One of the big updates Twitter made this month allows users to receive direct messages from any of their followers—even if they don’t follow back. On first glance, this is good news for reporters who want to contact sources and terrible news for Justin Bieber. But what about PR? Is it a great new way to get journalists to notice your pitches or another media relations no-no?
We should note that the “receive DMs from any follower” setting is optional and that it’s not available to everyone yet—for example, we can use it on our company feed but not our personal feed. Yet some big-name journalists took to it immediately:
I’m going to treat Direct Messages like they’re anonymous tips — so if you send me something sensitive or secretive, I won’t I.D. you.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 15, 2013
The natural conclusion is that if journalists enable their DM option then it’s fair game for PR. And direct messages are, in a way, harder to ignore than emails.
Here are our first thoughts on the issue: