Top 10 PR Companies That Could Care Less About Twitter

twitter


Just the other day one of our columnists provided readers with a list of the top 50 PR people engaging Twitter. The response to this article was overwhelmingly positive, as people how never had an idea we were watching them came to thank us for their inclusion into the list. It was and is a fairly prestigious group of marketing, PR, and new media types, which we were proud to be able to show our readers. We want to acknowledge again those find individuals, and thank them as well for taking communication to the next level.

The other side of the coin, as it were, revealed some controversy over just who should be on such a list. Some detractors cited public relations experts far and abroad, as well as themselves and friends as candidates who might have been more appropriate. These people are the reason for this short list of top PR people in the world, who by their limited engagement of even Twitter, pretty much exemplify why not everyone who does PR is exactly “up with” the digital phenomena. Paying lip service to Twitter or any of the social sites is not what anyone has in mind for companies really dedicated to engaging clients or consumers via the Internet. We have been actually looking for the ones who do this best both in branding themselves online via websites, blogs, social media presences, social networks and other media. Sadly, we have found all too few really doing more than monitoring the social sphere.

The following list of perhaps the worst examples of social engagement, should indicate at least this: “No matter how many resources, how much expertise, or how much rhetoric a company focuses on appearing to be in “the discussion”, their digital footprints on the Web will reveal the truth of their activity. So then, I provide the following list of “Least Engaged Top PR Executives On Twitter”, for your discretion. Please note, any list is rather arbitrary depending on the crieteria used to build the list. In this case, I used both the corporate Websites of the top 10 or 11 PR firms in the world, and their CEO or founder’s presence on Twitter as at least a mild indicator of discourse from them. Just so you know ahead of time, all but one notable example maintain only a residual presence on Twitter. So too, hardly any of these executives even maintain what one would call a “cutting edge” blog for themselves.

The list below evaluates 11 top PR CEO’s or directors from what amount to the most powerful public relations and communications firms in the world. I think the reader will be interested to see, particularly those from Twitter, just how much these “world shakers” think of your Twitter.

