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Two Perennial Truths About Online Influencers

Two Perennial Truths About Online Influencers

Working with public relations professionals, I’m frequently asked about pitching online influencers and how that differs from traditional journalists.

Though my advice has evolved over the years based on the continual evolution of the blogosphere, there are some things that remain the same. In fact, there are two truths I come back to again and again that any online professional should know:

1. Not All Online Influencers Are Bloggers (And Not All Bloggers Are Online Influencers)

Particularly when dealing with issues rather than products, influencers can and should be defined as anyone that can sway the opinions of others.  When it comes to the online space, there are plenty of examples of influencers in non-blogging platforms like Twitter, Message Boards and even on Social Bookmarking sites.  The ways you can approach these influencers are VERY different than the way you would approach a journalist.

2. Not Every Online Influencer Wants To Get Paid

If you’ve been in the online PR space for any length of time you have heard tales of Mommy Bloggers and how much they command in terms of payment for their cooperation.  Though there are plenty of examples that prove this stereotype valid, there are plenty of other online influencers that don’t do what they do for money.

In most cases, they exist because of a higher cause which is GREAT news for certain clients.  As long as we can understand what motivates them and then create adequate content and pitches that speak to their needs, they are not only cost effective but also very much a valuable part of your public relations offense.

Perhaps these truths are more self-evident than they may seem.  Honestly though, if you’re a PR professional, these are two things you probably want to keep in mind, if only to remind you of going back to the basics.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Elvert Barnes

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