on taking the plunge with twitter

You don't have to have been on Twitter for years to get something out of it. As this comms officer says, once you take the plunge you'll find unexpected rewards and an ability to connect over comms ideas... and moon walking.

by Lisa Green

There's an art to being interesting in 140 characters - I'm still trying to master it. 33 days and 232 tweets, I am a twitter newbie.

I first heard of twitter way back in 2009 when Stephen Fry tweeted about being stuck in a lift at centre point. A friend was involved in the PR for the day and was excited that lots of people were instantly talking about centre point.

Three years on and I've finally set up my own twitter account. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no technophobe, I have Facebook, I Skype my husband when he's away and I tweet for work.

Marriage, baby, work, sleepless nights all added to the excuse "I don’t have enough time or energy for anything else." And if I did, what would I tweet? Who’d be interested? Who would I follow?

As of today, I’m following 113 people. The reason why: they link to articles and stories I find interesting.  I follow sites like @mailonline so I get important news stories right in my Twitter timeline. I also follow my local paper journalist @goemr and local radio station @norwich999 so I know what’s happening right around me.  It really is the best way to stay up to date on current events, it’s real-time.

I have to admit that one of the main reasons I took the plunge was for my work. I had become complacent and decided that I had to start staying abreast of the latest trends in my field. I needed to become excited again about communications, it’s worked, I’ve had loads of "why didn't I think of that” moments.  I have connected with some great people, tweeters who have sent me to places I would never have otherwise gone to.

@danslee is one of them his blog http://danslee.wordpress.com is brilliant and full of great ideas. But what did we tweet about at first?  Not clever comms ideas but being #knackered parents and how we could sell stuff to other parents who are up at stupid o'clock. 

Last week I was encouraging @carlhaggerty to moon walk at his bus station. I follow @mesamthorpe because his witty one liners make me smile. So you see, you don't have to post clever comments and links to interesting blogs all the time. You can just be yourself.

Being on twitter has made me challenge what we do at work and why we do it and my brain is constantly ticking with possibilities.  The best thing is people out there are willing to share their ideas and are happy when you use one and it works brilliantly. A kind of #proudparent moment.

There are lots of changes happening @breckcouncil we have a comms manager Dominic Chessum who’s an ex-journo and excited by everything digital. He has just taken the leap to be completely digital *lots of gasps from the team - no paper eek!* We have senior managers who get it and they're brave.

The council’s tag line should be changed to "let's go for it..." because we are.

Exciting times ahead, I'll keep you posted.

Lisa Green is senior marketing and communications officer at Breckland Council. 


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