I commented in The Courier Mail about Twitter’s impact upon public relations for Queensland personalities.
IN an age when a carefully-managed image is everything, Queensland personalities are shunning the PR machine and taking to Twitter to ‘‘show who they really are’’.
Gone are the days of cliche- riddled press conferences from our politicians, sport stars and musicians.
From Kevin Rudd to Wallabies star Quade Cooper or Brisbane band The Veronicas, Queenslanders are now able to read what their favour- ite celeb is thinking, where they are and how they feel at any time of day.
Social media expert Dr John Lenarcic from RMIT in Melbourne said celebrities loved to use Twitter to make themselves more ‘‘real’’.
‘‘There’s an element of control and simplicity,’’ Dr Lenarcic said. ‘‘If they have to engage with PR people all day it’s another level of complexity.’’
Cooper, who tomorrow takes on the All Blacks in the biggest game of his career, is prolific on Twitter.
He has tweeted 15,000 times about everything from his form on the field, to his love of sushi and his relationship with swimming star Stephanie Rice.
Former Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes posts regularly about Australia from his new home in England, while local comedian Josh Thomas has been known to get into heated stoushes with rivals through Twitter.
Dr Sean Rintel from the University of Queensland said locals like to support their own when it comes to social media, and people like V8 star Craig Lowndes and Meshel Laurie, who have dedicated followings, could benefit from staying in touch with their roots.
‘‘Even though Twitter is a global phenomenon, if you’re a marketing person you need good local networks so it behoves you to keep tabs on areas you want to sell to,’’ Dr Rintel said.
But anyone can be a star on Twitter. Not many people know of psychologist Dr Mia Rose, but her words about love and healing have attracted more 65,000-plus followers.
QUT law lecturer Peter Black has more than 80,000 tweets and said his online following has lifted his real-life profile.
‘‘I’m not sure whether to be flattered or embarrassed to be popular there,’’ he said. ‘‘For a lot of people Twitter is still the punchline for a joke or they don’t understand it, but I think those who do see the benefit of it.’’
TIPS FOR FAME ON TWITTER
- Tweet messages at famous people and hope they re-tweet them.
- Share lots of news articles that interest and engage people.
- Keep tabs on local twitterers.
- Update frequently about a certain topic you’re interested in.
- Make an amusing novelty account.
Dorfield, S. (2011, October 15-16). Tweet life takes over PR machine. The Courier Mail, pp. 38.