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Should digital PRs get paid more if they have more Twitter followers?

If you are a digital PR person that has racked up thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook fans while working for an agency, who owns them – you or the agency? And er…even more importantly, does the size of your following immediately ratchet up your moving on salary?

These are some of the questions that struck me when I read this FT story about  Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s chief political correspondent who has been poached by ITV News, taking her loyal Twitter following of more than 60,000 people with her.

According to legal bods quoted in the FT: “unless the BBC had incorporated social media into her (Kuenssberg’s) contract, there is little the broadcaster could do to claw back the lost audience.”

Obviously it’s fascinating pondering the potential bun-fights this could create between media owners.  But how likely is it that a similar issue could surface between online PR agencies.

I would imagine that if I had an employee who had a following of 60,000 followers, I’d be quite keen to keep them.  And there are probably agencies out there who would pay good money to poach them from me.  As social networking gets even more embedded into PR practice this has got to become a hot issue. I’d be surprised if it isn’t already a factor in PR recruitment decisions to some extent.