It is a question I get asked often in today’s world as a public relations professional. In fact, it seems to be one of the most popular topics of discussion across the industry right now.
Is it “better” to pitch a media outlet or a digital influencer?
The question was just asked on a recent webinar I attended, The Changing Nature of Media, hosted by TrendKite and BusinessWire. Fortunately, the hosts of the webinar, Chris Lightner, VP of Client Strategy at TrendKite and Stuart Dean, Vice President of Sales at BusinessWire, and I are in agreement on the answer to this question. And that answer is: neither one nor the other. That’s right, it is “better” to do BOTH. To effectively accomplish your goals as a brand in 2018, one must consider the entire changing landscape of communications. The truth is, in order to make an impact in today’s integrated age of media, you must not only pitch reporters but also partner with influencers. You must be doing both.
Why, you might ask? The reason for this is because we live in a fully integrated world. As such, your brand message needs to be fully integrated in order to truly make an impact. This is because your target audience is no longer only tuning into Channel 5 for 30 minutes of news at 8pm every night. No, in 2018, your target audience is scrolling through five different apps and reading multiple news sources – from The Boston Globe to Twitter Trends – all while double tapping a variety of content they like, and this is all just during the first 45 minutes of the day on the commute to work on the MBTA.
More importantly, I will dare to take the answer to this question one step even further. I will argue that not only should you be doing both, but your efforts in accomplishing both of these feats must be aligned and truly collaborative. It is not enough to have one team handling reporters and another, separate team handling digital influencers. One collaborative team should handle outreach with the same core messaging and goals in mind – to reach, engage and activate your target audience.
Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Check out our blog, The Rise of Influencer Marketing.