27.04.18 / Posted by jirehconsult

PR has changed tremendously over these recent years, largely due to developments in technology. We are all pretty preoccupied with our phones all the time and social media has taken many of us over. Due to these changes, PR is no longer about writing press releases and speeches alone. The industry now has a broader spectrum to reach to the target audience. We can see that the demand to work with influencers is increasing. Easily, four out of five clients ask us to work with influencers.

Who are influencers? According to Cambridge Dictionary, an influencer is a person or group that has the ability to influence behaviour and opinions of others. In some ways, each of us can be an influencer. However, in communications and where brands and money are involved, the ‘influencersare people who are known to public and have the power to change perception via their social media outlets. In a way, influencers have largely supplant the role that traditional print media used to play in product or service promotion. For the A-listers, they have the attention of their followers, which translate into hundreds of thousands of likes in Instagram even if it is a picture of their broken sandals! I am serious! (and envious at the same time that their posts are so much more popular than mine ).

Brands are now changing their marketing strategy to conquer the online sphere. This is because working with influencers offer them fast coverage and public attention. However, it comes with a price. They have to stretch extra budget to pay influencers. Some brands are willing to spend thousands of Ringgit for just one post while some are not.

This is where the function of PR comes in. We have to consult client whether it is worth it to spend so much money on certain influencers or are there alternatives. As PR practitioners, we need to know the clients message and the target market intimately. There is no point to have 100 influencers posting on the brand if 90% of their followers are likely to be not the client’s target audience. For example, we don’t sell baby products via an 18-year-old influencer, right?

Being in PR, we have to be alert and analyze almost everything all the time. Most importantly, we have to make sure that the message that gets across will reach our intended audience. Although we have to respect the clients decision, if theres a need to stay firm with our advice, we have to do so. 

That is just being professional and having the clients interests at heart.

April 2018