Panel 4 – Digital PR Summit – ID & Engage the Right Influencers

Panel 4 here.  2 more to go. Big news is that I won the raffle during this session and it’s Stephanie’s new book – Perspectives on Social Media Marketing (when I won, she said, “oh, you don’t need this, he’s a digital guy.”)

Cutting through the Clutter: How to ID and Engage with the Right Influencers

Panelist – Stephanie Agresta (Porter Novelli)

All things digital should be grounded in community.  Big shift in how “digital” has been thought about in the past.

The amount of time and effort that goes into this can’t be about the platform.  It’s understanding that we need to manage an ecosystem of relationships.

Showed their “Engagement Protocol” – Listen, Set Objectives, Asses Influencers, Define Participation/Content Strategies, Develop, Measure/Optimize.

Who owns SM – PR or advertising?  Some of the challenges for ad agencies is what it means to develop and manage things like editorial calendars.  PR also has advantage of being able to craft messages around different scenarios.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide case study – their community management started long before the “launch.”  Approach a combo of “influencers” and consumers.

Some of her favorite tools to find “influencers”/thought leaders –,,, and of course,

Panelist – Deirdre Sullivan (MWW) – consumers are no longer influenced by branded ads.

Users are now turning into valuable contributors.

There are a zillion conversations out there in many different communities.  How do you join the conversation?

1. Build social capital – present yourself as a trusted source/authority.

2. Become influential – if you want to attract other influencers, become one yourself.  Create content.  Speak your mind.

3. Develop strategic partnerships – you don’t have to “pay” to play.

Panelist – Heidi Sullivan (Cision)

You must be able to understand which “influencers” are most appropriate for your brand/industry.  Not all influencers are created equal.  It’s not necessarily the number of eyeballs, but the impact within that community.  As you look for influencers, it’s important to look beyond “followers.”

Her 5 key steps to ID’ing, finding the right influencers:

1. ID your keywords

2. It’s all about RESEARCH – more and more agencies are beefing up their research staff.

3. Do the math – Web analytics + social analytics.

4. Map your results – it’s more than just their “followers.”

5. Engage – build that relationship! Rule of 1/3 – 1/3 is about you, 1/3 is conversation/engaging, 1/3 is social karma (find other articles you like, retweet their stuff) – (I don’t do a good job of the conversation/engaging part – gotta work on that!)

Panelist – Kellie Parker (Sega – Community Manager)

Been doing community for 10 years now.  She works w/ PR & marketing within Sega.  Most of the time, it’s the same content, just framed/said differently, depending on audience.

Measuring return on “new” marketing is about measuring more of the intangible vs. the tangible.  Big shift.

It’s important to evaluate your current measurement tools.  Do you know how to use them?  If not, get a hold of the vendor and ask them questions.  They probably have webinars.

Questions – how many people do you have working in your SM dept?  Kellie – there are 3 of us.  Have a staff member in London.  Helps for time zones.  They’re active 2/3 of the day, which is a great advantage.  Small, scrappy team.

Question – a lot of times there is no one on the client side who is an advocate and not willing/able to run communities, what’s your perspective on “selling” it in to the client and managing the community?  Stephanie – from a community management perspective, there are CM’s on staff, fully disclosed as PN staff.  Ideally, there is someone on the agency side who can own, or halfway own, community management.  There can be a hybrid, too.  From thought-leadership perspective, you can always partner with SM influencers – have them guest blog for instance.  Approach from content-management, story-telling perspective.

Question – What’s your view on sentiment analysis on listening platforms?  Kellie – it’s good and bad.  Quick look, finger on the pulse.  You’ve really got to go into the conversations and see what the real sentiment is – if you want to do a good job of managing the community.  Understanding this can even affect business b/c you learn what people like/don’t like and then can filter than information back to the right people in the organization.

2 thoughts on “Panel 4 – Digital PR Summit – ID & Engage the Right Influencers

  1. dominique

    “All things digital should be grounded in community”. I love this sentence so much that I’m gonna tweet it ;-)

    That’s to me why social media monitoring is a wrong approach for marketing (it’s great for customer support).
    What we recommend is
    #1- Build a strategy ( what is your target community and what objectives in these communities)
    #2 Listen, Analyse & Understand
    #3 Engage with the right influencers and in the right communities

    To illustrate what we mean by communitie, here is a lint to our top 150 influencers from the social media marketing community:

    I would be very happy to exchange on the “how to find the right influencers” !


  2. Mike Cearley Post author

    Thanks Dominique. Yes, that’s a great line, credited to Stephanie Agresta from Porter Novelli. I think “influencers” are a funny thing. Yes, they’re important, but one thing we’re doing is asking ourselves, “can we find those who are passionate about X and make them influential?” Big difference between being an influencer and one who is passionate about something. BTW – your list is good. I have the privilege of working with a couple of those people. Thanks for reading!

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