Ever since Twitter blew up the social media scene in 2006, tweeting has become more socially acceptable in formal settings. Maybe it’s an addiction to knowing what is happening at every waking moment, or perhaps it is the thrill of updating the world on the latest news. Nonetheless, if your members like to tweet, why not utilize that platform in PRSSA meetings?
PRSSA at Louisiana State University meetings usually last about an hour and a half – a long time to dedicate after a full day of classes. This year we are employing new ways to keep our members interested, active and involved.
One of our solutions: live tweeting. Here are four tips on how you can incorporate live tweeting into your Chapter programming:
1. Choose a hashtag that relates to your Chapter specifically. For LSU, we use #geauxPRSSA. Use your hashtag on every tweet, which will make it easier for members to identify your organization.
2. If your speaker or presenter is comfortable with you attendees doing so, remind and encourage members to tweet about the session before the presentation begins.
3. If the speaker or presenter isn’t comfortable with attendees using their phones or laptops during the event, designate one person to tweet the speaker’s advice and main points. This will help members who couldn’t attend the meeting still feel like they are a part of it.
4. Track the hashtag. See what your members are saying, and retweet them as encouragement, too. (Tip: I use TweetDeck to do this. You can create a column specifically to track the hashtag you’ve created.)
Our first meeting of the semester was the first time we tried live tweeting at a PRSSA at LSU meeting. In the end, I was amazed with our results. I was surprised at how many members took part in it: About 30% of the members joined in, and there were more than 75 tweets with “#geauxPRSSA” besides our own! Live tweeting is a great way to get your organization’s name out in the Twitter world. If people see a recurring hashtag in their timeline, they click on it to see what it is about. It’s also just plain fun to update members through Twitter.
Most importantly, live tweeting provides a small job to those who may want to have a larger role in the meetings. When members actively participate, they are more likely to retain information. Our first speaker of the semester, director of basketball communications for the New Orleans Hornets, Dennis Rogers, said it best: “Overcommunicate. It keeps everyone prepared.”
Live tweeting is a step in the right direction for PRSSA at LSU. Try a live tweet with your members; you never know the conversations that could be started.
About the blogger
This is a guest post by Paige Weber, the public relations director for Louisiana State University’s PRSSA Chapter. See what other new ideas PRSSA at LSU is implementing at www.prssalsu.com.
[highlight]How have you seen live tweets used effectively? What additional advice would you offer to those thinking about starting one?[/highlight]