Effective media relations starts with identifying online influencers. Communications professionals are tasked with one, two, or all of the following responsibilities:
a.) finding their influencers
b.) reaching out to those influencers to boost their brand
c.) becoming influencers themselves to act as a resource to their audience
The following two articles offer insights on how to achieve all three.
Jeff Bullas encourages communications professionals to find the right influencers, learn all you can and build excellent working relationships with them.
In 7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers, he lists industry awards and events, webinars, and social media groups as practical venues to discover influencers in your industry. Social tools like Klout can also be used to identify your most powerful influencers throughout multiple social media networks and measure the impact they have on your followers and other influencers.
Reaching Out to Influencers
Once you’ve identified your industry-specific influencers, Jeff Bullas shares methods to build your relationship with them. Help promote their involvements, whether they are charities, conferences or publications, and offer your assistance to get involved, Bullas counsels. Other ideas:
- Ask them questions on social media, through direct messages, at events or in forums.
- Share your content and ask their opinions.
- Share, comment and “Like” their work to show you respect their insights.
Becoming an Influencer
In How to Become an Authority in Your Field Ian Brodie asks how influencers achieve their pedestal in the first place.
None of the authorities would have dedicated the time and effort they did into becoming leading experts if they didn’t have a true passion for their fields. — Ian Brodie
Based on interviews with seven marketing influencers, Brodie concludes that to become an authority of your field, you must:
- Establish yourself in a tight niche
- Emit passion
- Dedicate yourself to mastering the field
- Develop a voice or position
The key: Influencers don’t say what people want to hear, they say what they believe in.