  • Edelman – Without a doubt, Richard Edelman is at the top of the heap as far as public relations gurus go. His firm, the world’s most successful by any stretch of the imagination, is the Mt. Everest of or success stories for anyone intent on getting to the top. Unfortunately, even though Edelman has revamped the Website since our last rather scathing critique there, if Twitter is to be used as a milestone for social engagement by top leader, Edelman does not appear to soil his hands with it. There are any number of other Twitter accounts under various arms of the company, but as for top executive presence, well.Edelman CEO engagement of Twitter – 35 followers, 1 person he follows, and precisely 1 Tweet. Why is he the worst on Twitter? Being top dog means being top in everything social these days.
  • Waggener Edstrom – Again we come to a paradox in our evaluation. Does one use numbers of Tweets or actual CEO interaction as a gauge of social value. Given the video at the end of this post by Waggener CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin, galvanizing WE’s new age engagement, we simply had to give the world’s second most powerful PR entity the edge in over the next worst case. It should also be noted that unless WE has another profile outside their TV one, the engagment on Twitter is primarily done via their Hong Kong affiliate. Waggener’s Twitter engagement – Following 213, Followers 211, Tweets 7.
  • Ruder Finn – This was a no brainer for the third worst Twitter engagement, and for their CEO David Finn, he barely exists on the Web at all. Ruder Finn topped out WE only because of their number of Tweets. RF Twitter engagement – Following 117, Followers 354, Tweets 136.
  • APCO Worldwide – Magery Kraus, not unlike Richard Edelman, is far too high on the totem pole to have time for Twitter. APCO edged out the other top three for one reason only, the numbers of followers and following. As mentioned, Margery Kraus is no where to be found near a social network, but she has directed personnel to do some work in the area. We should have penalized APCO for having a job board on Twitter, but given the economic situation, this seemed like a nice idea. APCO engagement – Following 830, Followers 666, Tweets 98.
  • Taylor PR – Though Taylor lays no claim to be at the cutting edge of social media, never the less PR in this age and at the top of the food chain means interacting. CEO Tony Signore has a Twitter account, which like Richard Edelman’s leave a lot to be desired, except Edelman at least attempted to Tweet once. Taylor engagement – Following 2, Followers 32, Tweets 0.
  • Dan Klores Communication – This firm could have easily been cast in the coveted number one position, but as mentioned, Edelman and the others should be expected more of. Dan Klores really seems like an entreprenuer or playboy who just happens to have a PR company as well. DKL engagement – Following 14, Followers 21, Tweets 1.
  • ICR – To be honest I am not sure what ICR does or it their Co-CEO’s even exist or are apparitions. This massive financial communication firm has a profile on Twitter that quite honestly was a waste of company funds. They did not take the top spots in this mediocrity countdown only via the other firms’ apparent advantage, at least from what they appear capable of, and because someone there actually Tweeted 17 times. ICR engagement – Following 187, Followers 93, Tweets 17.
  • Schwartz PR – The same old story hold true for this mega powerful PR presence, CEO and founder Steve Schwartz is way too busy out in the wild rock climbing to be on Twitter in the first place. The company has delegated some social tasks however, and Mike Farber, one of their Senior VP’s has been up to the task. Schwartz PR engagement – Following 64, Followers 114, Tweets 185.
  • Qorvis – Perhaps the best of the Websites belongs to this mega PR conglomerate, but as for Twitter and social media, the bets are in they purchase social media like the rest. Doug Poretz, a founding partner is there, along with some others from the company scattered about, but were it not for another partner, Kelley Mccormick, Qorvis would be higher on the the list. Since Doug is senior, I will give him the nod to brag about his Twitter profile. Qorvis engagement – Following 52, Followers 91, Tweets 67.
  • Text100 – CEO Aedhmar Hynes may not be the most personally involved PR mogul on Twitter, but her brand and her company are not as underrepresented as the others in this list. In fact, combining all the Twitter and other social “experiments” Text has across the Web actually adds up to something of a substantial engagement. The only reason her firm is even on this list is because by some of the standards imposed on us by complainers about “who should be where”, we were compelled to place Text100 here for lack of CEO participation. Her delegates talk about her, she engages on many other levels, but as far as this writer can determine, she is not personally there. Aside that, for a company with as many followers as Text has, 90 Tweets is a very low number. Text100 Twitter presence for the main Twitter feed – Following 2103, Followers 2306, Tweets 90.

Here we have a collection of the most powerful people in the communication industry, many professing to be at the razor’s edge of digital communication. While most of them are surely ultra skilled at branding for other people, given some of their Websites and the residual presence in what is called “the conversation”, many would say they are at best case, playing it safe as far as social interaction is concerned. With the exception of Text100, which appears to be light years ahead of the others, most top level CEO’s and even intermediate level execs simply are not listening to Twitter. There is a moral to this story however, which the reader probably does not expect.

I do not blame them. These people have hundreds, sometimes thousands of people depending on their decisions for their very livelihood. Just who can expect Richard Edelman to waste time typing away on Twitter? I know, I baited the reader into scrutinizing this list for whatever purposes they might have wanted to, but the bottom line here is this.
Twitter is a fad. No self respecting corporate leader is going to prioritize his or her life, the lives of their employees and clients, just to gain 12,000 followers, they would be idiots.

I used to work for one of the most powerful men in the world steel industry. Being an engineer, I was always forced into coming up with creative and technological solutions to problems. Once, while expounding on the merits of a new technology we might create, I was cut short by my boss. He made a comment I will never forget, and it went something like this.

“I always admire your ingenuity and passion for these things, but the bottom line is, if we want better technology we will just buy it from people who are better at it than us. We do not have time to create, we need to produce.”

