The Do’s and Don’ts of Tweeting

In From the PR Situation Room on April 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

Between last week’s hoopla over @oprah joining Twitter, and @aplusk battling @cnn in the race to one million followers, I’m going to make an assumption that most PR pros reading this post know a little about Twitter already.  If not, here’s a valuable Twitter tutorial from my friends over at

So now that you finally have the support of senior management, and you’ve worked Twitter into your social media strategy, you’re ready to begin Tweeting.  Are there Twitter rules to follow?  You Bet.  When driving the social media bus, PR pros need to keep the guidelines clear and simple.  In other words, follow the same Corporate Communications policies on Twitter that are put in place for all internal/external communication and blog comments.  


  1. Don’t Tweet about anything off the record (there is no such thing as “off the record” on Twitter or anywhere for that matter).
  2. Don’t Tweet financial info or proprietary company info of any kind at any time (follow corp comm policies).
  3. Don’t Tweet upcoming news until it is formally announced.
  4. Don’t Tweet or comment on rumors of any kind.
  5. Don’t ever get in an argument with a customer/user or Reporter on Twitter (always refer difficult conversations or sensitive matters directly to PR to handle and always handle offline).
  6. Don’t disclose your political, religious or personal views on company/corporate Tweets (that’s what personal Twitter accounts are for).
  7. Don’t criticize competitors’ products or employees.
  8. Never swear or use any offensive language at any time.


  1. Tweet about your product updates and exciting news about your product line (so long as the news has been publically released to media and consumers).
  2. Tweet about conferences/speaking engagements you are attending and absolutely Tweet from the event.
  3. Tweet about openings in your department and encourage people to apply.
  4. Interact with customers and users to assist them in any way with your products/services.
  5. Share industry news and pertinent information to position you as an industry expert within the Twitter Community.
  6. Always represent your company and product line with professionalism.
  7. Stay consistent with company messaging (work with senior managers and PR to ensure your elevator pitch on Twitter is consistent with all company messaging communicated to media, analysts and consumers).

Most important, when in doubt, always contact PR before posting a Tweet.  Rule of thumb: if you don’t think you should Tweet on a particular subject, then don’t!

Next up: Who should be Tweeting on behalf of your company? PR, Marketing, Legal, Product Manager, Customer Service, CEO? Stay tuned…


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