On Twitter's Related Headlines: It May Be Cliche, But Content is Still King
As you might imagine, our office spends quite a bit of time discussing the constantly evolving media ecosystem. Some of it is pure speculation – What does it mean that Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post? What does “putting readers first” really mean? – but much is discussion around how certain changes will impact our clients and how we, as PR professionals, work with them.
No matter the topic at hand, the key takeaway always seems to come down to one central point: the media ecosystem is becoming less and less about the media and the relationships we form with them and more and more about the content. The tired saying, “content is king” has never been more true. As the line between media and social media continues to blur, good content will win out.
Twitter is helping to blur that line, particularly with its new Related Headlines feature. If you haven’t seen this feature yet, it creates a tighter link between social content and media content. When a tweet is embedded in an article or blog, that article or blog is linked to the tweet.
Twitter's new related headlines feature makes me think there are way too many sites covering the same thing: pic.twitter.com/ztbYfoToQU— Eli Langer (@EliLanger) September 4, 2013
Content creators can use this to their advantage by thinking about embedding relevant tweets into blog posts, press releases and other digital content. It doesn't only make those types of content more visually appealing, interactive and dynamic, but it also expands reach and encourages engagement. If you aren’t embedding tweets from influencers, reporters or bloggers into content as part of your influencer relations programs, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Consider also your own social media channels. Are you crafting timely and relevant social content that resonates enough with other content creators, such as influencers, reporters or bloggers? If you are, they may be embedding your tweets into their articles, creating a two-way engagement link.
Lastly, consider publishing content, including data and reports, exclusively via Twitter. Sharing content in this way encourages embedding, which then reaches a whole new set of influencers, who can engage with you in the form of replies, retweets and favorites - all without leaving the comfort of the blog post they’re already reading.
As we’ve discussed this new feature at the office over the last few weeks, one coworker chimed in with a very interesting thought: “Can you imagine if we got a client to send out a tweet instead of a press release some day? This is tailor-made for that!”
If you’ve read any public relations blogs at all recently, you’ve probably seen more than your fair share of posts discussing the imminent demise of the press release. While this has been an ongoing and unresolved topic for quite some time (some would even argue it’s been a debate for as long as the press release has been around), Twitter's Related Headlines might actually do the trick and finish it off. Doubtful, but it is a possibility.
It's no doubt that we are moving from a media ecosystem toward a content ecosystem. This new feature proves that thinking of Twitter as a stand-alone channel is no longer enough. Content creators would do well to remember just how much owned, earned, shared and paid content overlap and move together as a way to encourage brand awareness and engagement.