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Why Your Favorite Influencer Is Actually a PR Pro

Published on December 3, 2019, at 11:40 p.m.

by Carlyle Ascik.

It’s impossible to deny it — influencers are a hot topic in the communications industry. Marketing departments want to work with them, and consumers want to hear what they have to say, so it’s no surprise that their pristinely edited photos dominate our social media feeds. Upon first glance, it seems like these millennial thought leaders are living the easy life, but if you look a bit deeper, it is simple to see the hard work that goes into snapping a million-dollar shot or crafting a powerful post.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Public relations professionals everywhere should be taking notes — influencers are utilizing (and perfecting) essential PR practices with each post. Below are the top five reasons why your favorite online influencer is actually a public relations pro:

1. They are personal branding experts.
In a sea of influencers, a strong personal brand is the perfect way to differentiate oneself. Similarly, public relations professionals use branding to develop a clear and consistent image for their clients as they work to increase audience connections. By picking a signature color scheme or defining their voice, influencers are more easily spotted across media platforms.

2. They know how to engage an audience.
Public relations is all about telling stories that your audience wants to hear, and the same rings true for influencers and their followers. From YouTube videos and podcasts to Instagram stories and blog posts, successful influencers are experts at creating content that keeps their followers coming back for more.

3. They are excellent at forming partnerships.
Partnerships are essential for any influencer, but I’m not just talking about the ones that require them to put #ad at the end of each post. Just like PR pros, influencers can’t get much accomplished solo, so it is essential for them to form relationships with others in their industry. Strong influencers not only build a network within the community, but also collaborate to expand their personal followings.

4. They understand the importance of credibility.
There’s a reason that many consider influencers to be the radio hosts and news reporters of our generation. By building an authentic and open relationship with their followers from the ground up, influencers create a sense of trust with their audiences that most brands only dream of. This transparency mimics what public relations practitioners work to achieve for their clients through earned media, mission statements and more.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

5. They are social media specialists.
This may seem like a given, but influencers have mastered the art of social media. With the rise of social platforms, many organizations have struggled to perfect their presence across the variety of channels. Influencers take advantage of the customizable nature of social networks to better engage with followers and improve their content.

So, while influencers may seem to fall under the umbrella of marketing, they are also masters at their own personal public relations. As the influencer industry continues to expand and evolve, PR professionals and business executives alike should keep a watchful eye on these online tastemakers.

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