other’s blogs – sharing ideas, “joining together” on issues such as “the death of PR,” the value of social media or something more personal such as parenting woes.

Twitter has not only helped us to extend our network and knowledge significantly, but provided us with a new avenue to prove that PR executives do have substance and can participate in industry conversations. We have also learned that we have more in common with our competitors than we ever thought possible. They are human, they are smart and we can learn from them. We embrace them as our “frenemies” because we still need to compete – which makes for another interesting future blog post …

The relationships may begin on Twitter – but they don’t end there. We have followed up and met face-to-face with “Followers” from “Twitterverse” at various industry events. Twitter is a great opportunity to expand not only your contacts database but your view of the world. Log on, join the community – we bet you’ll learn something new immediately.