We’ve been talking a lot about influence – and specifically how it impacts the tech PR work we do for our clients – here at EML Wildfire lately. To my mind it’s not just about identifying and interacting with influencers, although that’s an important part of the tech PR campaign planning and implementation process; it’s also about building influence for the technology companies we represent. I believe that PR has a very valuable role to play in helping our clients create the kind of content that people want to share…
So I was interested to come across some research into this topic carried out earlier this year by Don Bulmer and Vanessa diMauro – The New Symbiosis of Professional Networks: 2011 SNCR Study Results. The co-authors gathered data from over 100 professionals, who were either the decision makers or influenced the decision makers at companies ranging from fewer than 100 to over 50,000 employees.
They discovered that: 80% of respondents are able to accelerate decision process and information/strategy development by participating in communities; online professional networks and communities are now equal in importance to the corporate website to support decision-making; but for me, the headline finding is that gaining access to thought leadership is the top reason professionals visit professional online networks and communities.
No wonder then that the authors conclude, “thought leadership is the professional currency of the future” because “professionals and organisations are now being defined by the quality of the content they exchange, curate and create”. Generating media coverage and measuring column inches is simply not enough any more; tech PR professionals must also ensure clients take part in this new digital currency exchange or risk becoming dinosaurs of the digital age.