Monday, April 27, 2009

Citizen journalists and real-time PR issues

I ran across a Twitter posting (or tweet) from the Austin American-Statesman this morning that caught my attention:

When the link to the's homepage was clicked, this was the lead story with picture:

Upon a closer look, we see that the photo was via Twitter (@MrRyanPerkins to be exact):

[Here's the image via Twitpic.]

Why is this significant?
What if this was at a school or daycare? What if this was at a local sporting event? What if this was your place of business?

As a communications/PR professional, it is imperative to be aware of Twitter and Twitpic as additional online sources that anyone can use to disperse information (and be sourced by the media).

We should all by now be very familiar with another (much larger) example of a citizen taking an opportunity to capture and share an image from their perspective.

On one hand, I am impressed with the quickness and openness of Twitter user to share what he saw with the rest of us. I also continue to be impressed with news outlets, such as the, that continue to adapt to new media and engage their communities.

On the other hand, it is a bit unnerving to think about the potential for problems for an organization who could easily get blind-sided by this type of information sharing.

Speaking to the communications/public relations folks:
Are you ready for this?

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