Why is Quantas eliminating its media-relations Twitter feed?
Qantas Airways is shutting down its PR Twitter account @QantasMedia and is directing customers over to its new online newsroom for information and updates. The Twitter handle, which is run by the Qantas PR staff and has 27,000 followers, is being shut down to streamline information the company shares on social media.
On the one hand, I get this. Sort of. For brands, social media should be a conversational and audience engagement tool, and using a Twitter feed to disseminate press releases is very one-way.
On the other hand, I don’t get this. At all. It seems like a very ill-conceived decision, one I would counsel strongly against had I the opportunity.
One of the most basic and foundational tenets of good PR is to cater to the needs of your audience. Many, many reporters, editors and media people use Twitter, especially as a de facto RSS reader where they can pull in news and updates from companies and brands they cover in one place. Removing your brand from that arena can make it more difficult for media sources to get news, updates and insights from you. Why would you want to take that chance? And if the answer is because you want them to instead visit your snazzy new media page on your website, well, your answer is not a good one. Why does it have to be mutually exclusive? Why can’t you have both?
PRNews says Quantas also explained the move by saying there was a lot of overlap between this account and its consumer-facing account. But that’s hard to see - these tend to be two very separate audiences, especially in terms of what they look for and expect in a brand’s social media channel.
It just seems very shortsighted to cut off what could be a valuable source of information on your brand for your target audience just to drive them to a new page. In PR, we accommodate much more than we dictate - or we should, at least. This seems to go in the opposite direction.
Or, as PR News puts it in the same article more succinctly and effectively, Making journalists proactively root around on a Web page seems like a retreat to passivity, and misses an opportunity to push important PR-related information out into the community to whom it would be most relevant.