Imagine if you asked public relations practitioners 15 years ago about the Internet. Most said it was a fad and stick with press releases. Today on LinkedIn, when newspapers and magazines are as rare as the rarest endangered species, the alleged public relations experts who frequent this site still ask questions like, “What date do you put in a press release and when to send it,” or “Does anyone have a media contact for XXXX”. Seriously. These are people getting $200 per hour on the average to consult with clients.
I posted this question July 7, Has Twitter replaced television, radio and print as the world’s major advertising and public relations medium?
Realize Twitter ranks higher than any publication, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post. It is ranking #20 on Alexa today, just behind Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, MySpace and a couple Chinese sites I can’t decipher.
It is the largest social media out there – more than CNN and TMZ combined. It has millions of visitors per day. Yet, in answer to the question, I got a simple – “No.” Here’s some more insight from wizened PR professionals you hire or pay for, “it seems outrageous to imagine Twitter becoming the dominant medium. On the face of it the answer would have to be no by almost any/every measure.” Now from an alleged futurist and one of LinkedIn’s most highly rewarded with Best Answers expert, “No, it has replaced junk mail and spam email. Twitter is the biggest spam machine on the planet.”
Most of those answering the question have dismissed Twitter:
“I see it as a "fade", Twitter has brought to the fore-front applications that allow you to make (simple post, yet "broadcast" this too the numerous vehicles you maintain.”
“No. I think it's still too early in the game to give Twitter that much credit”
“Not only is any answer premature, so is the question at this point”.
“To my eyes, there are still too many people asking "What *is* Twitter?"”
“…but great swaths of our global population don't own phones, computers, have broadband access, or know the first thing about social media. Television, print, and radio still connect.”
“No, not by a long shot, in my opinion”
“I think it is important to call out a few written articles regarding Generation Y's rejection of Twitter.”
“Twitter replacing TV. No way.”
“Gosh no. It's the flavor of the day... or for a little while at least. Maybe flavor of the next couple years?”
“When you are too far ahead of the curve, you are over the horizon. Two years ago was too early to effectively use YouTube. I would suggest the same thing with Twitter: too soon and not enough users. I have seen the growth stats, but the % of people using Twitter efffectively is low, and the number of people not using it much (if at all) after joining is pretty high. And the % of people dropping out is relatively high.
“Twitter is barely out of the nursery ward and it's 24/7 spam and empty banter. Where will it be in a year?”
“I think we've yet to see whether Twitter will be much more than a flash in the pan.”
“While TV, radio and print, would still be the dinosaurs of advertising and PR, new media such as internet and allied services would definitely take a small pie of the chunk, And twitter is a little intrusive in nature, so maybe after a while the fad will annoy people.”
“No. Guess it still has a long way to go yet.”
“No. Twitter is full of spam, so it may have replaced some of the e-mail spam that is now getting filtered out”
“Here's a question: If ALL of the marketing/tech/"thinker" people who continually extole the virtues of Twitter would FOR ONE DAY not give Twitter free publicity by overhyping the overhype, everyone MIGHT realize that Twitter is JUST A TOOL in a world of tools. This isn't directed at anyone in particular, but let's GET OVER IT! Put it in your bag of tricks and offer it to clients where it makes sense. Lets find something new to slobber all over.
“Compare numbers, as in how many people watch TV, listen to the radio, and read newspapers, as against Twitter users. Well, if target-specific marketing is considered, Twitter still wouldn't have enough numbers of any segment... I am sure any mass consumer brand wouldn't leave traditional mediums, not TV at least, to come online.”
This explains why your company has not adopted Marketing Sociologist thought. If your public relations counselors are giving you this information, your company is in a world of trouble.
As author Williams James said, “Any new theory is first attacked as absurd. Then it is admitted to be true but obviously insignificant. Finally, it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they, themselves, have discovered it.”