Arik Hanson offered up a theory on his excellent PR and communications blog Friday. His theory is that older public relations professionals, "completely detests and doesn't trust the influencer culture." He then proceeded to prove the theory with fairly trustworthy facts and statistics, convincing me it's more than a theory.
The key statistics he used to illustrate the problem were ones I'm very familiar with as I, too, used them in Winfluence - Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand. He pointed to the Edelman Trust Barometer and PR industry research from Cision and PR Week. The Edelman information I report in the book is, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, 58 percent of Americans have admitted to purchasing a product based on discovering it through an online influencer. Arik shared similar stats.
Then he cited the Cision and PR Week data surveying public relations and media relations professionals. When asked how much of their PR efforts are focused on mainstream media versus influencers, three out of four—74 percent to be precise—said mainstream media. When's the last time you saw data that indicated media coverage of a product or service led to someone purchasing it?
Instead of just posing my own reactions to Arik's wonderful piece, I called him up and we chatted about it on a special episode of Winfluence - The Influence Marketing Podcast. I played devil's advocate a bit just so we could gut-check both his and my assertions and assumptions, but I think you'll enjoy the discussion and the "what now" ideas we came up with.
Find Arik Hanson's original piece over at ACH Communications where he blogs. You can connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn as well. Oh, and Arik co-hosts a pretty darn good communications podcast along side Kevin Hunt of General Mills called The Talking Points Podcast. You should subscribe
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