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Journalists on Twitter: 1 profile or 2?

Q. Should journalists have separate Twitter accounts for work/personal use? I’m in two-minds what’s best practice – previously suggested separate, but now re-thinking…?

@fieldproducer morning. Q. Should journalists have 2 Twitter accounts for work/personal? I’m in two-minds whats best practice?
richardkendall
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall interested to see what @fieldproducer thinks but personally I’d recommend one. Some (few) I’ve trained opt for two.
suellewellyn
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall @fieldproducer I think there are better platforms for personal communication (mf)
paulbradshaw
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall @fieldproducer and that a professional twitter account benefits from occasional more personal tweets
paulbradshaw
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall I think people who completely separate the two *can* come across as dry.
JosephStash
September 26, 2011
@paulbradshaw sorry to jump in but I agree with Paul a mixture is good 🙂 @richardkendall @fieldproducer
Kaz_Ram
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall It depends what the personal is for, if for tweeting about hobby etc then two best to stop it flooding work account
fieldproducer
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall Twitter is about showing personality and for those like @ruskin147 who have both its the personal one that’s more popular
fieldproducer
September 26, 2011
@paulbradshaw @richardkendall agreed it’s all about the right mix
fieldproducer
September 26, 2011
@richardkendall No. Work ones are usually crashingly dull. You just need to be careful what you tweet, I think.
JonMWelch
September 26, 2011
.@fieldproducer originally leaned towards separate accounts but now as @paulbradshaw suggests, work accounts benefit from some personality
richardkendall
September 26, 2011

So in conclusion, from the comments above – not an exhaustive examination but a decent cross-section: please feel free to add comment/develop the conversation – I would say a single Twitter account is less confusing for all concerned technically and in terms of following a journalist, but the key points are:

– Add personal comments alongside professional reporting, it adds some colour and personality to the more dry factual content, helps to engage your followers and show you are human, but keep it professional (common sense but worth noting).

– If you have a strong passion outside of your official publishing life that is disconnected enough from your daily work content, consider a separate account for keeping focus and clarity for these streams.

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3 thoughts on “Journalists on Twitter: 1 profile or 2?

  1. Yes – unless there’s a very good reason for keeping separate I’d agree with one as well. People want to hear from you as you not you as some imagined different persona reflected by your job. Social media is merging all media (and other traditional profesisonal ‘roles’) into the social.

    1. Having one may seem OK until your boss comes after you – for a personal tweet, or when you leave the company and they want your followers. Both happen with ridiculous regularity in the industry at the moment. If your work account is related to something someone else is in charge of, it’s better to keep it separate from your personal stuff. NUJ guidelines on this coming.

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