Today I opened PR Week to a chuckle (from my own mouth and that of my boss) as I had at last made it... To page three.
For on Twitter, it seems I'm the PR industry's loudest, have been on it the longest and my company is the industry's most active.
Yes, there staring at me was, well, me, judged as being the ring leader for Twitter in the PR industry. Uh oh, I could see the tidal wave of abuse from the Twittering classes on its way to PR Week for this. And it came.
All PR Week's contentions have been strongly argued today by the rest of the industry (although gladly nobody's confronted me on my quote). Some say the measurement criteria of the league table is wrong, and that the numbers aren't accurate - that the agencies listed actually have more people on Twitter than reported. I agree. They're not accurate for us and I'm sure they're not for others. But the measures used are perhaps not the best to rank agencies either. Numbers like this could be 'gamed' quite easily. What's stopping XYZ PR tomorrow setting up 40 new Twitter accounts tomorrow to get to the top of this table. Nothing I suppose.
But you have to start somewhere, and hats off to PR Week for researching, getting help from the industry, and putting some numbers to the story. Many don't even try *cough sunday times*.
Then, who cares any way about which people use Twitter, say some. It's a bit like when phones first were invented, seeing a magazine do a league table of which PR people use their phone the most. True. But everything geeky and new gets articles like this written about it (not that Twitter's brand new exactly). Look at the Sunday Times' top 100 blogs features that have been running this month. New shiny things always get sensationalised. And Twitter's new and big at the same time now.
But the main point, and this is something I tried to get across in my quote, is that Twitter is not all about who's on it and who uses it the most. It's what you do with digital media that counts. And Twitter's just the current poster child of the social media movement. Sure, brands need to know their agency 'gets it' first hand, but we just need to look at the case studies pages of PR Week to see how it's being used well, or read about what great digital campaigns win awards for their creativity and execution. This is what will show Twitter's craftsmanship at the hands of the industry horde. To balance out the league table number crunchiness.
I stand by what I said in the article and look forward to the next iteration of the magazine's research into the Twittering classes.