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What We Learned from OCPRSA’s 2019 Meet the Influencers Event

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The 2019 OCPRSA Meet the Influencers event, “Inside Tips, Best Practices and Winning Campaigns,” attracted a standing-room only crowd to the Lincoln Experience Center at Newport Beach Fashion Island last Thursday. Lisa Jammal, founder of Social Intelligence Agency, moderated the discussion, which featured Brittany Charnley, creator of The Cool Hip Mom blog, Lindsay Luv, celebrity DJ, blogger and sound designer and actress, AnnaLynne McCord, actress, Human Rights activist and President of Together1heart.

When it comes to picking a social media platform to tell their stories, all three are fans of Instagram, but recommended to gravitate where your target audience is. Lindsay Luv uses Instagram primarily. During the music and arts festival SXSW, Luv spent more time on Twitter because that’s where the conference demographic was spending more time.

Admittedly, they make their money putting their best foot (and face) forward, but all three applauded the rising popularity of campaigns and posts that celebrate “real life:” a face without makeup, sharing insecurities, and just “being themselves.” Brittany Charnley’s favorite campaign was with Bouqs, which asked her to share her day as part of a “Real moms, real flowers” series. Rather than sending her their product, the company assigned custom bouquets to each influencer’s story. Every purchase of a custom bouquet sent money to No Kid Hungry. “It was charitable, passionate, I was fully creative, and it was nice because they (Bouqs) did research on their end,” Charnley said. This leads us to the first of six top takeaways:

  1. Collaboration not transaction

When influencers feel like they’re working with the public relations or marketing team and not just for them, it enables the influencers to be themselves. Their posts are authentic, and influencers want to do a good job because they feel like PR professionals and marketers care about their opinions. “We all have stories and want to work in a way we can tell our story,” Luv said.

  1. Make the experience unique

AnnaLynne McCord gushed over a Lululemon event that brought together several brands around fitness and wellness in one spot: clothing, breath coaching, IV drips, B12 shots, fitness trainers. “It was a nice collaboration with smaller brands into a larger one,” McCord said. “It’s something I love that allowed me to educate myself on other things. I met other brands, and they want to work with me separately. It was a very clever way to do it. I was having such a great time, I did more (than I was paid to do) because it was such a great experience.”

  1. Don’t force a match

Research your influencer – not just the number of followers and friends. Do they engage with their followers? Check their posts – do their stories reflect your brand and target audience? “Look at their Instagram and their writing style. Does it match your client’s? Fresh? Vibrant? Colorful? Does it match your audience?” Charnley asked.

  1. Don’t just go for the “name.”

As an international DJ and sound producer, Luv remembers a time when clients started using celebrity kids who also dabbled in the trade, because of the cache of their names. But when the skills didn’t match the name, clients realized they had the best of all worlds with Luv, who has the social media following and the skills to put on a great show.

  1. Make it easy

How do you want to be contacted? Calls? Text? Email? Can we do your community engagement for you? Want us to draft some posts complete with hashtag research so you can just copy and paste? Ask these questions!

  1. Metrics matter

They inform what worked, when it worked, who it worked with.

For more on upcoming OCPRSA events, check out https://www.ocprsa.org/events/.

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