I wanted to post the “Guide to Twitter Chat,” by Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) to answer any questions you may have for the next #PRStudChat. Just a reminder, it is taking place this Wednesday (October 21st) at noon and our hashtag is #BUO. Also, please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions at all (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Before the Chat:
Join the #PRStudChat LinkedIn Group The group has been set up to anchor participants. Get to know the other members that will be attending the chat. Try doing an advanced search. Select the #PRStudChat group, and search against your school, location, company, or perhaps even a company you would like to work for… identify others that you want to be sure to get to know during the chat.Take an active role in the group by posting discussion topics or adding your comments to current discussions. And be sure to start following those members you find interesting, Remember, participants won’t be able to DM you if you are not following.
Get to Know the Hashtag Hashtags.org defines a hashtag as ”a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag “ We use the hashtag #PRStudChat to unite all of the tweets in our chat. More information about the #PRStudChat can be found at What the Hashtag
Follow the hashtag in advance of the chat, so that you can get to know who is coming. There are many ways to “follow” the hashtag. You can start by searching for #PRStudchat or setting up a column in TweetDeck, TweetGrid or HootSuite. You can set up alerts (similar to a Google alert) via Tweetbeep
Tweet with the hashtag in advance. Let everyone know you will be attending. Tell them something about yourself and what you hope to gain from the conversation. Follow those that are tweeting with the hashtag and get to know them a bit better beforehand.
Encourage other PR Students and professionals to join in. The quality of the dialog is dependent on the participants, and you can help by referring those you respect. Tweet the date and time of the chat and share with other PR students, educators and professionals.
“Watch” other chats. If this is your first Twitter chat and you are curious to “watch” a chat before jumping in leads #journchat, a weekly discussion between PR professionals and journalists every Monday evening at 8pm eastern.is one of the first and largest twitter chats. It is a great resource for networking and learning and has helped to shape many of the other chats that have since developed. Another chat you may be interested to participate in is #PR20chat ,a weekly discussion about PR 2.0 and the future of the PR industry moderatedWednesday evenings 8pm eastern If you are considering working as a consultant, be sure to join @KellyeCrane’s #solopr chat, held each Wednesday at 1pm eastern. Here is an excellent resource for finding twitter chats by Meryl K. Evans Additionally, check out this spreadsheet of Twitter Chats that may be of interest.
During the Chat:
If you are using TweetDeck or HootSuite simply set up a column with the hashtag. The advantage of using these applications, is that you can continue to view your regular Twitter streams and can stay in touch with what is happening on Twitter outside of the chat.
Tweetchat.com and Tweetgrid.com provide a more focused platform to engage in the chat. They are both web based applications (no need to download, just log on with your Twitter ID and use the hashtag #PRStudchat.) This will allow you to participate in the conversation real time, without the distractions of tweets from those not participating in the chat. Once you log on to Tweetchat and enter the hashtag, you are officially in the “#PRStudChat” room and do not need to worry about entering the hashtag again; it will automatically display on all of the tweets you send. If you are using Tweetgrid, a “party” option was designed specifically to help you follow chats. Tweetgrid allows you to follow the moderator or host, which can be particularly useful in fast paced conversations.
It’s okay to talk. Please jump in and voice your questions, comments and advice. Discussion and debate are encouraged, but please be respectful so that we can maintain an environment where everyone is comfortable asking questions.
It’s okay to listen. RT comments you find particularly valuable, to help assure that they do not get lost in a fast paced conversation. If you find the conversation is going to fast, do not be discouraged. Takeaways will be available after the session, so do your best to keep up. As you get more experienced with live chats, you will find it easier to follow the rapid pace
Stay on topic. If you want to discuss something off topic with a participant, drop the hashtag. The moderator will be presenting the questions for group discussion, It can be helpful to begin your tweet by referencing the question to which you are responding (Q1, Q2, Q3, etc).
Identify yourself In order to help provide context to your tweets, it is recommended that participants begin their tweets with the designation of “P”(Professional), “S” (Student) or E (Educator).
*Remember, in order for others on the chat to view your tweets, you must not have a “protected” profile setting. In order to allow all to view your tweets, simply go to “settings” and uncheck the box marked “protech”
After the Chat:
Consider and continue the conversation. Blog about the chat and your experience. Be sure to tweet your posts with the hashtag, so that others who are following #PRStudChat can view and comment. Take a moment to review the conversation (rough transcripts can be made at http://wthashtag.com/Prstudchat and a clean summary of the event will be available shortly after here. Continue to use the hashtag if you have follow up thoughts to share
Build relationships with new tweeps you hope to learn more from; Follow their blogs and tweets and out their profiles and websites. Continue to use the LinkedIn Group to learn about future chats and follow up to the conversation. Once you have built an individual relationship with other members, send a personal invitation to them to join your LinkedIn network.
You are a member of the Community; Your opinion matters Offer feedback, and help us continue our quest to build and improve the experience for PR professionals, students and educators. After the chat, take a moment to return to the LinkedIn Group and provide feedback. Share what you liked and provide suggestions for what can be done to improve the experience. Bring your perspective to the blog posts that others have written by leaving a comment.