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September 27, 2018

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6 Things Publicists Can Learn From Influencers

Influencers and publicists have a lot in common. We both thrive on telling great stories and finding the right audiences for them. To all those who obsess over followers, photograph every meal, and do things purely “for the ‘gram,” we have nothing but love for you. In working with influencers, we’ve been reminded of a few universal lessons that have helped us create some of our best work.

You don’t sell stories. You tell them.

Say you’re promoting a product. A basic photo of a product is just not interesting to look at, no matter who posts it, or how many people follow them. Great social content tells a compelling story, whether it’s through a great photo that captures a moment or feeling, or a caption that we can relate to and appeals to our emotions. A successful PR campaign will do the same thing. Beyond simply stating the key message that you want to send out, you need to find the angles that audiences can relate to in order to make a real impact.

Numbers aren’t everything. 

There are a few metrics that clients and partners tend to hold above all else. For publicists, it’s media impressions. For influencers, it’s follower count. People tend to overlook the qualitative successes of their work. How did people engage after it was published? Did the piece generate discussion? What feedback did people have? Who shared it? Engagement, beyond counting likes, comments and click-throughs, can be eyeopening information for both influencers and publicists.

The conversation goes both ways.

Successful influencers do so much more than upload a post every now and then. The really great ones that have a strong rapport with their followers and who create the most engagement know that conversations are not supposed to be one-sided. Engaging followers in the comments, responding to questions, retweeting and sharing helps audiences develop a deeper connection. They make an impersonal post feel personal. Similarly, publicists need to be aware that press releases are only the beginning of the job. Following up with writers, speaking their language, sharing their published pieces, following their work outside of your own correspondence goes a long way to keep a great rapport going.

Diversifying your work makes it more appealing. 

Most popular influencers are not just on a single platform. Chances are that they have one primary platform but publish content in multiple places. They have Instagram and Twitter, but maybe they also create YouTube videos and write content for their blog or branded website. When working with brands, they actually offer an array of services that complement each other, making them more flexible and appealing to potential partners. At Touchwood PR, we specialize in publicity services and assist clients with event planning, social media strategy, sponsorship and other areas that relate to their overall promotional project.

Be creative. 

One of the great things about influencer marketing is that it’s easy to get creative. It doesn’t always have to be an ad or a product review. It could be a contest, or a video tour, or a make-up tutorial, or a recipe, or an account takeover, or one of another million creative ideas because social platforms are so versatile. Publicists can channel that creativity into their pitches to writers and producers. Some of the best editorial content we’ve worked on have been out-of-the-box ideas that were unique and memorable.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. 

Social media platforms update all the time. New platforms, features, trends and privacy policies are updated on a near daily basis. The most popular social media users are always quick to pick up on these changes and are unafraid of experimenting with them to keep their followers engaged. While the world of PR may still seem traditional in comparison to the rapidly evolving social media landscape, things are still changing. Publicists also need to adapt to the times and technology to stay relevant too.


PR, Social Media