released a case study on Colonel Tribune’s success on Twitter and what it has meant for the company. @ColonelTribune is ranked No.2 among national newspaper Twitter accounts and has 800,000 followers more than the paper’s @ChicagoTribune account. What separates the Colonel Tribune from other newspapers is engagement and personality. According to, after the creation of the Colonel, the Chicago Tribune noticed a spike in traffic. In 2010, large newspaper sites have seen a decrease in online readership, but the Chicago Tribune has seen the least decrease compared to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The case study comes just a week after the Washington Post released a memo to its staff asking writers not to engage on Twitter on behalf of the publication. The decision was made after the Post published a controversial article online on Christianity and homosexuality.

No stranger to controversy, the Colonel has become not just the official Twitter presence of the Chicago Tribune but a PR rep too. After the New York Times wrote a new article that presented the company in an unfavorable light, the Colonel posted a link to a former colleague’s response that got more than 700 clicks. When the Chicago Tribune’s CEO, Randy Michaels stepped down, it was the Colonel who gave the people answers.

While @ColonelTribune is “the more gentlemanly version of @ChicagoTribune,” don’t let the paper hat fool you; he has more than 844, 939 followers to back him up.—DANNI WYSOKI