Influencer PR - How to Meet PR and Influencer Marketing

Influencer PR: How to Meet PR and Influencer Marketing

As the PR landscape evolves rapidly, traditional PR agencies are also adapting and evolving. In this article, we leverage our experience to explore how agencies and influencers collaborate. We also discuss how influencer PR can seamlessly merge PR and influencer marketing to authentically connect your clients’ brands with their audiences. Keep reading!

What Is an Influencer?

An influencer is someone who can sway the opinions, behaviors, and buying choices of others because of their expertise, authority, or connection with their audiences. 

In recent years, influencers have discovered they could turn their influence into a source of income, giving rise to influencer marketing, one of the fastest-growing segments in marketing. However, the rapid growth led to an oversaturation of influencers across different levels of expertise, causing the term to acquire a somewhat negative connotation. While the term “influencer” is still widely used, “content creator” has emerged as a more fitting label for people who produce impactful content.

Influencers vary in type and popularity, often recognized solely for their online presence. However, beyond the digital realm, they play an important role offline and can be valuable assets for traditional PR agencies. 

Content creators often engage in public speaking at events, and workshops, collaborate with traditional media platforms such as TV, radio, and magazines, and serve as brand ambassadors across different industries such as fashion, beauty, travel, and others.  

One should also remember that offline activities often complement online engagements. They showcase the various ways in which influencers can enrich marketing and PR strategies. 

What Is an Influencer

What Is Influencer PR, and How Does It Differ from Influencer Marketing?

Influencer PR and Influencer marketing, while often confused and used interchangeably, are separate strategies.

Influencer PR is the strategic use of influencers to shape public perception, increase brand awareness, and drive online and offline engagement.. It is a form of public relations.

Influencer PR is focused on: 

  1. Relationship building
  2. Reputation Management
  3. Storytelling and content creation
  4. Long-term brand-building

Influencer marketing, on the other hand, involves collaborating with individuals who have a strong social media following. Its primary purpose is to promote products or services (usually online) as part of a brand’s marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing is more about: 

  1. Social media
  2. Paid partnerships
  3. Product placement
  4. Short-term campaigns

Why Should a Traditional PR Agency Collaborate With  Influencers?

In 2017, RLM PR proved that influencers increase participation, engagement, consideration, and purchase intent compared to celebrities and paid spokespersons.

We launched a campaign for #paid where we backed up this claim with data from a #Paid-sponsored Nielsen study, which highlighted the superior performance of influencer content, especially in scenarios involving significant budgets. 

As of today, the global influencer marketing market is valued at $21.1 billion, more than triple its 2019 value. In 2023, 78.6% of large U.S. corporations planned to use influencers in their marketing strategies, and 89% of those already using influencer marketing intended to increase or maintain their investment.

Collaborating with influencers can offer several benefits to a traditional PR agency:

  1. Extended reach: Influencers have a dedicated following, allowing traditional PR agencies to tap into new audiences and expand their reach beyond traditional media channels.
  2. Credibility and trust: Influencers often have established credibility and trust with their followers, making their endorsements more authentic and influential compared to traditional advertising.
  3. Engagement and interaction: Working with influencers can help increase content participation which also drives higher levels of interaction and engagement.
  4. Content creation:  Influencers are skilled content creators, providing PR agencies with high-quality and engaging content that can be repurposed across various channels both off and online.
  5. Brand advocacy: Collaborating with influencers can turn them into brand advocates, helping to build brand awareness, credibility, and loyalty.
  6. Innovation and trend awareness: Influencers are often at the forefront of trends and innovations, providing PR agencies with insights into the latest industry developments and consumer preferences.

Cooperating with Influencer Marketing Agencies: A Win-Win

Joining forces with influencer marketing agencies can be a win-win situation for both parties. 

First, it can help PR companies use their marketing skills to find suitable influencers for campaigns. This helps PR agencies not only grasp the importance of influencer collaborations but also how to incorporate them into their PR tactics.

On the other hand, PR agencies help influencer marketing agencies like #paid by enhancing their PR strategies. 

In the above -mentioned example, we effectively promoted the #paid’’s CEO and CSO and secured thought leadership coverage nationwide, featuring key players in trade magazines, and included influencer profiles and expert comments to boost visibility.

Why Should You Separate Influencer Relations and Media Relations Positions in Your PR Agency?

Having an influencer relations position is becoming more and more important for PR agencies. We suggest having separate roles for Influencer relations and Media relations. 

Media relations deals with building relationships with journalists, editors, reporters, and other members of the media. The key functions include:

  1. Creating and distributing press releases to journalists.
  2. Pitching story ideas and arranging interviews with media outlets.
  3. Managing media inquiries and coordinating press conferences or events.
  4. Monitoring media coverage and handling any negative publicity or crises.

Influencer relations focuses on building and maintaining relationships with influencers, who are individuals with a significant following on social media platforms. The main functions of the Influencer relations position include:

  1. Identifying relevant influencers for a brand or campaign.
  2. Establishing partnerships and collaborations with influencers to promote products or services.
  3. Managing influencer campaigns and tracking their performance.
  4. Monitoring and analyzing the impact of influencer collaborations on brand awareness and engagement.

Why They Need to Be Separate:

  1. Different skill sets: Influencer relations professionals need expertise in social media, influencer marketing, and content creation. Media relations specialists require strong writing skills, media contacts, and crisis management abilities.
  2. Target Audience: Influencer relations professionals typically interact with a younger, tech-savvy audience and create lists of influencers. On the other hand, media relations experts focus on journalists and news outlets, managing lists of media professionals.
  3. Content Creation vs. News Coverage: Influencer relations involve creating sponsored content with influencers. Media relations focus on securing news coverage and editorial mentions in traditional media.
  4. Relationship Building: Building relationships with influencers differs from building relationships with journalists. Influencers may require more personalized communication and ongoing engagement strategies.
Relationship Building

Tips to Use Influencer PR as a Tool to Enhance PR Efforts

Influencer PR can be a powerful tool used to amplify a brand’s message. Here are some ways, based on our experience, to integrate it into a PR strategy:

  1. Form long-term partnerships with influencers to support your goals: This can include brand ambassadorships, sponsored content, or co-creating content for PR campaigns. Long-term PR strategies help build and maintain a positive reputation, benefiting your client’s brand.
  2. Leverage influencers for offline events:  If your client hosts or participates in industry events, invite influencers to cover them. Their live updates, experiences, and promotion of key messages can create buzz, increase visibility, and amplify your PR efforts.
  3. Work with master storytellers: Creators excel at producing authentic content that conveys a brand’s values, mission, and unique selling points.
  4. Manage crises with the help of influencers:  Established relationships with influencers can be invaluable during setbacks. Together, you can communicate information, address concerns, and counter negative narratives.
  5. Trust the influencers’ expertise: They tend to stay current and understand what content resonates best with different audiences. Don’t just give them briefs; collaborate and brainstorm ideas together.

Wrap Up

By leveraging the authenticity and reach of influencers, PR agencies have an unprecedented chance to effectively shape narratives, build lasting brand equity, and forge meaningful connections with their target audiences.

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