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World’s first list of G-20 top political tweeters announced

17 April, 2012


Study Identifies Top 10 Australians

SYDNEY — Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, today announced the “G-20 Influencers;” the world’s first list of the top 10 most influential political voices on Twitter in each of the countries represented in the “Group of Twenty” or G-20 nations[i].

The study found that the top 10 most influential political voices on Twitter in Australia comprised of politicians and journalists, unlike other counties where NGOs and influential organisations topped the list. As to be expected Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott featured on the list along with influential journalists such as Annabel Crabb and Alan Kohler. Australia’s top political tweeters averaged a greater online following with 149,450 followers, compared to the UK at 98,698 and the EU at 14,955.

Christine Jones, CEO and Market Leader for Burson-Marsteller Australia, believes that Twitter has fundamentally changed the political landscape today.

“Twitter has become a go-to for political commentary and discussion. In Australia we have a very vocal group of politicians and journalists who lead the majority of discussion, as opposed to NGOs or influential organizations.

“This is the first ‘who’s who’ of political commentators in the G-20, identifying the individuals who stimulate the most conversation and set the agenda around the world.

“At a time when Australia is seeking to increase its influence in G-20 matters, it is important to understand who is shaping public opinion here and in member countries,” said Jones.

The ten most influential Twitter accounts in Australia are (in alphabetical order):

Alan Kohler – @AlanKohler

Annabel Crabb – @annabelcrabb

Bernard Keane – @BernardKeane

Julia Gillard – @JuliaGillard

Joe Hildebrand – @Joe_Hildebrand

Joe Hockey – @JoeHockey

Kevin Rudd – @KRuddMP

Malcolm Turnbull – @TurnbullMalcolm

Tony Abbott – @TonyAbbottMHR

Tony Burke – @Tony_Burke

The study found that over a 90-day span these influencers:

Received an average of 9,256 re-tweets

Received an average of 8,350 mentions

Had an average of 55,370 Twitter followers

In contrast to Australia’s political influencers, top influencers in China included real estate tycoons, television presenters and comedians, while in the US results showed primarily media personalities as the most influential public affairs Twitter users.

The list of the top 10 political tweeters was determined using data from Klout (, the standard for influence. Klout analyses engagement across social networks and creates a Klout Score based on this data to help users understand and unlock their influence. Burson-Marsteller’s global public affairs and digital consultants drew up a list of close to 1,000 people on Twitter who are politically influential in the G-20 nations. Klout then assessed and scored them against its influence metric, set on a scale from 1-100, measuring influence based upon a user’s ability to drive action.

To see the in-depth global results of this research, visit  

The other countries covered in this study include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union (including Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden).
[1] With the exception of China, where Twitter is unavailable.

For more information, please contact:
Alexandra Churcher
Head of Marketing
Burson-Marsteller Australia
Tel: +61 2 9928 1500

For further information please visit: or follow: @BMaustralia

About the study
“G20 influencers” is a study conducted by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations agency, working with Klout, the social media analytics company. The study aims to identify the 10 most politically influential people on Twitter in each country of the G-20*. The study measures influence by using a tweeter’s Klout Score. For more about Klout scores, see here. Burson-Marsteller created a list of over 900 politically influential people on Twitter across 26 countries. This included politicians, journalists, bloggers, public affairs specialists, NGOs, and industry and trade associations. The data used for the study was taken in March 2012 based on activity over a 90 day period. For China, as Twitter is not used, the analysis is done using the social media platform Weibo.

*The G-20 includes 19 country members and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. Burson-Marsteller’s analysis extends to 26 countries, made up of additional countries from the European Union - Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and web-related strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 69 offices and 80 affiliate offices, together operating in 107 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. To learn more about Burson-Marsteller visit

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