We criticize these companies not to interject ourselves atop them. Our mission is an idealistic one, that is a what we want to accomplish – higher ideals. Who made us the watchdogs of corporate ideals? We did. We do not have the resources these companies do, but we know what the perfect PR company might look like. Without higher ideals, and the input of honest people, the status quo would make all companies mediocre. Our own site suffers from a case of Web 1.0 aging. We make mistakes too, and are open always to ideas on how we can be better. But, in the end we try to superimpose greater ideals and ideas onto the people who CAN make a difference in a big way. Not many have noticed, but in our own way we effect change. Every one of the corporate Websites we have reviewed these last few months has altered in some way. This is rewarding for us no matter whether we get credit for constructive criticism or not.

I applaud most of these people for what they undertake and how they address larger issues than Twitter presence. As for the people suggesting we make a list of professors and conference circuit gurus or PR, well, they would not even close to being as expert as any of the ones mentioned here. Dealing with life is a big part of PR, and doing so while watching hundreds of employees and dozens of clients takes more than thinking about it from the library. Not the ending you expected is it? Will we continue to criticize half excellence? Of course. The duty of leaders is to lead, and we are here to remind them of this.

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Comments

  1. says

    Interesting post – I think my questions arise from the number of assumptions made about the CEOs and agencies’ thoughts on Twitter as a communication tactic based on some very quick number analysis.

    While we can argue whether or not someone like Richard Edelman should have a greater presence on Twitter, I think it’s presumptuous to assume that these executives choose not to be on Twitter because they can’t be bothered with a “fad.”

    You are quick to point out to the WE team members who come in defending their social media prowess that your post was meant to compliment them and their CEOs lack of a Twitter presence. It seems to me from reading their comments that they don’t want readers of your post (or existing or potential clients) to assume that their agency doesn’t endorse the adoption of social media tools. They are simply clarifying that they actually do see Twitter as a viable communication vehicle.

    As a senior level PR person who is active on Twitter, I do take offense to your line “No self respecting corporate leader is going to prioritize his or her life, the lives of their employees and clients, just to gain 12,000 followers, they would be idiots.” While I’m not running a worldwide agency of the magnitude of the agencies you mentioned, I think I speak on behalf of all PR business owners on Twitter that we wouldn’t bother with it if we didn’t see a positive effect from a company standpoint and on our bottom lines.

    People can choose whether or not they want to engage on Twitter – I certainly respect your choice to avoid it. But to state that someone using Twitter is an idiot just seeking out some followers shows that you may not understand how to use it to gain new business, uncover media leads, drive traffic to your blog, promote your services and boost awareness for your agency.

    @rachelakay

  2. Melvin Yuan says

    Dear Phil,

    Lure, tempt and enticed you certainly did… and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article!

    It looks like there was a lively dialogue following – between you and my colleagues at Waggener Edstrom, and others with whom I’ve not had the pleasure of acquaintance.

    Since I’m clearly late to the discussion, I shall not attempt to revive it. But I can’t resist sharing with you how I felt, as I read the article and followed (not in entirety) the comment trail.

    As a WE employee, I was a little nervous when alerted that we had made it to a list of companies that “could care less” about Twitter. And so I started reading. I must say, I stopped ‘feeling’ very much while going down the list and digesting the numbers. I’m usually careful about numbers, but that didn’t seem to be the point of your list – or you would have had to crunch a lot more numbers than you did! (Imagine thinking of a leader backed by hundreds of Twitters instead of just one! ;)

    Somewhere two paragraphs after your list, I became excited about the possible twist you hinted at. And somewhere in the comments, I became wildly amused; later slightly embarrassed on behalf of others.

    You’re right that Twitter has drastically shortened our attention span, and I did skip past a lot of the content in the comments section. I’m also reading this close to midnight in my timezone, and purely out of pleasure. So pardon any inaccuracies in my interpretation. I was, by then, feeling slightly alarmed and confused at some of the comments.

