Having worked in the IT sector of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, it is only natural that I should look at how AEC-oriented IT companies and the publications that cover them use social media tools such as Twitter. For example, back in January I blogged about the how the main UK AEC publications were deploying social media, and in July I wrote about the Web 2.0 presence of collaboration technology vendors; some (like Asite) were increasingly active, but most were – and are – still experimenting.
Opening the Twitter channel for media contact
Talking to AEC businesses about social media – either as a consultant or as a speaker – I point out that Twitter can be a good way for industry people to follow and receive insights from industry journalists, many of whom have become regular users of Twitter (a point echoed by my fellow PR Liz Male at Be2camp@WB, and by WorldArchitectureNews journalist Niki May Clark at the CIMCIG/IBP debate, both last month), and who may use Twitter as a source of ideas, to get feedback on news stories, etc – demonstrating how Twitter can open dialogues.
Not all journalists are on Twitter, though, even in some of the more IT-specific UK media outlets. For example, I couldn’t find a Twitterer at BTC’s Construction Computing or CADUser. Searches for editor David Chadwick found lots of other David Chadwicks but not the man himself (though he could quite possibly be using a different ‘nom de Tweet’!).
Everyone has to start somewhere though. And judging from her latest Editor’s patch article it seems Alison Jones, who edits the ITShowcaseNews newsletter, is learning about Twitter and taking a few tentative steps. When I spoke to her earlier today she explained it was still early days and the first ITShowcase Twitter account has yet to be properly publicised or resourced (just six tweets, only two followers – one me! – and not following anyone back – yet). However, she added, this will change very soon as the company integrates Twitter into its other communications.