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WHY YOU SHOULD INCLUDE ONLINE INFLUENCERS IN YOUR PR STRATEGY

Jessica Civello
Senior Account Executive
  Back To All

You Already Know This

In an era of diminishing attention spans and a shifting focus to experiences over tangible items, it’s imperative that your brand’s voice rise above the clutter.

If you want your brand to get noticed and get covered, it’s not enough to send out a press kit and some swag. That carefully crafted, pithy pitch related to some obscure national “holiday?” Not foolproof. A two-page press release with a Dropbox link to the same, tired photos that you use in all your ads? Boring!

It’s not that the above tactics don’t have some rate of success; they do. But whether you’re a new hotel that opened in the height of shoulder season, an old-guard local restaurant trying to attract a younger audience, or a burgeoning arts festival trying to establish a foothold in an already overloaded roster of local festivals, offering influencers and media first-hand experiences needs to be an integral component of your comprehensive public relations strategy.

But Did You Know This?

If you’re not including social media influencers in those invitations for first-hand experiences, you’re not getting the most bang for your buck. The lines between digital and traditional media continue to blur, and with that, freelance reporters often double as online influencers, and vice versa. That fact, combined with the reality that many major media outlets aren’t allowed to accept free trips, means if you aren’t looking beyond your Cision or Meltwater databases, you’re missing a key audience and potential future ambassadors for your brand.

So, What Does That Mean?

As a PR professional, it’s your job to look outside traditional, tried-and-true media relations opportunities to identify new avenues to help your clients. You don’t necessarily need to understand all the inner workings of Snapchat geotargeting (I never will), but you should be paying attention to who is talking about what, and on what channels.

Hosting a press FAM? Allocate a few spots to non-traditional media, and do some research. It won’t take long until you’ve found a blogger with a huge Instagram following who also takes phenomenal photos. Invite her, and through her first-hand photographic experiences on your property, you will reach an entirely new audience of future customers.

Having a media dinner? Do your research. Maybe you’ll come across an influencer who doesn’t necessarily align with your typical brand pillars, but can lend a fun, fresh new perspective to talking about your brand – and he frequently contributes to Bon Appétit. Invite him.

The Gist

Don’t limit yourself. Fully embrace the digital landscape, and explore ways to break away from old traditions and engage with new audiences. Your first step? Use online influencers to round out your overall public relations strategy. You won’t regret it.

How are you incorporating online influencers into your public relations campaigns? Tweet us @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.

 

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