Every brand under the sun wants influencers to act as ambassadors, but as with any partnership, the right fit is key. Communications professionals need to be aware not only of their own goals when reaching out to potential influencers, but of the needs and goals of their target influencers as well. And influencers should have more than a large following—they should be able to lend an authentic voice to your brand's story. But how to find the right match?
John Walls, director of brand PR, luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton Worldwide, makes use of influencers regularly, and notes that authenticity is all about understanding potential influencers' aesthetic and tone. He says, "If you go to a regular Instagrammer for fashion advice...you know their specific eye...They have a certain tone that you’re kind of gravitating towards. It’s very obvious, very quickly if there’s forced content in that type of channel."
At PR News' Media Relations Conference in December, Walls spoke about influencer relations in the digital era. Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media, interviewed Walls following his session (below), exploring the process behind Hilton's influencer recruitment and the importance of landing authentic influencers.
Video courtesy of D S Simon Media
Follow Doug: @DSSimonDoug
Follow John: @whereswalls