Today, we released the results of a 2012 summer survey of cleantech, energy and sustainability reporters and analysts. In conducting the survey, we learned a lot of interesting things about the reporters and analysts with whom we work on a daily basis here at Schwartz MSL, with many of the findings applicable for PR teams across other markets like consumer, technology and healthcare.
As we said last week, the survey results debunked some PR assumptions and reinforced others, but most importantly I think they will help us all better understand the interests and attitudes of the media and analyst community. This can only help us become better communicators.
For the purposes of this post and the video below, I wanted to focus on one major takeaway that I think all technology PR and marketing professionals can use in their day-to-day jobs: the extent to which reporters and analysts are embracing social and digital media channels in their everyday jobs.
We meet with a lot of B2B technology companies across energy, cleantech, cloud, open source, healthcare and other markets who still aren't using Twitter, LinkedIn and other social channels to their full potential. It's surprising how many still think Twitter is the domain of consumer marketing.
We think conceding Twitter to your competitors is a major mistake in technology communications. Better yet, we think you should be owning it in a way that makes the competition jealous. Here are three reasons we believe using Twitter in PR is a must for almost all B2B technology companies.
- Reason #1--Market influencers are on Twitter
Many companies don't view Twitter as critical because they don't believe customers get their information on technology products from Twitter. That may be true in many markets, but the primary people who influence your customers are on Twitter and they are likely on there a lot. Twitter is another channel through which you can build media and analyst relationships, manage your reputation, generate impressions and monitor breaking news. Many VCs, private equity firms and financial reporters are also on Twitter, making it a potential way to generate visibility with investors. Finally, it can be a great recruiting tool especially within the developer and engineering community, since it is easier to communicate corporate culture through social media than through press releases and traditional media.
- Reason #2--Reporters and analysts are getting story and research ideas from Twitter
Our survey showed that more than a quarter of media and analysts are getting story and research ideas through Twitter. It is also a means for them to monitor breaking news and monitor stories coming from competing outlets (another source of ideas for them). If your company is not on Twitter, you are essentially missing out on a prevalent channel through which to generate visibility for your company. Many reporters also look for sources now on Twitter, so if you are missing out on that conversation, you are leaving opportunities on the table.
- Reason #3--Reporters are more comfortable than ever being contacted through social media
The Schwartz MSL survey showed that Twitter is now tied with work phone as the second most popular communication channel (after email) for working with media. A close third? LinkedIn. More than one third of respondents said that they are open to being pitched through social media.
With the 2013 marketing budget season upon us, now is the time for technology companies to embrace social media as part of their communications plan. It will take a little investment in time and money, but social and digital are not fads within the technology media and analyst community, so the payoffs could be significant.
Posted by Jason Morris on September 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM