Who Are Your PR Influencers Today, Tomorrow?

by coach on November 17, 2010

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Who are PR's critical influencers?

According to a new Forrester Research report, online influencers are about to get a lot more influential in the near future. This has important implications for public relations professionals and we have 12 influencer tips and resources to help you navigate the possibilities in this third of our five-part PR & Social Media series.

In a new report Fight Social Media Stagnation, Forrester analyst Augie Ray says we’re nearing “social media saturation.” As social media use plateaus, he argues new strategies will become critical. Among them, Ray suggests, we will need to “Plan a rich content strategy around your target audience’s key behaviors to unleash advocates, foster more user-generated content (UGC), and build trust.”

In other words, we can’t expect to create or have new influencers emerge as we reach saturation. We’ll need to work carefully to enrich our existing relationships and connections to influencers as part of our efforts to build trust with other important stakeholders.

Stewart Baines explores the concept further in his post As Social Media Growth Stagnates, Companies Need to be More Engaging. He notes Forrester’s estimate that 58% of US online adults use or visit social networking sites each month.

Baines cites the fact that “Eighty percent of the influence impressions and posts about products and service come from just 23% of consumers in the US.”

These are the “creators” that experts point to as impacting public opinion, setting trends and sharing the next shiny new things. They’re among that important core of influencers that we will need to reach and engage with in our role as communication leaders.

For PR pros there are several best practices that will become even more important in the future:

  • monitoring both traditional and social media
  • listening to and analyzing this information
  • identifying influencers, creating and maintaining close relationships with them
  • actively engaging with key influencers, media, communities, customers and other important stakeholders
  • anticipating trends, setting goals, creating Ray’s “targeted content and engagement strategies” and communicating appropriately for results.

Download HubSpot’s free ebook, “How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day

We’ve gathered a list of 12 valuable articles below to help you gain perspective, develop new ideas and simply be more informed about social media and online influencers.

For example, Andrea Weinfurt looks at journalists and influencers and finds similarities in their objectivity and ability to build trust. Deirdre Breakenridge examines what makes an influencer and Sally Falkow answers the question: Who are Those Pesky Influencers? Valeria Maltoni weighs in with Why and How Influence Works.

Edelman Digital shares 10 free online tools to help you identify influencers. Learn how to select them from Ben Cotton, how to influence social media influencers by Russ Hudgens, Susan Young’s 15 ways and Sam Rosen’s incredible 60 tips to increase your own online influence. There’s some really great reading!

Let us know in our comments section what you think about PR’s role in social media and how you’re working to reach out to and keep relationships strong with “influencers.”

You can read three others in our five part PR & Social Media series: Future of PR? 99 Super Tips to Take You ‘Social’ (Pt 1),  PR Fail: ‘Cooks Source’ Stirs Up Crisis PR Broth (Online Crisis Management – Pt 2) and 17 Fabulous Facebook Strategies for PR Pros (Pt 4).

For more on Strategic PR or Social Media & Public Relations, drop into the PR Library as well. It’s our favorite part of the library but remember to browse quietly, no talking and don’t chew gum or you’ll risk the wrath of our no-nonsense librarians.

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

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Who Are the Critical PR Influencers?

10 Free Tools to Identify Online Influencers [Edelman Digital]
15 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Influence: Highlights from the Influencer Project [Get in Front Communications]
60 Ways to Increase Your Influence Online [CopyBlogger]
Are Journalists and Influencers Two Separate Groups? [CisionBlog]
Experience Has Nothing to Do with Your Social Media Status [Twist Image]
How to Influence Social Media Influencers [Quick Online Tips]
If Influence is Not Popularity, How Are “Who to Follow” Recommendations Influencing You [Blog Brevity]
Selecting Online Influencers? Here’s 10 Things to Consider [Social Web Thing]
The PR Influencer [Deirdre Breakenridge]
The Social Media Influencer [Big Is the New Small]
Who are Those Pesky Influencers?
[Infocom Group]
Why and How Influence Works [Conversation Agent]

Photo credit: theparadigmshifter

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