Saturday, 1 May 2010

For the love of Twitter!

I absolutely love Twitter.

Some of you may never have heard about it, some of you may have heard the word because i'm always going on about it, and those of you who do know about it love it just as much as I do!
It's a social networking site, not to unfamiliar with Facebook and MySpace etc.
You follow people (anyone who has an account: celebrities, 'actual' friends, journalists, business people, ANYONE).
You tweet updates (no more than 140 words) every so often to let people know what you're up to and you speak to other people by tweeting them.

For me, Twitter has been a brilliant tool for making contacts in the media industry (even though I am already a journalist).
Once upon a time it was so hard to be able to speak to an editor of a national magazine or newspaper.
Having known I wanted to become a journalist at the age of 11, I would frequently send letters to journalists in the industry asking for advice and tips on how I could get into my chosen career path.
Sometimes I was lucky.
I got quite a few responses (my favourite one was from GMTV presenter Carla Romano whose best tip was to dress to impress - seeing as though the industry was full of men!). 
However, there were also many times  I would not get a response at all.
I never got annoyed with that, seeing as though editors are busy people.

But now luckily for up and coming journalists, there is Twitter!

Over a year ago, I set out to use Twitter as a way to source industry contacts (something you can't really do on Facebook).
And now I regularly speak to successful magazine editors, journalists, authors, PR people and actors about everything and anything!
Like I said, Twitter is great!

A few people I work with said Twitter was rubbish.
They just couldn't understand the point of it.
Now, having gone on about it loads, some of these people have converted to Twitter having heard of the benefits - which is great.

Twitter is not just good for making contacts; it's a valuable tool for sourcing news stories.
Often the biggest news stories appear first on the site before making it into the national newspapers.

So, getting back to how Twitter has helped me.
Over the year I have worked shifts at Real People magazine, Star magazine and Chat magazine.
I got these placements PURELY through my contacts on Twitter (one of them was by chatting to the editor herself!).

I've talked/emailed/called/got drunk with editors, journalists, freelancers, an author, a 3am girl and a Cosmopolitan girl (to name a few) about the industry.
All gave me valuable tips - something which would have been a lot harder to do if it had not been for Twitter.

The majority of the contacts i have made through the site are not just contacts to me anymore; they are actual friends.
We go out, get drunk and have a laugh (just like my actual 'real-life' friends!).

Of course, you cannot just rely on Twitter to help you further your career, that's something that requires way more work than just joining the site.
But it definitely will not do you any harm.

Twitter is great, so if you want to get with the times and maybe help your career get joining now.
My name is @Naiomi so get following me and i'll follow you back (if you're lucky!).

Have a brill weekend.
I'm off to get drunk (with people who unfortunately are not YET on Twitter!!)