Tell Lionel Barber I’ll call him back, once I have spoken to Jemima Kiss

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I used to have a client whose brief to the PR agency I worked with was to get him coverage in the Financial Times that he could show to his buddies in the club house of the golf club. What a difference a decade makes, the internet has given us a lateral view on influence.

Looking at publications is not only about being able to reach potential business influencers: the C-suite (CEO, CTO, CFO, CMO – board directors in UK parlance) coveted by business-to-business marketers, it is also about being able to be discovered online by these C-suite individuals via search and having your brand mentioned in discussions that these people overhear online: WOM (word-of-mouth).

Which is where Technorati’s Attention Index comes in. The index does not measure whose publication does the best or most incisive journalism and analysis, but the journalism that is most talked about. YouTube comes in at number one, not surprisingly, probably because people like pictures of skateboarding dogs and kids in their back yard pulling Jackass-style pranks on each other. However it also emphasises the power of talking directly to consumers like JetBlue and Dominos Pizza have done recently.

However, it is not all about trashy novelties as stories, quality media like The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post all come immediately after the video sharing site. In comparison the Financial Times comes well below in 25th position and The Economist even lower in 38th position.

The Financial Times and The Economist were also found to be the biggest losers in terms of rank on the index and the amount of attention that they have received from bloggers over the past month or so.

I am not saying don’t bother pitching the Financial Times with stories, or that I would really put Lionel Barber on hold; but that influence and attractiveness of coverage in online publications may not be directly compariable to its offline analogue.  I am waiting for the day when I get a PR brief that asks me to get coverage of a client on the Guardian Online so they can share it with their fellow guild members in World of Warcraft. This is cross posted at my company blog dot comms.