SOURCE: Tool Guy PR

hardware marketing, software marketing, technology pr firm, bay area public relations

October 21, 2010 07:00 ET

Social Media Surpassing Traditional PR as Primary Buzz Tool

But PR Spend Continues to Favor Traditional PR Tactics, According to Latest Research

MENLO PARK, CA--(Marketwire - October 21, 2010) -  Tool Guy PR, an unconventional PR services firm, today announced the results of its Q3 2010 Hype Report, which revealed fresh insights into the public relations tactics of early stage technology companies. Including marketing data for over two dozen companies, the Hype Report tracks a variety of PR activities and results including press releases, press coverage, blogs and social media postings. The Q3 results point to the emphasis that early stage tech companies are putting on social media as a key buzz tool.

Despite the focus on social media, tech company PR budgets still favor traditional tactics, by a wide margin, per Tool Guy PR client data. This information suggests that conventional methods such as media relations, press releases and case studies are still highly valued by tech vendors, and that many companies are preferring to handle social media programs in house.

According to the latest Hype Report, tech companies averaged approximately 50 tweets and 20 Facebook postings in Q3, and nearly six blog postings. The content ranged from communications about new products, customer wins, partnerships and financial events to discussions of industry trends. And while only three of the surveyed companies failed to tweet even once, the most active Twitterers (those with at least 100 tweets) had the most followers, suggesting that social media output has a corresponding impact on company visibility and buzz.

On the other hand, early stage vendors issued less than five press releases, on average, for the quarter. These announcements helped companies generate almost 160 press mentions, news articles and feature stories, the bulk of which focused on products, customers and partners. Interestingly, the busiest press release distributors did not always garner the most coverage. Three of the top four "coverage winners" for Q3 issued a combined six press releases, a result that indicates PR people are being creative in their approach to securing press coverage.

"Social media is making a steady climb up the ladder of importance for marketers, but it's not likely to surpass traditional PR in spend or strategic value any time soon," said Kevin Wolf, founder and president for Tool Guy PR. "The reason stems largely from the ability of companies to more easily measure traditional PR tactics than social media, which has a shorter shelf life and questionable long-term brand value. While we're generally bullish on social media, our advice to clients is to tread carefully as regards the use of Twitter, Facebook and the like, and to continue funding traditional PR tactics that generate the greatest return on investment."

The Hype Report is a quarterly product generated by the research team at Tool Guy PR. The data used to compile the reports is publicly available (with the exception of PR budget information) and surveyed companies have not been approached for input or approval. 

About Tool Guy PR

Founded in 2002, Tool Guy PR is an unconventional PR services firm based in Menlo Park, California. Its business model, which gives clients maximum flexibility in their PR budget and program, is unique in Silicon Valley. Clients need not commit to a fixed monthly retainer, nor are they required to sign a contract that marries the company to Tool Guy PR for any length of time. Both the expense and term of the engagement is entirely at the discretion of the client. Tool Guy PR offers PR services ranging from social media management and content development to customer reference programs and traditional media relations. Tool Guy PR clients are primarily early stage business and consumer hardware and software companies seeking to stand out amid the chaos and competition that is inherent to the tech industry.

Contact Information

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