QMI covers trial with branded Twitter account

Perhaps taking a page from our neighbours to the south, the London Free Press and QMI Agency have decided to cover the Michael Rafferty trial with a branded Twitter account (@RaffertyLFP) instead of using reporters’ personal Twitter accounts to live tweet the proceedings.

Many Florida-area newspapers and TV stations did the same thing when they covered the Casey Anthony trial last summer.

There are pros and cons to going this route for a court case.

Pros:

  • You don’t clutter reporters’ personal Twitter accounts with tweets their current followers don’t have an interest in reading;
  • Multiple people can access the account, meaning followers don’t have to follow three different people;
  • People can go back and read the case from beginning to end in one place.

Cons:

  • You have to build the account’s following from scratch (at least when you have reporters tweeting, you can piggyback off their following);
  • If not publicized correctly, it might never get much of a following.

From what I can tell, other media outlets are just using their reporters’ personal Twitter feeds to broadcast their courtroom play-by-play.

Just after the start of the trial Monday morning, the account had 212 followers. The trial could last three months.

It will be interesting to see how high the following on the account gets as the days and weeks of the trial go on.