Home Blog PR AP sponsored tweet model: New trend for media companies?

AP sponsored tweet model: New trend for media companies?


In case you missed it, the Associated Press launched its first “sponsored tweet” as part of the popular CES event earlier this week. AP What’s the big deal, you say? Sponsored tweets happen every day. Yes, but not by a national news organization. According to this Nieman post, a few media outlets have explored this kind of new advertising opportunity in the past, including the Hartford Current and the New Orleans Times Picayune.

But, those are small potatoes compared to AP and its 1.5 million Twitter followers. This is much bigger business. And, with CES as its stage, it certainly got the attention of a lot of people.

It shouldn’t really come as a big surprise though. Media companies offer advertising of all kinds. In their newspapers. On their Web sites. Even within their apps. So, how is this any different? It really isn’t, but yet, we haven’t see a ton of media companies offering direct access to their Twitter feeds have we? I’m guessing that’s due to “journalistic integrity”. You go selling off your feed, and people might stop listening (or following, in this case).

But, I’m betting that won’t be the deal here. Not, if AP plays it right–and by all accounts, I think they are (only two promoted tweets a day, according to AP–they’re not going to spam followers).

The other big issue here is how the advertisers use these promoted tweets. Let’s look a bit more closely at what Samsung did here.

Take a peek at the original tweet above. Samsung is taking a smart approach here. Why? Because instead of using the space to advertise for their products, they’re using it to drive awareness for the brand on one of the biggest stages of the year (CES)–and a venue where they’re clearly spending a lot of money and time already.

The landing page they’re driving to (imminently measurable by the way), is full of content people can use to either visit Samsung at CES (if they’re in Vegas), or follow along via Livestream, as Samsung has the capability built right into this landing page.

The timing of the tweet was perfect–10:47 a.m. Vegas time on Monday. Perfect for those at the event (toward beginning of the day–plenty of time to plan out the day and the next day) and for those on the east coast ( 2 p.m.) and west coast. On Monday, Samsung was clearly trying to pump up viewership for its live press conference at 2 p.m. PST (I’d be curious to see what kind of effect this promoted tweet had on page views).

All in all, a nice use of the tool by Samsung. Now, not all brands will be that adept in their execution. But, it goes to show you that brands can use this “sponsored tweet” model with media organizations like AP not just to sell products/services, but also to drive awareness, engagement and participation via their own online efforts (in this case Samsung’s participation at CES).

My questions for you in all this:

* How do you feel about media companies using this “promoted tweet” model with advertisers? Will these be an emerging trend?

* And what does it mean for us as PR counselors? It certainly gives us another paid opportunity to drive awareness/engagement for our other PR efforts? How else could it work with our existing PR plans?

Would love to hear your thoughts…



Catch up on the latest trends and insights in social media, PR and digital marketing.