    When I got to the end of my reading, I felt – or rather, I remained – very proud to be part of Waggener Edstrom. A lot of it had to do with your saying that Waggener Edstrom is actually your “favorite PR firm within the spectrum of the top 5 companies in this niche”.

    So thank you for making my day!

    This is the longest time I’ve spent participating on one blog post in a long while. I am torn daily between business priorities and “Blogging” and “Twittering”. There’s a pressure on most folks in this space – to “walk the talk”, play the game and rake up the numbers.

    Your post has been most enjoyable. The numbers, as many have pointed out, don’t reveal the entire truth behind the companies’ “social media engagement”. And there are instances in your article that I found hard to nod my head to – like “Twitter is a fad” (I take it that you may have written this for effect). But this helps hones my thinking even more, about what’s truly important. So thank you for your regard for WE, for taking time to write this article, and for starting this conversation that I found very informative! :)

    Melvin

    • Phil Butler says

      Melvin, Thanks so much for your kind comments. It is always refreshing when someone gets it, or understands the point of a conversation. WE is by far the most engaged community of PR professionals with regard to just about every social niche. We do not take any pleasure in criticizing for the sake of “appearing” knowledgeable, or authoritative, but we do try to cover things the best we can and to help others see things from a difference perspective.

      In our experience, it takes a lot for people or companies to accept constructive criticism, and WE has been not only on top of the conversation about them, but what is going on in general. We are people too, and we make our fair share of mistakes I guess you know. Twitter? Well, my opinion of that little entity is pretty well known I guess. I guess by a “fad” I meant that when something like Google Wave comes along and knocks it off, or when they can not monetize and the lights go out, the “next great thing” will be the talk of the town.

      Again, thanks so much for taking the time to read and capture the essence of what I was saying. Regardless of how much most people would like big names to be on Twitter with them, it is simply not feasible for everyone. Just like I do not expect Edelman himself to drop by and tell me I am full of sheep dip. :)

      Take care and thanks!

      Always,

      Phil

  3. Mihaela Lica says

    @Robert – we always react first, learn later. Some of us are strong enough to admit their own mistakes, some aren’t. And that’s all I have to say.

  4. Robert French says

    Phil and Mihaela – As an educator, and not one trying to sell a service or agency – or myself, I read articles (just like yours) online to see if there is something of value to share with my students.

    I’ve read this site many times. I’ve read your posts and those of the other authors. Please know that I’m not unfamiliar with your writings.

    Phil, I’ll just share that I was offering up your own words as evidence. I’ll do it again for clarity.

    “I know, I baited the reader into scrutinizing this list for whatever purposes they might have wanted to, but the bottom line here is this.” …then… “Excuse me for being a little aggravated here, but I never wrote a link bait post in over 5,000 articles, it is just not my style.”

    It seems your style may have changed, Phil.

    Mihaela, it surprises me that you react first, learn later. A simple click to follow the link associated with my post would have provided, at the very least, a small clue as to who I am, what I do, and what my areas of interest are, too. Nope, not an employee of any of the firms mentioned above.

    Also, the purpose of mentioning Phil’s Twitter account was solely to be able to nudge him with his own words, again. Yep, I actually *got* his disdain for Twitter. Here’s a news alert for you … I’m not a *fan* of Twitter either. It is one more site. It may serve a positive purpose for some, maybe not so much for others.

    To each of you, I’ll offer my opinion that constructive criticism is a positive force. I’m not sure you adhere to that constructive criticism meme in all your efforts. Therefore, after many visits to your site, I chose to comment. Simple as that.

    Just as you seem to wish to tweak people in pursuit of your search for ideals, I chose to tweak you and remind you of the path you say you’ve chosen.

