Twitter is the most popular of the leading social community networks (SCNs) and interactive sites for online PR, according to a new survey of 107 PR professionals.

It narrowly beats YouTube, in second place, and Facebook, in third, as a preferred online PR tool.

But the survey, conducted by New Venture Publishing for its new Perfect Online PR Masterclass, finds that no SCNs or interactive sites are yet rated as very important for PR use.

On a scale of one (not important) to five (very important) the PR pros rated top-ranking Twitter at an average of only 2.96.

YouTube scored 2.88 and Facebook 2.73. LinkedIn was on 2.4, Flickr on 2.1, MySpace on 1.76, Bebo on 1.67 and MSN Messenger on 1.59. Ecademy on 1.53 and Xanga on 1.47 brought up the rear.

Overall, the PR pros rated “making use of social community networks” as only thirteenth out of fourteen possible online PR priorities for the future. It came behind front-ranking issues such as “integrating online with other PR activity” and “developing online PR expertise in-house”.

The Perfect Online PR Masterclass is a day-long training course which covers online PR strategy, managing an online presence, running a website media centre and measuring the impact of online PR campaigns.

The course provides a high-level overview of e-newsletters, blogging, social news sites, e-broadcasting and social community networks.

It is aimed at PR and marketing professionals who want to develop an online PR strategy for their own organisation and PR consultants in agencies who want to enhance the online PR service they offer to clients.

New Venture Publishing publishes books and runs training courses for PR and marketing professionals, including the Perfect Public Relations Masterclass. It also publishes the monthly e-newsletter PR Success Monthly.

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