Twitter: The new “Word of Mouth” Communication?

Ok, now before you assume that I am just going to slam Twitter and other social media some more, here me out. I promise I am not QUITE as old-fashioned as I sound. The point of me writing this post is to ask the questions of whether or not Twitter could be considered the new form of word of mouth communication, and if so, how it came to be this way? Specifically, I am extremely interested in how the public relations and restaurant industry come together and work together, and how word of mouth public relations (or possible Twitter for that matter) help the industry out.

I found the following YouTube video about a specific restaurant opening in Charleston, South Carolina, and thought it was interesting what the chef/owner had to say:

The one part I found the most important was the part where he said something along the lines of “if the public relations team promises a grand restaurant, and then customers come and don’t find that, the public relations team looks bad.” This is so true; so often, I find it easiest to just jump to the highest compliment of something, or just overstate how amazing a product or service is when I’m trying to promote it. But as public relations professionals, we have to remember that while yes, we are salespeople in a sense, we also have to be honest, and not overpromise.

I know I mentioned Twitter, and this is how I am tying it back in: my question is, could the use of Twitter by restaurants help their word of mouth public relations, beyond actual word of mouth communication? I work at Rosebud on Rush, an Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago, and from my experience, I can say that above all else, the restaurant relies and thrives on word of mouth communication. My guess is that 8 or 9 out of 10 customers that I speak with who are new to the restaurant heard about it from another friend. Since Roesbud doesn’t currently utilize Twitter… should it? Would Twitter help, or does Twitter simply not reach our target audience?

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~ by emily074 on December 9, 2009.

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