    • Phil Butler says

      Robert, I am not minimizing your academic credentials, but in this situation you are wrong. I said I was “baiting”, not link baiting. I am definitely now traffic bating because our traffic is more substantial via other avenues. One definition of my term, the appropriate one in this case, is:

      Luring, tempting, enticing” the reader into a discussion, and more substantially, into pondering one conclusion, while another is more potent and obvious. I am sorry if I made myself in any way unclear. My style will never change. I baited “the reader” and not the network or overall community of online people. I hope that makes my statement more clear.

      Again, Thanks for your input, and I would very much like to have a better discourse with you of a more congenial tone. As for Mig, she is always defensive when comments immediately trend towards the unreasonable. Yours being unreasonable because she and I only know our ultimate intent. I hope that made sense too Robert. I see you teach at Auburn, a very fine school, I have visited there many times and almost played football there instead of a Clemson. Go Tigers, I guess is the term. :)

      Always,

      Phil

  5. Mihaela Lica says

    @Kristin – so sorry my comment sounded the way it did. I actually thought that Robert French was a member of your team. I apologize for making the remark that actually had nothing to do with the other commentators. We admire WE a lot, and if you read other posts that mention your company on our site you will see that this is true. :)

  6. Kristin Kalscheur says

    Phil, one of the reasons I joined Waggener Edstrom was that I knew they had a forward-thinking attitude toward social media. They do not direct me to use it in my job, but they allow me to use it and teach me how to use it better by providing training and counsel. In the past, I have worked for more conservative employers who blocked access to LinkedIn etc. This was before Facebook and Twitter were mainstream. I felt crippled and unable to use tools that I knew would help me find great candidates to hire. It was very frustrating and WE was a breath of fresh air to me since they understood how valuable these SM tools could be.

    Mihaela, I wanted to address your comment re: “WE’s desperate attempt to convince that they actually engage the social media.” As I read our collective responses, I don’t see desperation…I see discourse. The fact that we are paying attention to what is said about our company is just good business. Don’t you do the same and wouldn’t you also respond in like fashion if you felt a response was warranted? It is telling that our competitors are not paying attention.

    I am not even in PR at WE – I am in HR. I am engaging in the conversation to connect with potential job candidates in places where they spend their time online, and Twitter is one of these places. Is WE throwing all our eggs in the Twitter basket? Of course not. But you better believe it is a relevant storytelling force and if we weren’t present and active there we’d be missing a huge opportunity to share news, monitor what is being said about us and our clients, connect with others, and create real in-person relationships with people we meet online who share our interests. I personally have a business purpose for putting myself out there and even an agenda, but I do find a lot of value in the links my connections share and the people I meet. Being active in social media outlets keeps me engaged and connected and gives me the ability to see new perspectives that help me do better in my job every day.

    Michaela and Phil, it is nice to “meet” both of you and thanks for the lively discussion.

  7. Mihaela Lica says

    @Robert, so this is what you understood from the article? That the author is “link baiting” and “traffic baiting” and that he actually cares about Twitter? I have to laugh at the thought… Phil is an avid Twitter hater for your information. You just paid him a compliment saying “@philbo isn’t exactly burning up the Twitter scene.” Thank God for that, some people do have better things to do than spending their lives on Twitter. For us Twitter is just a communication tool, not a way of life. My account doesn’t burn the Twittersphere either, and I actually like Twitter. But do I want to waste my time building a network on something that will fail as soon as another “hot trend” comes along (and the Wave is near, when it’s released you will hear less about Twitter, mark my words). No, I do not breathe and live Twitter. We relate the news about it, yes, we watch some people, yes and we write about them. This article was a COMPLIMENT to the CEOs who don’t waste time on Twitter. Oh, and about the 3 RTs you mentioned, those are automatic updates made with Twitter Tools every time an update to a post is being made. You should know that, you run a site based on WordPress, don’t you? Or haven’t you ever heard of Twitter Tools?

