Does This Tweet Make Me a Publicist?


Raise your hand if you think Twitter belongs to the publicity department.

Now raise your hand if you think Twitter belongs to the marketing department.

Finally, raise your middle finger if you think these distinctions no longer apply.

I came across an article by Small Business Trends with the headline 3 Cores of New Marketing: Is Tweeting Public Relations?, and to me it seemed the question posed was akin to asking what’s the meaning of blue? It’s a non-sequitur.

Never mind the rest of the article, which makes one good point about the need to abandon our preconceived notions about PR before devolving into content mill fodder. What intrigues me is the still-murky relationship of publicity to Tweeting, or the platform itself—Twitter.

Is the act of tweeting similar to the act of publicizing? Is a celebrity tweet endorsing your client or product considered a placement? Does your agency ghostwrite client tweets? And if a client can get publicity for his own tweets, what’s the publicist’s role?

For the most recent example, see T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s newest, most juvenile tirade against Sprint and its new CEO Marcelo Claure.

We know T-Mobile has an in-house media relations team, but this guy operates with no net and no filter. Does he qualify as his own publicist?