I’m sure most of you saw the coverage this week that Twitter’s PR was worth $48 million over the past month, according to media monitoring company VMS. First off, hats off to VMS for the (very) timely use of its data to hitch itself to all the Twitter buzz wagon. I wonder how much VMS’ publicity was worth this week? If there’s anything your organization can do to tap into that buzz machine, do it now.
While there is some debate among PR professionals over how the value of PR should be measured, particularly the value of publicity, there’s no question that the media’s love affair with Twitter has catapulted the company’s brand value in a very impressive fashion. What’s most impressive to me is they seem to have generated the publicity through no direct effort of their own. I was unable to find any reference to Twitter having a PR manager or agency, but my guess is somebody is prepping them for their interviews (then again, this isn’t their first go at this). There has to be ridiculous demand for Twitter’s spokespeople from the largest media organizations in the world. And frankly, that has to be a blast for them right now.
According to VMS, Twitter’s exposure (media mentions) over the past 30 days had a value of $48 million. TV contributes to 57% of the PR value for Twitter, while newspapers contribute 37% (surprising) and magazines 5% (surprising as well). Of course, VMS suggested that this estimate could only be part of the true value since it doesn’t track a lot of smaller, regional newspapers (I say “why not?”, but that’s a different topic). This value estimate doesn’t begin to take into consideration the value of the Twitter brand online – for starters, among the millions of users on its platform, or the endless stream of mentions across every single media channel in the world.
Can Twitter keep this level of awareness up? That seems to be the question most were asking in response to the stories I saw. I think no, but even when their coverage stabilizes they’ll remain one of the most talked-about brands in the world today. Does Twitter have to spend a single dime on marketing? Probably not much. There’s not a single marketing job listed on their jobs site. We do their marketing for them, and we’re happy to do so. Could anyone improve on the success they’ve had so far? Not as far as PR is concerned, that’s for sure.
The Twitter publicity case study is an interesting one to look at. For very little investment or concentrated PR effort at all (as far as we know), Twitter has scored publicity in every conceivable outlet. Can the model be replicated for other organizations? I don’t think so. Facebook doesn’t seem to come close to scoring the level of media love Twitter does. It’s a bonafide new media channel that’s here to stay.