    You know, I don’t know what bothers me the most. Some cocky PR who comes here pretending that he understood the intent without actually reading the article, or WE’s desperate attempt to convince that they actually engage the social media.

    I have a question for you, Robert. When did you last do anything online that did not serve your own interest? Have you have helped a friend you met online just for the sake of being kind? Have you ever taken ten hours of your time to build a blog on WP for someone you never met before? Have you ever helped a company that never paid you to make a mark online? These are things we do all the time. We are not here for the traffic, we are not here to compete with other PR agencies – by God not with some like WE that make millions each year. So why did we even mention them? Just because. Why did you post something about MrTweet on your blog? Well, if you answer that, you know why we choose our topics too.

  8. Robert French says

    Admittedly you’re posting as “bait” and I don’t sense a sincere effort to engage in meaningful discussion. We see this all the time with PR agencies seeking to gather in some buzz. I’m not so sure it is the best path, however.

    Go ahead. Play the gadfly. Poke and prod all you want. Does it really serve any positive purpose, aside from your own site’s traffic?

    Perhaps it is because you come from the Tech PR sector, you feel that you should emulate the more koolaid obsessed crowd and practice this type of link/comment baiting.

    Want to be a voice of reason in PR online? Write fair and honest articles, not link bait posts. If you believe you’re here to remind people to lead, how about leading by best practice in your own online activities.

    Right now, with this sad attempt at link baiting, you’re only adding to the noise.

    By the way, @philbo isn’t exactly burning up the Twitter scene, either. I quick look shows a lot of self-promotion for the site. Oh, and you’ve also taken the time to make 3 RTs of “Porn Star Candidate For Office In Germany” and 2 RTs of “Traffic Sign Prank Warns Of ‘Zombie Strippers’ In Portland.”

    Well, at least you are giving readers an insight into your areas of interest.

    • Phil Butler says

      Mr. French, I appreciate your ideas on what is going on here. But, it is not actually accurate. As far as link bait is concerned, from my personal point of view, I could care less if we ever got one visit from Twitter, I would much rather have 10 visits from people willing to enter into a discussion, than 10,000 passers by, or aggravated, self-aggrandizing Twitter wannabes. The post was about two things. First, huge PR companies who may or may not pay lip service to a community full of people marketing whatever to the world. Secondly, the understandable “guarded” approach to these social networks by top professionals. I do not expect Ricard Edelman himself to step in here, if he did that would be interesting, but these people are far too busy to personally engage Twitter.

      I must admit, that my first impression was that they should do their part (not on Twitter mind you) on some of the social venues. Now, given my own distaste for marketing in general, I could not point a finger at them if they just sent news to the NYT or other viable news sources. We are endeavoring to create a sort of “alternative” outlet for people here. We cover very eclectic subjects as you may have somehow gleaned. You have no way of knowing this, but positive criticism I have personally directed at many of these PR firms’ sites has caused them to engage people in better ways. What positive effect? Well, if I could, I would flush Twitter and every mediocre attempt at true social interaction like it down the drain. How is this for transparency?

      We live in a world with monumental problems, companies have not been blameless in creating an atmosphere where stupidity, ignorance and down right evil can thrive. This can be said for the general public too, but not everyone. Out of our hapless obtuseness we have paved a path for mediocrity in a time when excellence should be demanded. I don’t see Richard Edelman’s crew coming here to whine about how “uninformed we are?” My partner Mihaela suggested you are a PR yourself. I see you have a well tailored site, although the traffic does not seem all that massive. I am just trying to visualize why a PR would come and hammer me, and accuse me of anything? What is the motivation?

      There are reasons behind these articles which may not be all that clear at the moment. I did not just, all of a sudden, decide to write about this! Well, you have your opinion and I hope it garners you some support, you obviously will need it with your tone. Excuse me for being a little aggravated here, but I never wrote a link bait post in over 5,000 articles, it is just not my style. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn? I have already weighed these possibilities and found them lacking. If I am wrong, I will stand by it in my destitution and go back to telling people about startups, or worst case, become a Papa Blogger. Good day sir.

