Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular as a marketing and PR strategy. The market is estimated to be worth $2 billion in 2017 and set to reach $10 billion by 2020.

It makes sense that it falls within PR’s wheelhouse, as working with journalists shares some similarities with reaching out to influencers.

Public relations professionals are skilled at building relationships, and that’s the common thread tying media and influencer outreach strategies together. They’re both effective at getting your messages out and raising visibility.

It’s important to factor in both as you plan your messaging and outreach strategy so that you can ensure they’re supporting—and amplifying—each other.

There are cases in which journalists and bloggers can be considered social influencers. On the other hand, some influencer partnerships can be newsworthy. It’s figuring out how best to tie it all in together.

Think About the Hook and the Angle

Stephan Spencer, co-author of The Art of SEO, says that in both instances, you need a hook and an angle.

“Whether you’re reaching out to a journalist or an influencer, you need an angle – and you need to have a hook. The subject line needs to have something mysterious, intriguing, surprising or counterintuitive, but the content needs to deliver on that promise, with substance to back it up.”

Consider the Approach Before Choosing the Influencer

Benjamin Trinh, head of influencer and marketing strategy at Postmates who worked with Post Malone on a campaign which drove earned media success for the brand at Coachella, suggests thinking about how you can find ways to garner earned media coverage before you consider what influencers you want to bring on board.

“We were able to achieve the traditional goals of influencer marketing by making PR our goal and creating buzz-worthy and shareable moments, all while spending less than we normally would have for the same reach and impressions,” Trinh said.

The Mix of Tools and Messaging Matters

While some of the tools and messaging will remain the same, the mix matters. “That’s the art of it,” says Frank Strong, founder and president of Sword and the Script Media.

And he says that both require a human touch to be successful. “It’s not all about the technology,” says Strong.

How to Integrate Elements in a Combined PR and Influencer Campaign

How can you align PR and influencer campaigns? Here are some ideas:

1) Invite them to events: Perhaps you’re planning a major launch event. In addition to inviting journalists to attend, invite your influencers. If there are opportunities to share photos and video taken at the event, all the better for influencers, as they look for things to post on their social media feeds.

To read an example of how melding media outreach with influencer outreach can be successful, see this success story from freelance communications strategist Tiffany Woo.

2) Host an influencer at your facility: You know how you’d invite a journalist in for the day to meet with executives and tour your headquarters? You can use the same tactic with influencers.

Set up an exclusive experience for them. Again, the visual opportunities are key, as influencers love to share visuals on their feeds.

3) Include them in your reviews campaign: If you’ve prepared a media kit to send out to your list of targeted reporters with a product, why not send that same package to your key influencers?

While not all of them will open and share what’s inside, some may – and that can result in social media posts that can benefit your brand.

4) Incorporate influencers into your media list: Using a tool like Meltwater, you can research influencers at the same time you’re digging into media research. It’s easy to build a list that has both.

5) Content creation: Samsung’s work with YouTube sensation Casey Neistat is an example of a successful campaign that leveraged content creation.

Samsung has said they work with Neistat, not because of his status as an influencer but because he’s a creator who meshes well with their brand. This partnership has garnered articles in publications like Adweek, Fast Company and many others.

Combine Influencer Marketing with Public Relations for the Win

Combining these two elements can give your PR campaigns a boost if you align your efforts and map to the shared business goals you’re trying to achieve.

And if you’re interested in investing in a platform to support your influencer relationships, we can help.