1❤ High-quality, visually-appealing content takes time to create. Influencers who have mastered it have passed the “beginner” stage and should be considered for paid media partnerships complete with FTC-compliant disclosure, etc. We realize your industry covets earned media… Trust us, we get it. But as thought-leader and PR pro Danny Whatmough said, paid media needs to be “a must” not “a maybe” in today’s PR world. Even Sir Martin Sorrell agreed that paid components within PR are necessary to stay relevant on social media. And Sally Falkow and tons of other smart PR people have made similar comments too. Trust me, I’m keeping track.
Brands already spend money on focus groups. Though clearly different, paid media partnerships with influential bloggers have beneficial parallels to old-style focus groups. The world has changed!!! An influencer will tell you the truth, and for brand development, that’s gold.
2❤ Don’t let the fear of low turnout at a live client event lead you to fill the venue with “anybody and everybody”! You want to report back to the client that you’re hitting the marks on quality, not just quantity or number of bodies. By going for quantity, you could be turning your client into a magnet for “event crashers” and mercenaries.
3❤ Reject aggregate metrics from mercenaries who actively try to deceive PR agencies. How can you spot a person like this? The worst ones will give you metrics that are CMS-level, while other deceivers hide behind domain-level stats. (They’re hoping you don’t know how to do real data analysis/influencer assessment!) And these kinds of metrics say nothing about someone’s ability to engage (both online and in real life) or move the needle for your client. If PR professionals don’t start to interpret data correctly on a case-by-case basis, the deceptive bloggers will continue to deceive! Clients deserve better. Way better.
3.1 Further reading: Go to: adviceforPRpros2.SocialAlex.Live
4❤ Sending unsolicited gifts won’t guarantee anything. Some bloggers actually don’t appreciate this tactic. Brands and agencies should also inform a blogger whether any sent product is officially part of a current campaign. If you were a blogger, wouldn’t you want to know this info? It’s all about professionalism. When it’s OK to send products, also send a tracking code to cut down on delivery mishaps. Little things mean a lot.
5❤ An influencer will tell you the truth, and for brand development, that’s gold. Sound familiar? We’ll say it over and over. Influencers understand the value of audience trust. Unlike a mercenary (who usually has low social capital anyway), influencers refuse to be coerced into giving dishonest endorsements. If you’re dealing with mercenaries or bloggers who’ll post about anything and everything, garbage impressions (content nobody ever sees) are what you’ll get for your client, and honestly, clients deserve better! Are garbage impressions what you want to be known for? Of course not. Beware of mercenaries who buy followers because those followers aren’t real!
6❤ Some influencers will use Twitter to express negative feelings in order to elicit action, so read tweets. I recommend TweetDeck because it’s so easy. Different bloggers will have different styles of communicating.
7❤ Dedicated bloggers will try to see the good in nearly everything. They’ll state pro’s and con’s in a helpful way. You should give special attention to these influencers because you might be able to approach them to discuss valuable ideas for your clients.
8❤ Know the blog you’re pitching and don’t be irrelevant when you pitch. Be professional and always spell the blogger’s name correctly. Do proper research. Yes, that takes time but matching brands with bloggers needs to be about quality over quantity. Sound familiar? We’ll keep saying it. Finding the right influencers for the brand should be one of the TOP tenets when defining quality.
9❤ Professionalism goes a long way. When you demonstrate high familiarity with a blogger’s content, this leads to long-term rapport and therefore more opps. Agency personnel transitions need to be managed better. It’s not exactly fair for a blogger to have to rebuild rapport with new personnel when a simple digital file folder would eliminate that sloppiness.
It was awesome speaking candidly with Melany Berger, Maria-Isabel Gridley and Kim Weling via a Google Hangout On Air. Each of their blogs has a different focus and likewise their good advice for the PR world is diverse as well. There’s a ton of simple modifications PR can make as far as blogger outreach and influencer campaigns. But why is it so hard for PR professionals to take action on simple things?!? It’s kinda maddening. Good PR nowadays involves good ole fashioned research, savvy social listening (preferably with the use of web apps like TweetDeck, adequate knowledge of social media culture such as Twitter chats, etc) and correct data interpretation. The latter can be downright frightening for PR, though it needn’t be. Research and listening are strongly related and both take time to master, and both have become one of the top challenges the PR world faces. At the same time, these skills are part of why brands are willing to pay agency retainers. It’s all so screwed up. At this stage, the PR world has a long long way to go because they haven’t made the strides they could’ve capitalized on (in the last few years). Old-school tactics, outdated outreach, and ineffective “Mickey Mouse” SEO strategies all need to go into the dustbin of history. The world is different now. Period. Thanks again, ladies!