      Always,
      Phil Butler

  9. Tim Sears says

    Hi Phil,

    I do application development for social media, primarily Twitter (it’s practically my job description), at Waggener Edstrom and want to point a few links your way to reassure you that we are indeed very involved with the Twitter community.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10194386-2.html?tag=mncol

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/11/ftds-mothers-day-mishap/

    I would also encourage you to really look beyond just a company presence on Twitter in terms of an official account (such as @WaggenerEdstrom), and seek out how individual employees are engaged in the community representing Waggener Edstrom. @tacanderson, @foleymo, @jeremymeyers and @johnweiss are some great people to start with.

    If you would like to know more about how we are involved in the Twitter ecosystem from an engineering perspective, please let me know. @u2elan

    • Phil Butler says

      Hi Tim, I appreciate you stopping by as well. I think the point at the end of this discussion is, “Should you guys be so involved?” At least that is one question that may surface any way. As for links and the like, I appreciate them of course, you saved me some time if I ever want to hook up on Twitter. I have looked at many of these I assure you, but WE is not the only entity I looked at. It does, as you may know, take some time to ferret out all this data.

      Always,
      Phil

  10. Kent Hollenbeck says

    Phil – Others here at WE may have pointed this out to you already, but just to be sure I thought I would share a few examples of where Waggener Edstrom is already engaging in Twitter and other social media.

    Our primary Twitter profile is different than the one that you list. You can find it at http://twitter.com/WaggenerEdstrom with 1,624 followers, 159 following and 487 tweets. In addition to Twitter, we also are engaged with other sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Many WE employees are active on within these services as well. You can find some of them and links to the sites I mentioned earlier on our main website under the Connect page: http://www.waggeneredstrom.com/connect/

    Beyond the typical social media sites, we also have developed an application, twendz ), which we have won several awards for (http://www.webvisionsevent.com/webvisionary/). This application, which was launched in March and developed at WE, explores Twitter conversations and sentiment. It is a Twitter mining Web application that utilizes the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversation themes and sentiment of the tweets that talk about topics you are interested in.

    As you may expect it takes leadership to commit the focus, vision and resources necessary to deliver innovations like twendz and to highlight the importance of all social media and digital influence, not just Twitter, to our employees. This is of course what our CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin does daily within WE.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me when working on any entries in the future that may relate to Waggener Edstrom. We are happy to provide you with the assistance you require to make sure you’re sharing the most accurate information.

    Regards,
    Kent

    Kent Hollenbeck
    Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
    Sr. Vice President

    • Phil Butler says

      Kent, Thank you for getting my name right for sure, and for taking your valuable time to stop by and add to the conversation. I do not know if you realize it or not, but Waggener Edstrom is actually my favorite PR firm within the spectrum of the top 5 companies in this niche. I take the time and license to mention the company for this and several other reasons. As for extracting accuracy off of the Web, I think it is also important to suggest that given my background and time “In the saddle” so to speak, in surfing this digital place, there probably are not many who can, how should I say this, find stuff. We are talking about searching for data here, not Powerset semantic or AI technology.

      I purposely used the Waggener instance you saw in order to set up just the scenario you are seeing develop here. Sorry to be a little devious, but the larger picture of how PR, investment, startups, and business are developing on the Web is a much more interesting subject for me, and I know, many readers. Your company is one of the best out there at engaging people, this does not mean however that there are not growing pains involved in learning to talk. Right now there are 4 comments on this piece, 3 of which are from Waggener employees. Interestingly, these three represent an ascending tier of both relative levels of management, as well as apparent expertise in textual communication. If you look at these instances from my perspective, it is easy to see a cross section of reaction to what might appear a slightly derogatory article. This is not really the case though, if you read past the list.

