I totally agree with the Oatmeal: #followfriday(#FF) is, in many ways, bullshit at this point (If you don’t know what #FF is, or want a history of it go here and then come back and read this post).
Think about it, when you get mentioned on #FF does your follower count increase? Mine doesn’t.
Here’s the thing: as a PR pro #followfriday can be a useful tool and, as such, PR peeps should refrain from hating on #FF.
Why is #FF a good tool for PR?
- It allows pros to be nice. The spirit of #FF is positive – it is about saying ‘hey, someone is worth checking out because they’re funny/bright/etc. For a profession often compared with lawyers in terms of slimy prickishness, this alone is reason to keep it.
- This spirit of ‘niceness’ allows a PR pro to begin a relationship with a target media person by giving, not asking. #FF is great way to ‘start the dance’ with a reporter or blogger. I know, there are others ways to do this, but this tool works.
- It takes almost NO time to tweet an #FF, but it gets you noticed by a reporter for the right reasons. The ratio of output to return is almost always worth it from my experience.
In sum, why hate on a tool or tactic that allows you to start building a relationship with media?
What do you think of #followfriday? Have you used it to cozy up to reporters you had no previous relationship with? If so, how’d it serve you?
Thank you for this really interesting post. I found a mention of it via PR Daily which I know that you contribute too.
I just got my first #FF mention last week. I find it is did increase my following significantly, though more with industry peers rather than reporters. I haven’t used it to “cozy up to reporters”, but like you mentioned in your post, it is a valuable tool for this if that is your goal.
I have more or less been using vehicles like Twitter to build my personal reputation online and help me landing my next position. I find #FF a great tool to connect with other peers and gain a greater perspective on social media and PR 2.0.