What’s #tweetnotspeak?

First year student Cheryl Pearce reports from an unconventional PR class.

The silent #tweetnotspeak party at Leeds Metropolitan University. Photo: Nick Scott-Jones

Growing up in the age of technology, social networking is a massive part of my everyday routine.

From checking out my friends’ pictures on Facebook, to seeing what my classmates are up to on Twitter, engaging with my virtual contact list is something I try to keep up with on a constant basis.

My classmates and I were asked to come up with a PR stunt to aid our learning and teach us some more practical skills. The idea was to see for ourselves how our actions, even as students, can affect the PR world.

With help from our lecturer Richard Bailey, we came up with the idea of showing how Twitter is the communications medium of choice and the new take on word of mouth PR.

Being students, we all love a party, so we decided to try and swap all verbal communication for some good old tweets.

Using  #tweetnotspeak anyone from all over the world could join our party, and being the fabulous hosts that we are, we used the very same hashtag to keep people mingling by encouraging debate, joining in the conversations, and keeping everyone up to date on what was going on in our seminar room in the heart of Leeds city centre.

The main event lasted just over an hour, but like all great events, there is always an after party that goes on well into the wee hours, and ours was no exception. People continued to use #tweetnotspeak through the rest of the day, sparking conversations and debates with PR students and practitioners up and down the country.

So is verbal conversation dying and 140 character status updates taking over?

Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on this, but in my opinion nothing competes with the personal touch of a phone call. It is much easier to communicate when I can understand the exact way a message was intended. It might be old fashioned, and not accelerating as fast as some parts of the communications industry, but when you think of how many messages are misunderstood over text, I think I would rather stick with the classic method when it’s important to get my message across.

I have no intention of stopping using Twitter, but some things are best said with the spoken word.

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  1. […] with ‘virtual virtuoso’ in another alliterative category. The citation mentioned a social media stunt in a class before Christmas. It also referred to the opportunities I give for students to get […]

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