Leanna Kruk, Account Director
Ask any PR agency professional about their last consumer-facing client campaign…and I bet it included working with bloggers or influencers. As many in our industry can relate, the media landscape has officially changed. The rise of the blogger and influencer is here – they are smart and savvy and know their worth. What qualifies someone as a blogger or influencer? For bloggers, they have their own blog site, or contribute to a blog site, along with other writers to review and highlight products, brands, experiences, events, etc. An influencer may not have a blog site per se, but they conduct the same reviews via social media and have followers that engage with them on those platforms. At Brookline, we work across many industry sectors and often clients are looking to align their brands with communication channels that can speak more directly to their customers or audience. Enter the blogger/influencer.
So, what makes this group so effective? Well, they have followers, followers that listen and react. They also have a special connection to their followers and they take extraordinary pride to ensure they are always considering what their audience is looking for. Most bloggers and influencers that we work with are keen to engage with us because we have cultivated great relationships and we understand what is important to them when representing a brand or client. Of course, there have been some fundamental learnings we’ve picked up along the way. Here are the top four items to expect in your next blogger/influencer campaign:
- Manage client expectations – This is key. Yes, working with bloggers and influencers is fun and exciting and you get to see your brand or product come to life through their words and images, but not all may want to work with your brand. Some may have pre-existing conflicts with other brands that will automatically diminish your chance of working with that blogger. From an agency standpoint, it’s always a good idea to vet bloggers and influencers before mentioning them to your client so you get a sense if the partnership will work.
2. Manage budgets – The blogger/influencer group is here to stay, and they know that they are an effective messenger to consumers. They spend the time and money to maintain their site and to blog or post via their social networks and a fee needs to be associated with that time commitment. For many that we speak with, they also take immense pride in maintaining a certain visual look to posts and images and that can cost money as well. Not all bloggers/influencers will look for an outright payment; some value experience based opportunities or products in lieu of payment. This is a tactic that we have successfully used when working with this group.
3. Set parameters – When starting the engagement process, we find it helpful to set clear parameters on what is expected both with our client and with the blogger/influencer. Sometimes a contract is even put in place to ensure that both parties are clear on what the payment or experience will include and when the expected blog should be posted.
4. Prepare for your campaign – Similar to working with traditional media, bloggers and influencers appreciate access to information and images to enhance their posts. Providing them with key messages or high-resolution images will ensure that their posts reflect the brand and the targeted campaign messages.
If you haven’t worked with bloggers or influencers in the past, it really is an exciting time to involve them in your intended outreach strategy. They bring an unmistakable grassroots approach that can’t be mimicked through other strategies. Make sure to incorporate the above suggested tips the next time you work with bloggers and influencers and you’ll be on the receiving end of a successful, multi-faceted client outreach campaign.
Leanna Kruk is an Account Director at Brookline Public Relations and brings a vast amount of experience in planning and executing successful integrated communications plans, including work with bloggers and influencers. Leanna brings value to her clients by always providing out-of-the-box, dynamic, thoughtful, strategic campaign ideas. Her ability to motivate her team comes from her passion for communications and the clients she represents.