Andrea Learned

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The Steady Drumbeat of Influencer Relations

Image focused on drumsticks beating in a marching band drumline

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/The Bassoonist12

I regularly allude to the fact that plenty of the organizations I come across seem to view social media as solely a numbers (followers! Likes!) or short-term, moment-owning game. And, not surprisingly, it’s never a fit for me to work with teams that have those sorts of expectations. Instead, I’m over here beating a drum about, well… the necessary steady drumbeat for effective influencer relations.

This piece by Raymond Morin inspired me to “put pen to paper” for this quick post. Morin delivers broad influencer relations wisdom here, but the two points that stuck out to me – with regard to my work in climate action and social impact – were:

Build long-term relationship with influencers”

Given my experience and my admittedly specific focus area, my take: It is inappropriate and uncomfortable to tag journalists out of the blue, the day you have an announcement. As professional communications folks, your team certainly knows it’s strategy for the coming year and can map the top 10 journalists or other influencers it’d like to ultimately reach. Why not start getting on their radars in more authentic ways, and much earlier on?

“Involve CEOs and management teams in social media strategies”

My take: Even when organizations are clear that they intend for their CEO or Executive Director to develop their social media skills, it quickly becomes clear that having a “bench” of other socially engaged leaders to play off of would be even more strategic. The individual “load” is lighter and the leadership can be spread much more widely.

In both cases, I could go on (contact me if you are in need of this sort of expertise). But, just these two key points should help you think about your digital platform building and influencer relations differently – and give you a detail or two to act on right away.

As you head into your next conference or report release, don’t think of the event as a one-off you want to make a big bang around. Instead, think of it as a great opportunity to leverage valuable content or critical information that will START the influencer relations process – all founded in smart, sustainable strategy.

Let that drumbeat go on.