Engaging Media on Twitter: Through Personal or Corporate Accounts?

by Arik Hanson November 9, 2015
November 9, 2015

Ran into an interesting situation recently with a client.


Part of our work is media outreach. So, not surprisingly, one way we’re staying connected with reporters is through Twitter.


We developed the requisite Twitter lists.


Researched them inside and out.


And started “engaging” (i.e., monitoring and looking for small opportunities to talk to them).


Seems pretty straight-forward, right?


derusha twitter


But nothing is as straight-forward as it seems in this business.


There’s always a wrinkle.


In this case, the wrinkle was this: As a consultant (sorry brand folks, just talking to my agency/consultant friends here), does it make sense to engage reporters on Twitter from your personal handle, or from the client’s corporate handle?


That’s a good question for discussion, right?


Let’s look at both sides of the coin:


Engaging from your personal Twitter account

To me, this is generally the way to go. Mostly, because you can engage and talk to the reporter “person to person.” That definitely makes a difference. Sure, they most likely know you’re a PR person with a quick glance at your profile, but they’re probably more apt to talk to a person on Twitter than a company. Now, the downside of this approach is: 1) Not everyone has a functioning Twitter account–yes, it’s true; and 2) Even those who do have a functioning Twitter account don’t want to use it for work purposes (and, as far as I know, that’s within their right to say that). So, it’s not a slam dunk. But, this approach makes the most sense to me. Although…


Engaging from the client’s corporate Twitter account

Let’s say you don’t have a Twitter account. And no one on the team is comfortable using their personal account (a stretch, especially for larger team, but still a possibility). In this case, you’d have to use the corporate account. But, the downside is its a corporate account. It will come off very official. Very stiff. And very spokesperson-y. Which, in some cases, is fine. But, in some cases, that’s not what you’ll be after. The other argument I could make here is this: If you’re reaching out to reporter on Twitter from your personal account, you’re building equity in YOU. If you’re doing it from the corporate account, you’re building equity in the CLIENT. Bit of a difference. I could see that playing into your decision-making, too.


I’ve run into this a couple times in the past year. But, I’m REALLY curious to hear what my agency friends have to say about this one. I’m sure it’s a talker on that end.


What do you think agency friends? Personal or corporate Twitter account–which one makes most sense to engage reporters?

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