Navigating The Media: Traditional Influencers vs. Non-Traditional Influencers / by Morgan Obidowski

Picture from: Lighthouse Insight

Influencers have a new meaning for the PR industry. While it’s hardly a new idea, PR pros are placing a greater emphasis on influencers in the digital age.

In our industry, we are always seeking out influential people to advocate on behalf of our clients, and due to today’s consumption of media, influencers have evolved. Today, PR pros can expect to find themselves in a constant mix of traditional and non-traditional influencers.  

Since the landscape of influencers is growing, Food Shelter wants to help you navigate how to best work with and what you need to know about current influencers:

Despite the similarities of traditional media and social media influencers, its important to recognize the differences between the two to help make decisions on who makes the most sense for your client.  

· Anyone can be an influencer today. If you want to write about a topic, you just do it. The great thing about having access to so many different digital age influencers is it allows you to grow relationships with the best people for their specific markets and industries.

· Information is less centralized then it used to be. Due to the spread of content across the Internet, PR professionals have to dig deeper to find contacts. Luckily, there are powerful tools to make it easier to spot influencers on the web.

· Not all influencers have a journalistic background. Digital age influencers won’t always understand the traditional interactions shared between the PR professional and the media. 

Traditional influencers and digital age influencers are pretty similar, and here’s why:

· We still need to find their niche – finding and following an influential blogger’s beat is just as important as a finding the beat of a journalist in the New York Times.

· They are opinion leaders and trendsetters. Influencers are the people who are always up to date on what’s current and are deemed as a credible and reliable source of information.

· Traditional influencers such as journalists and digital age influencers have the ability to reach mass amounts of people, and hold a great deal of power on how your client can be perceived.  

At the end of the day finding the right influencers in the digital age takes the same diligence and practice as traditional media, yet working with digital age influencers calls for PR professionals to be ready to enter new territory.