Twitter is now the platform of choice for communications- whether it’s protesters in the Middle East, athletes and other celebrities at an event, elected officials in session, or professional communicators announcing corporate news. But sometimes it’s a de facto platform regardless because your audience tweets what you are saying for you.
In today’s social media environment you have to be more mindful than ever before of what you say and how it resonates with your audience. Try to envision your statements as tweets. When preparing to speak in public, or preparing for a media interview – do you develop sound bites that are tweetable? When you are preparing for the media or for a presentation or speech…do you plan on how your statements or quotes might come across when subjected to Twitter’s limit of 140 characters or less?
A recent Congress.org article “Is the tweet the new sound bite?”explored the social-media strategy of the White House speechwriters when preparing President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address. A study determined that the address was written at an 8.8 grade level, the second lowest for any president. The main reason given for the low grade level was shorter sentences. Was it because of the writers’ intention to have 140 characters that could be tweetable?
At CommCore, we have always advised our clients to keep their audience in mind when preparing for a speech or interview. That audience potentially includes thousands or even millions of people around the world who receive shorter bites than ever, in real time, from other people who are quoting or paraphrasing you.
Do you think of keeping some of your key sound bites to 140 characters or less? Do you think the social-media strategy for the State of the Union address was focused around Twitter?