Do PR Agency CEOs Need To Be Twittering?

[Image: Gary Stockman, Porter Novelli’s Twittering CEO]

Many in the PR world have come to the conclusion that you have to practice what you preach, and hence are scrambling to ramp up social media efforts for their own agency or brand to stay one step ahead of clients who may rightfully ask, “If you don’t have a blog, why do I need one?”

The same thing goes with Twitter. Many of the big PR agency CEOs aren’t active on Twitter. Should they be? Phil Butler at EverythingPR says no. “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? 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,” he said in a post.

Can CEOs use Twitter with success? Sure. BusinessWeek recently ran a list of Twittering CEOs, although most came from tech start-ups and established companies. We asked a few PR pros for their take on the issue.

Kristin Maverick, Director of Communications at Carrot Creative, acknowledged that executives may not have the extra time but stated, “I’m not saying they need to be tweeting about going to Starbucks, but why can’t they provide high level thoughts? Even if it’s once a week (which I’m sure can be fit into their schedule) the thought can go a long way.”

Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks and PR 2.0 blogger said it’s all about value, and PR execs shouldn’t be on Twitter, “if they have nothing interesting or valuable to contribute.”

On the other hand, Jeremy Pepper, Pop-PR Jots blogger and former PR manager for Boingo Wireless said that with Blackberries and iPhones, “it shouldn’t be hard at all,” and that, “Part of the job is to showcase the agency and how much they are invested in new technologies – and, yes, there are specialists out there, but as someone that has been on both the agency and client-side, I like to see that the CEO believes what he is touting.” Sound off in the comments with your take.