Tech PR Peeps Poll: 80.4% Say Twitter Overrated As Tool for Pitching Authors

This is a guest post from Travis Van.  Travis is the founder of Business Wire partner ITDatabase, a research platform for tech industry PR.

Social media fever runs so high these days that it’s tough for tech PR pros to distinguish real opportunities from the useless fluff regularly offered up by pundits.

Particularly unclear is to what extent the tech PR community is actually getting results with their social media efforts.  Anecdotally, we all know that social media can engage customers in unique ways. But what about the big picture? Are intensive social media campaigns consistently productive, or are they wild goose chases punctuated with an occasional success story? Has social media really become a staple of tech PR pros’ everyday interaction with journalists and bloggers?

ITDatabase recently polled tech PR pros to share their experiences with what’s working (and what’s not), and focused our questions on these most popular social networking channels. While the sample only really scratches the surface (230 tech PR pro respondents, of which 30.4% were in house at a tech company and 69.6% were on the agency side), some of the results may surprise you.

Here are some of the key findings:

Presence of Journalists / Bloggers on Social Media

As a pretext for the survey, we did our own research and found that of the 5,000 most active tech journalists and bloggers:

61% are on LinkedIn
56% are on Twitter
28% are on Facebook
27% do NOT publish email addresses as a method for contacting them

Email
Despite the social media hype, pitching by email is still the norm. 97.8% of respondents still pitch either exclusively or primarily by email, with only 2.2% claiming to pitch “primarily” via social media channels. 50% said tech authors are less responsive to email pitches than they used to be, and only 15.2% said they were more receptive. 89.1% were either “mildly” or “very” concerned that their email pitches were sometimes zapped by authors’ spam filters and never read.

Twitter
Tech PR reps are indeed using Twitter heavily, but more for research than for outreach. Only 4.3% said they “frequently” pitch authors via Twitter. 26.1% have never pitched an author via Twitter. 54.3% think the media relations results they’ve gotten out of Twitter have justified the time investment. 80.4% think that Twitter is “overrated” as a tool for pitching authors.

LinkedIn
More than one quarter of tech PR reps use LinkedIn to reach authors. 28.3% have pitched someone using LinkedIn InMail.

Facebook
Out of the Big Three (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), Facebook draws the most skepticism from the tech PR community. Only 10.9% connect with tech journalists and bloggers on Facebook “often”. And 80.4% believed that Facebook has the least practical use for tech PR (compared to LinkedIn and Twitter).

Check out the full findings here:  http://memos.itdatabase.com/index.php?report=sm

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