Great advice on how to measure return on PR project and programme investment

Great advice on how to measure return on PR project and programme investment

We all know that public relations gets results, but how can that be measured in financial terms? One of our clients, Beryl Oldham from Complete Learning Solutions, offers some great advice about measuring the financial return on investment in human resources activities.  Her advice holds equally as true for measuring PR's financial value...

Using key influencers a double-edged sword in PR campaigns

Key influencers - individuals who command a large, admiring public following - have been used by the public relations and advertising industries for decades and their power is growing.

In the 1950s, international cricketer Denis Compton’s slicked-back hair and film star looks made Brylcreem a huge brand. Today, Nespresso blazes the same trail with George Clooney.

However, using key influencers is not necessarily a recipe for success and careful consideration and planning is needed when identifying and engaging with them.

 The Internet and social media have radically changed the landscape with the rise of social media influencers (SMIs).

 They can be bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, Snapchatters or social media content creators.

What they have in common is a large, or key niche, online following.

A Twitter survey claimed 49 per cent of would-be purchasers sought SMI guidance and 40 per cent actually made a purchase after SMI guidance.

A survey of teens in the US found YouTube creators filled eight of the top 10 popularity spots.

There are macro and micro influencers.

Models Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid have a combined following of 77 million. They command up to $300,000 for a sponsor post while micro SMIs could earn just $50 per plug.

The key to using key influencers in your public relations campaign successfully is knowing which SMIs to target, how to get them on board and being able to gauge how far and where an influencer's promotion has spread.

So what are the rules for recruiting a useful SMI?

You need to take into consideration the following:  

Applicability: The influencer must have a significant following amongst your target audience/s. A company selling floor tiles, for example, would gain nothing from recruiting wellbeing influencers, despite their immense following.

 Reach: For a mass brand, size of following is important, whereas, an owner-operated floor tile company might not necessarily be seeking huge numbers, but might target an influencer who has a strong interior design following in the company's local area.  

 Character: The SMI’s persona must support the product. A floor tile company should not recruit an influencer followed for their living in a tiny house and extoling the virtues of non-extravagance in the home.

 Budget: Be prepared to pay influencerswith cash and/or perks – free products, travel, treats, etc. Results can be remarkable. A company in the US travel industry recruited an influencer couple with a big following. They financed their tour of Asia where they broadcast regular video blogs. The result; a 25 per cent increase in traffic to the firm’s website advertising packaged tours to Asia.

A word of caution

SMIs' impacts can be overhyped. Another survey found that despite social media, 70 per cent of people made purchases after a face-to-face recommendation by friends or colleagues.

There are also legal pitfalls. Under the New Zealand Fair Trading Act it could be illegal not to make it clear an SMI was receiving payment in cash or kind. PR companies and brand owners that organise campaigns posing as influencers could also be breaking trade regulations.

Misleading or deceptive attitudes expressed by an SMI also could be legally attributed back to the business concerned.

The world of social media influencers can be lucrative, but it requires thought, caution and guidance before plunging in.



Fake news: everybody can play a role in stopping it

A)   ‘Tourist bitten by massive crocodile after trying to take a selfie’

B)    ‘Trump offering one-way ticket to Africa, Mexico for those who want to leave’

 Which of these headlines is fake? This exercise may seem amusing but the alarming spread of fake news is not...

Shock, horror, probe finds PR should not equal propaganda

Spin doctors.  Propagandists.  Paid liars.  The more PR people rail against being tarnished with these tired clichés, the more defensive we sound.  Yet believe it or not, good public relations practitioners spend a lot of time behind the scenes promoting candour over propaganda...

Book now for our Media Training 101 workshops

Book now for our Media Training 101 workshops

Are you a business owner, spokesperson, subject matter expert or junior to mid level PR practitioner who would like to get a good grounding in how to successfully deal with the news media?  Join us for a half-day workshop that will give you hands-on tools, tips and experience for getting the results that your want when engaging with the news media...

Native advertising is here to stay: what this means for public relations

Native advertising is here to stay: what this means for public relations

Public relations consultants have been watching the news media's increasing move towards paid content with interest.  Does this development mean that media releases will become a thing of the past?  How best should the PR profession and our clients respond?  A panel of top news media leaders recently provided some valuable insights.

How to get the most from public relations when engaging with the media

How to get the most from public relations when engaging with the media

Dealing with the news media is a double-edged sword; hostile interview situations understandably fill many people with fear, yet positive media coverage and PR are powerful tools for strengthening reputations and brands. 

Despite the rise and rise of social media, traditional news media remains a key influencer, which is why strong media relations skills should continue to be an important part of any spokesperson’s public relations tool kit.

Employee communication handy hints: how to prevent your employees being treated like mushrooms!

Employee communication handy hints: how to prevent your employees being treated like mushrooms!

Are your employees being treated like mushrooms?  These employee communication handy hints will help to improve employee engagement, retain customers, and save time and money.