Thinking Outside the Media Box – Influencer Relations

December 22, 2017

Working in PR, I love the thrill of the media relations chase. From finding the right reporter to drafting the perfect, creative pitch to securing interest from media and then to finally seeing that beautiful piece of client coverage post – that’s what keeps me excited about PR. Just as a runner would save a hard-earned race medallion, I carefully file away each CNBC, POPSUGAR, or HuffPost piece that I help guide across the finish line.

With a steadfast love for media relations, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first of the power of influencer relations. But after working with a boutique hotel, a consumer pet tech company and a private car club facility, I’ve fully embraced the power of social media stars. If you’re still holding out for those tier 1 trophy reporters to cover your client, here’s my argument for why you should also think about collaborating with bloggers and social influencers.

Influencers have immense reach, sometimes rivaling traditional media

Bloggers, social media influencers and YouTube stars specialize in every topic imaginable, from makeup and home decorating to travel and pets, and boast a reach on par with your press list. Check out the possible reach in your target industry, especially if it’s a niche category. For Furbo, a “smart” dog camera, we identified social media accounts of leading canine influencers to partner with in exchange for product, while continuing to work with traditional pet, tech and lifestyle media. In many cases, the influencers had a wider reach than the vertical publications.

Traditional Pet Media Social Influencers
Pet Age (UVM 28,600) @cookiemalibu (127,000 followers)
The Dogington Post (UVM 128,200) @drewbertcorgi (56,200 followers)

In addition to reach, influencers often have a highly engaged following as they carefully curate their feed.

To get the word out, go where your target audience goes

A Pew survey found two-thirds of adults in the U.S. turn to social media for at least some of their news, so put your clients on your influencers’ reading lists by amping up your social content. If your client has an announcement or event in a specific market, incorporating social influencers into your strategy can be effective in getting some quick airtime for your news.

For example, For W Bellevue’s Grand Opening and ongoing event series, our team worked closely with a network of local influencers and celebrities to raise awareness of the events and drive RSVPs. The resulting social posts, often made while the influencers were onsite at the events, augmented the reach of more traditional media mentions.

They’re called ‘influencers’ for a reason

‘I bought this cool dog camera I saw on Instagram!’ Ever heard a sentence like that? Buying things off the ‘gram is surely something we’ve either all done, or we know people who have made purchases directly from their favorite social app. It’s easy to see that consumers are increasingly influenced by recommendations made to them by their favorite bloggers on social media. In fact, nearly half of millennials report social media influences their purchases.

Think about your own life. Does social media inspire the clothes you buy? The way you decorate your home? The tech products you check out? The recipes you cook? The hikes you plan with friends over the weekend? The possibilities for client promotions are nearly limitless if you identify the correct audience and influencer to tell your story.

Now get out there and start scrolling! You never know what influencers you might find.

If you’re interested in learning more how Barokas Communications can help you reach influencers, please reach out!

-Kayla

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