We recently posed a question to one of our favorite PR groups on Facebook: are you currently trying to get any of your clients’ Twitter accounts verified in order to earn that sacred blue check?
The response was a nearly unanimous “yes, but,” and our readers will probably not be happy to learn what we found out.
A couple of months ago, everyone on the Adweek editorial team got verified in a couple of days. The whole thing started when one of our colleagues who had worked with a PR contact at Twitter in the past asked for help to make all associated accounts official. The contact then referred the request to “another team that does the verification,” and our social media manager sent an email out asking everyone to confirm his/her address in order to get the check.
Twitter told Adweek that, in the past, it has worked directly with social media managers at different companies to make sure all the people were who they claimed to be. But that’s no longer the case, and, according to our colleague, the company now pretty much just “finds people randomly.” Hmm.
Earlier this week, Digiday ran a story on the big mystery that lies behind the blue check, noting that no one understands it six years after it first appeared.
One reason is that no clear standards exist for verification. Before we got our check, we were told that all verified accounts must include the following:
- Your full legal name
- Your position and job description
- An identifiable image of you
- A legitimate URL, which can be that of your employer or your personal page
And yet, our own profile pic is a closeup of a 19th century painting…which seemed to be acceptable. One element that IS required: your Twitter account must be registered to your professional email.
After we got verified, we reached out to someone at Twitter who asked for more specifics, writing:
“Accounts are verified on a case-by-case basis and are specific by vertical.”
The contact then referred us to the familiar help page regarding the verification process. If you’re interested in this topic, then you’ve seen it before.
We followed by sending several examples of accounts that our industry friends would like to be made official for various reasons (imitators, credibility, confirming celebrity status, etc.).
We received no response.
It’s a fairly well-established fact that Twitter has a certain bias toward media professionals and personalities when it comes to the verification process. As Digiday reports, some journalists have been verified without even asking. But again, there’s no rhyme or reason to it: certain completely legitimate accounts like Skift have been unable to get the check, and “influencers” like Choire Sicha of The Awl refuse to bother with it in protest.
For now, then, it would seem that PR pros whose clients want the check have no real choice but to visit this page one more time and hope for the best.
You can rest easier in one way, though: the number of followers and quality of tweets for a given account have absolutely nothing to do with it.