January 2, 2013

Could Twitter Save Tiger?

“What’s up everyone? Finally decided to try out Twitter!” was Tiger Woods’ first tweet on his new twitter account. With only four tweets this month, his twitter account has reached over 250,000 followers and substantial media buzz. Of course we all remember the consequences of his scandal – losing million dollar endorsements, pulling out of tournaments, tainted public image, etc. – but it’s been a year. Has his bad publicity gone away? Will his re-emergence into social media help his image?

According to Mashable.com on Wednesday, November 17, “Tiger’s account — which is verified by Twitter — appears to be adding hundreds of new followers per minute since his first tweet was published at around 11:00 a.m. ET.”

One thing I’ve learned from my public relations classes and textbooks is that a high number of followers, hits, and views on social media means virtually nothing because what we really care about is who the followers are, not how many there are. In Tiger’s case, it may seem that his Twitter stats are impressive and helping his public image but we don’t know this for sure. It could simply mean that he has gained a surge of followers and attention because he was out of the media’s scope for months.

What’s interesting is that Tiger’s tweets have been fairly sociable and open: “Yep, it’s me. I think I like this twitter thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love” and “The best part about phone interviews is getting to wear shorts.” This is a major difference from his previous attitude towards the media. Following his scandal, it took nearly three months for him to speak to the public about it. Perhaps Tiger’s publicity team is looking towards Twitter to reach new audiences and re-build his image. To know if Twitter is helping Tiger, we, as fellow Twitter users and social media boomers should ask ourselves these questions:

• Who are the main audiences targeted by Tiger’s messages?
• What is his audience reach?
• How are the messages received: are they received in the way they are intended
to be received?
• Has overall opinion, attitude and behavior towards Tiger changed since he began tweeting?

What do you think about Tiger Woods emerging on the Twitter scene? Will this help his image? You can follow Tiger Woods at: Twitter.com/tigerwoods

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Lopez.

Original post can be read here.

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