      I am fully aware of the ramifications of corporate responses like this, though the average reader may not be. I must say your expertise in “saying” several things is as I would expect from a Senior VP. Plugging one’s own products, carefully putting out the likely fire of criticism for digital know how, shortly interjecting one’s own credibility, and finally, with “Zorro like” swordsmanship, interjecting two subtle but powerful ideas – Phil needs help, and let’s help him be more accurate – exemplifies the art of suggestive rhetoric. To be honest, I would have had to worked pretty hard to even think to work on this level, but I expect at your level it is a daily necessity.

      These pieces are not intended to do damage to any of our contemporaries at the large firms. In case anyone is wondering, it is not what we say about these companies that is important, it is the responses, both in comments and i actions, which signify the worth of the companies. For example, I have written several fairly accurate pieces about Edelman, which received no response whatsoever, and I expect none for this one. Waggener, on the other hand, has responded nearly every time I have mentioned their name. What does this mean? Well, it at least indicates Waggener is paying attention more than most. For Edelman, it give me the impression they are just too important to even discuss anything digital. This may be wrong, but I know you see my point. In the absence of information, there is speculation.

      I do thank all the WE people coming to comment, I would suggest anyone engaging anyone at their front door, do their own research. Like anyone else, I need guidance from time to time, but I expect not in the social networking sphere. Then too, there may be some guru out there who can tell us all how to more effectively communicate (even in 140 characters). Twitter, like Facebook and some others, really just represents a “traffic goldmine” where many are scrambling to figure out the key to unlocking the pocketbooks of those users. Again, thanks so much for taking time here. I mean that. You are doing great work, and believe it or not, we are trying to help.

      Always,

      Phil (aka Paul)

  11. Kristin Kalscheur says

    Interesting that you look at CEO engagement alone rather than corporate or employee engagement on Twitter. If you were to examine WE’s overall presence/activity on Twitter you’d find many of us here at Waggener Edstrom (including senior leadership) are quite the active Twitter users/fans. Interest in social media runs deep and wide across our organization, and is championed from the top down. In fact, I was directed to this post via a colleague though Twitter. :) That said, we are a company centered around storytelling, and Twitter is one of many tools in the vast global strategic communications toolkit.

    • Phil Butler says

      Hi Kristen, Thanks for stopping in. Are you at the Seattle office as well? no, I see you are in Portland. I did the CEO engagement for a specific purpose Kristin, as everyone will see at the end of this story. Was the Twitter, Facebook and other social media engagement on your part at the direction of WE, or are so many of the employees there just in love with the little bird? :) Seriously, I will ask to interview Melissa about Waggener’s potential to talk to the world via these venues at length I guess.

      I am with you on these “tool kits” as you call them. Twitter being my least favorite one BTW. Again, it is cool to see nice people coming to comment on this post. Please come back.

      Always,

      Phil

  12. says

    Interesting angle here. For what it’s worth, Wagged’s Twitter is @WaggenerEdstrom.

    As a follow up to this post, what about which companies are most engaged when looking at employees using Twitter. I’d be curious to see how all of the above are ranked.

    • Phil Butler says

      Hi Jordana, Thanks for helping out, I actually found so many instances for all these companies. You would not believe how many accounts there are which are unused for the CEO’s and other notables. Your point is an interesting one, especially since I know so many PR people in NY who have run into the “Twitter at Work” Dragon. It would make for a funny post for sure. I also have in mind a follow up for this one, which will be a hoot. Come back and check out the saga of Twitter and other social networks soon. :)

      Always,
      Phil

    • Phil Butler says

      Tac, Phil here, my son’s name is Paul though. I actually found all the instances of Waggener Tac, this was not the point of the article. You didn’t read to the end did you my friend? 140 characters and all the lists paved the way for abbreviated interaction I guess. Thanks for stopping by to comment, several of your colleagues have been very kind before when we did analysis on the main site and a few other times.

      Always,
      Phil

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