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The Humorous Backstage of News – Twitter Profile: RheinZeitung (first set)

28 July 2009

This analysis is created according to a Case Study Template developed by students at the University of Washington.

(1) RheinZeitung is a German regional newspaper that uses Twitter both as an RSS of their news stories as well as to engage their readers through personal communication on several accounts!
Category: News Media

RheinZeitung Twitter Profile (comment errors corrected)

RheinZeitung Twitter Profile (comment errors corrected)

(3) Out of 100 Tweets:
31 “real” @-replies;
8 RTs; 17 additional mentions
30 links (of which 6 did not link back to RZ itself)
76 hashtags

(4) “Fill In The Blank” stats

(this section is mostly copy&paste )

Date data downloaded : July 26 – July 28
Industry sector : which one

Twitter ID : @rheinzeitung
Followers : 1 333
Following : 615
Ratio followers/following : 1 : 0,46

Number posts : 3510
Account created : Jan 26, 2009
First post : ??


RheinZeitung Bio

RheinZeitung Bio

Am Mittelrhein kennt man uns seit 63 Jahren. In Twitter lernen Sie ganz neue Seiten von uns kennen. (free translation: “In the mid-Rhine region, people have known us for 63 years, on Twitter they get to know a new side of us.”

Location : Koblenz, Germany

Twitter :
Bio link :
Facebook :
MySpace : NONE
LinkedIn : NONE
Org Blog :
Org website home :

Great audience engagement & communication. Behind the Scenes of reporting –> new dimension! Meetup of followers in sub-regions, funny tweets, opinionated, controversial topics that might not make it into news, many pictures, funny stories.

(5) Analysis

A. General
(A.1) Background: Color and logo recall print edition. Bridge the gap between online and offline. Problems with the format/size
(A.2) Avatar: Company logo is fine here, several people are tweeting. There is no information as to who is tweeting, however.
(A.3) Bio: also bridges between on- and offline. However, it is not introductory. If somebody happens to stumble upon the page, it is hard to identify what the page is.
(A.4) Transparency: Other than “the staff” that is mentions regularly, it is not clear as to who tweets!
(A.5) Bio Link: Links right back to the home page. Drives traffic “home”. Well done.

B. Tweets

(B.1) Replies: There are many conversations with readers going on. @replies are also used to communicate with other offices
(B.2) ReTweets: happen regularly. OFten they are RTs of other RZ acounts though
(B.3) DM requests – I haven’t seen
(B.4) Hashtags: Used very frequently and excessively – for pretty much everything from news categories over locations to random nouns
(B.5) favorite tweet:

Online and offline feedback for the RheinZeitung Tweeters!

Online and offline feedback for the RheinZeitung Tweeters!

The RheinZeitung account brings together the “new” and the “old” and incorporated reader feedback. Here, the Editor-in-Chief acknowledges receipt of the first letter (the paper stuff!) adressed to the “Twitter Department” of the RZ!

(B.6) Narrative summary
A decent mixture of tweets, links, retweets and @replies makes the account a platform for conversation with both readers, employees and management.

C. Questions/Suggestions
(C.1) Questions unearthed during analysis
Who is tweeting? What other Twitter accounts does the paper run?
(C.2) Suggestions for improvement
The RheinZeitung account could use some transparency in terms of who is tweeting. Also an introduction to the paper and some additional contact possibilities would be helpful.

D. Analytic Services (to come next week)

E. Conclusion
(E.1) Narrative
With its Twitter account, the RheinZeitung has not only conquered a new medium, it has also renewed itself and its public image. While their website has been well-maintained before, the editing office uses Twitter to show a more human (and surprisingly humorous and random) side that engages with its audience regularly on an equal level.
Whereas other newspapers use their accounts as RSS feeds of their stories, RheinZeitung seeds its stories while providing a look behind the scenes of reporting.
(E.2) Scorecard Summary (will follow)

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