|Writing for Wearables May Be the Next Big PR Skill
By: Mike Bush
The smartwatch is becoming more and more of a reality. Pebble got its start on Kickstarter and now has a couple versions available at retailers (disclosure: I wear a Pebble and adore it). LG has one. Samsung has one, and according to Re/code, Apple is about to put theirs on the market.
If you thought Twitter had an impact on the way flacks write, boy, you haven’t seen anything yet (and if you don’t think Twitter had an impact, ummm… there’s a whole other discussion we should have). We’re talking about limits somewhere around 15 characters per line. Here’s what that actually looks like:
Typical headline: Flack Me Earns Recognition Among Blogging Cognoscenti as PR Industry’s Best Blog
Lazy* Twitter version: @FlackMe Earns Recognition among Blogging Cognoscenti as #PR Industy’s Best Blog (80 characters)
In short, only the first three lines are going to show up (veteran flacks would refer to these lines as "above the fold"), and everything else would require scrolling to see the rest of the headline.
In other words, while Twitter got us to think about a character headline of around 100** characters, smartwatches are going to force a new, smaller character limit as adoption grows (could be 45 or so characters).
New headline to stay about the fold would be:
Lauds Flack Me
And people wonder why our attention spans are shrinking.
Whether you want to say PR is dying, or maybe tone it down a bit and simply acknowledge that our job is to create content in a way that people want to receive it, the reality is, we’ve never had more audiences that require individual attention.
*I say “lazy” because that’s not the way people speak on Twitter. To paraphrase from Gary Vaynerchuk’s most recent book, effective social media communications need to speak the language of the platform. You wouldn’t go to France and expect everyone to hang on your every English word…instead, you’d (hopefully) try to speak in French. The same thing applies here. To be effective on Twitter, you need to speak Twitter-ese. A better version of this headline for Twitter, (and coming from the Flack Me handle) might be something like: We are completely honored to be recognized by @BloggingCognoscenti for our contributions to #PR.
**140 characters minus 15 for the longest possible Twitter handle, a couple for any RT/@ signs or other abbreviations, and at least 10 for the inevitably shortened link
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc.