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Working in PR means wearing a lot of hats. One day you might be hosting an event, the next curating a viral social media presence, measuring PR campaigns, analysing PR dashboards or just calling a list of journalists with a press release. This is one of the many things PRs love about their jobs – no two days are ever the same, but it’s not always easy to shapeshift day in, day out.
Having a community within the PR industry can be a lifesaver. Following other PRs on social media offers support and inspiration (and sometimes benchmarks) in a world where it can sometimes feel like you’re shouting into the void.
So you might want to know who the most influential PRs are. There are a lot of big personalities out there and we’ve narrowed down a list of the top 100 PR influencers to follow in 2021.
Our list of 2020’s top 100 PR influencers is taken from BuzzSumo’s Twitter Influencer tool:
BuzzSumo’s Influencer tool identifies the most influential accounts with a particular bio keyword, or those who have mentioned a particular term or shared a piece of content.
It shows the most relevant accounts with their follower numbers, average retweets, retweet and reply ratios, and their page and domain authority – but initially sorts by relevance. Let’s see what it revealed.
The average number of accounts a PR influencer on Twitter follows is 7,823, and they have nearly three times as many followers, an average of 22,312. This might seem a good indicator of what makes them so influential.
The list also showed that, like all good PRs, the top 100 are a very chatty bunch. On average 30% of all tweets from the top 100 PR influencers are replies. In fact, the majority of their posts involve sharing…
35% average of all tweets from the top 100 were sharing URLs and content, and 21% were retweets. And people like what they say – the average number of retweets they receive is one per tweet.
Taking a closer look at what might make them so influential, we noticed that 34 out of the 100 accounts on our list are verified by Twitter – in fact 11 out of the top 20 in the list boast a blue tick. Being verified might not be the key to being influential on Twitter, but it definitely helps.
We also found Instagram accounts for 31 out of the top 100, although only six of those were in the top 20. Perhaps being on multiple channels isn’t a key factor in being influential here.
The top 10 PR influencers have 40% more followers (33,476 vs 22,312) and follow 40% more accounts (11,844 vs 7,823) than the average PR professional.
The top 10 PRs are also more likely to reply: 39% of all their tweets are replies, in comparison with 30% from the average PR influencer.
Interestingly, the top 10 PR influencers are less likely to share URLs than the average PR influencer, with 35% of all their tweets containing URLs in comparison to the 38% seen from the remaining 90 influencers. Could this be a classic case of quality over quantity? We’re all familiar with Twitter spammers – those who bombard our news feeds with links to their content on a daily basis.
The top 10 PR influencers are 3% more likely to retweet content (24% vs 21%) and are twice as likely to receive a retweet, which reaffirms the quality of their posts.
The top 10 are all verified.
Half of the top 10 PR influencers had built on their personal brand with a linked Instagram accounts.
|14||Richie Escovedo, APR||@vedo|
|18||Julie Bonn Blank||@juliebonnblank|
|20||Abbie S. Fink||@abbief|
|24||Kristie Aylett, APR||@kristk|
|53||Todd Van Hoosear||@vanhoosear|
|57||Barbara B. Nixon||@barbaranixon|
|72||Ashley Oakes Scott||@ashleyoakes|
|74||Karla Jo Helms||@jotopr|
|82||Nicole Garner Scott||@drgarnerscott|
|87||Aerial M. Ellis||@aerialellis|
|96||Sabine de Witte||@sabinedewitte|
The honor of having the most followers on the list goes to, surprisingly, the 76th most influential account @simonhuck.
What about following? The account with the second highest number of followers on the list, @publicityguru, returns the love by following the most number of people – but sits in position 77.
Both of these accounts are relatively low in terms of influence, which goes to show that quantity of followers isn’t the key to being influential. It seems to be more important to focus on quality content and conversation to build influence.
When we focus on the engagement-led conversational metrics BuzzSumo offers, we can see a different picture of influence. These metrics showcase the influencers’ ability to generate strong engagement – which can often be prioritized over followers – and is super important for both PRs and their clients.
For instance, if you’re launching a new product, retweets will help get the message out there, so you’re going to want to engage with audiences that are likely to retweet. And if you’re looking for influential PRs for inspiration and a sense of community, you might be more interested in accounts with high reply ratios, so that you can join the conversation.
The account on the list with the highest average retweets is unsurprisingly within the top 10 PR influencers. Taking position 8, @andrewbloch averages a mammoth 10 retweets per tweet!
While the number one most influential PR account, @richleighpr, has fewer followers than some accounts on the list, he’s part of a tight community who will listen to what he says. He’s got a blue tick, 72% of his tweets are replies and he gets an average of two retweets for each tweet. His influence seems to come from having a polished presence, and leading the conversation.
This all goes to show that while individual metrics are important, it seems the way to get to the top of this list is to have the perfect balance of a few of them – something PRs know a thing or two about, given all those hats they wear.
Influence is a fickle creature, but having an insight into what creates it can help. If you want to understand influence or create your own influencer list, BuzzSumo is here for you – try our 30 day free trial.
Planning your next PR campaign? Read our guide on 7 Best Practice PR Tips For Your Next Campaign.
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