'Twitter has suddenly exploded'

Tech agency Hotwire has emerged as the most active PR consultancy on social networking tool Twitter.

Research by Porter Novelli in conjunction with PRWeek reveals that 29 staff members (56 per cent) at Hotwire have an active Twitter account.

Porter Novelli and Consolidated Communications are the second biggest users, with 26 and 25 users respectively.

Meanwhile, Burson-Marsteller has just two consultants on Twitter, Fleishman-Hillard has one and top City agency Brunswick has none.

Porter Novelli global digital director Mat Morrison, who co-ordinated the res­earch, said the influence of a Twitter user was difficult to evaluate. But he added: ‘A simple rule of thumb is how many people follow this person, and how often do
they tweet?’

With this in mind, Splendid Comms digi­tal director Rax Lakhani wins in the popularity stakes, boasting the most followers, at 1,956. Other popular PROs include Lewis consultant Jon Silk, with 1,637 followers, and Cow MD Dirk Singer, with 1,407.

In terms of output, as PRWeek went to press, Hotwire senior programme exe­cutive Ben Matthews had tweeted 3,410 times in just 372 days.

Hotwire director Drew Benvie was an early adopter, having joined the site in January 2007. Benvie had sent 3,779 tweets in 780 days.

‘As a platform for use in public relations, Twitter is invaluable,’ said Benvie. ‘From networking, to story mining, to issues tracking and news seeding, the only limitation of systems such as Twitter is how far you’re willing to go with experimentation and breaking new ground.’ Other active users outside the tech sphere include Bor­kow­ski founder Mark Bor­kowski and Edelman president and CEO for Europe David Brain.

‘Twitter is about sharing views and exchanging ideas,’ said Borkowski. ‘It has suddenly exploded because people are curious about it, but they don’t understand it. My ­advice is to think about and truly und­erstand how you use it. Fake Twitters don’t work.’

Brain warned clients: ‘If you are a consumer-facing brand, you need to be monitoring Twitter, because there are enough people on it now that it can affect your reputation.’


Based on research carried out by Porter Novelli


Prolific tweeters

Drew Benvie
Director, Hotwire PR

Joined 6 January 2007
Followers 1,912
Friends 347
Updates 3,779

Dirk Singer
Co-founder, Cow PR

Joined 28 April 2008
Followers 1,407
Friends 1,265
Updates 2,252

Mark Borkowski
Founder, Borkowski PR

Joined 18 September 2007
Followers 1,172
Friends 526
Updates 1,290


Twitter Stats

31 Number of months Twitter has been live

974% Increase in number of UK users in the past 12 months

2,289 Number of tweets by David Brain of Edelman in 708 days

56 Number of tweets by Colin Byrne of WS in 515 days

3,779 Highest number of updates –by Hotwire’s Drew Benvie

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