We often talk about how departments work in silos – marketing doesn’t speak to press, communication sits separately for some reason and all too often, none of them have a seat in the leadership team.

We also talk about missing the boat by ‘taking ownership’ of tools like SEO, and I believe there’s a reason – PR practitioners have been slow to adapt to new tech and to realise new opportunities. It’s been fixated on media relations for so long, it’s forgotten to look up and see what else is going on.

This morning I chaired an event with guest, Scott Guthrie, and we talked about influencer marketing, or influencer relations as I like to call it. Scott used the recent Track and Trace influencer campaign as an example why the government used influencers as a tactic to reach the public, but also that media was rather negative about the approach.

Scott led us through the basics of why and how you would use influencer marketing but it led to bigger discussions and I was only too happy to take the lead on questions and make points relevant to practitioner development.

Some advice

Top ten considerations to get ahead in influencer relations

#1 it’s no surprise that influencer relations has risen, given the uptake in social media use

#2 the words “influencer” and “celebrity” have two quite different meanings – especially as we now look at micro-influencers and nano-influencers to work at a local and community level

#3 In a recent report Scott talked about, there was a huge rise in younger people getting their news updates from influencers rather than mainstream

#4 getting the nitty gritty of the contract and delivery is essential, so all expectations are managed and everything complies with legislation

#5 it’s important to report bad practice to the ASA (self regulatory) or CMA (looks after protection consumers)

#6 measurement and evaluation is not about reach or event likes and comments. It’s about achieving objectives, which are likely the impact a partnership has had on sales, change in behaviour and/ or perceptions. And it has to start at the beginning with setting objectives, sentiment analysis and benchmarking

#7 In the age of misinformation and disinformation, make sure there is no way this can be part of your work

#8 Know your tools. There are many freemium tools to use but equally there are many integrated tools for social listening, audience profiling, tracking sales etc. Horses for courses!

#9 Do the work yourself. Be curious. Upskill and get to know the best tools for your work, how it can all work together and how you can integrate the ideas and present them coherently

#10 Work with influencers long term. Build long term relationships. Think of it like any other part of public relations

Like anything we should be thinking about using influencer relations strategically, as a tactic. There’s always a “why?” What are you trying to achieve? Is this one of the best ways to do that? How will it work with other tactics? What will the outcome look like? How will you measure the impact? What needs done before, during and after?

Thanks for reading my latest post on influencer relations. I’ve always enjoyed working in this space. I hope more of my clients start to produce budgets so we can do more work in this area.

If you found the post useful please consider sharing it on your networks. If you fancy listening to a podcast I recorded recently, with Fiona Hughes, all about influencer relations, search “People Buy People” on your streaming app, or hit here.