This week on the PRmoment podcast, in anticipation of our Influence of Influence conference on 15 May, I interviewed Rax Lakhani, freelance PR and social media consultant, about the current state of influencer marketing.
Here’s a summary of what Rax and I discussed:
[00:01:30] Why Rax turned his back on full-time PR agency employment and became a freelancer.
[00:04:56 ] Why Rax believes PR agencies have become incredibly good at commoditising what they do.
[00:06:22] Why Rax worries that PR sector is not embracing influencer marketing enough and how he thinks PR firms are getting influencer marketing wrong.
[00:07:55] Why ad agencies have forced the term influencer marketing onto PR – and we've just accepted it.
[00:10:22] Why the word influencer has become such a broad term – it's become meaningless.
[00:13:37] Why the multiple points of influence that most of us have, means that paid influencer marketing has a limited impact.
[00:14:13] Why Rax finds it offensive when influencers self define themselves as influencers.
[00:16:37] Why there is now no such thing as a YouTuber – all the channels are interrelated.
[00:18:51] Why PROs should have a different kind of relationship with influencers who are celebrities and those who are influencers because of their expertise.
[00:19:14] Why Rax believes PR should "overwhelmingly" never pay influencers.
[00:20:31] Why Rax believes PR should backtrack out of paid influencer campaigns.
[00:21:47] Why, bit by bit, Rax believes PR people are eroding and diluting the importance of what they do.
[00:22:16] Why margins are rubbish in paid media.
[00:23:38] Why, by entering the earned media space in influencer marketing, PR firms are devaluing their role.
[00:25:40] Why the increasing amount of regulation in the influencer marketing space should help earned posts.
[00:28:10] How to be good at influence relations, PR people have to be active to build relationships with influencers in that sector – there are no homogenous sector influencer lists; it depends on your brand, the age demographic, the target demographic, etc.
[00:29:24 ] How PR people have become too fixated on where and who influencers are – rather than how can we work with them.
[00:29:53] Why Rax uses none of the influencer mapping tools that are available.
[00:35:56] What are the influencer marketing KPIs that Rax recommends?
[00:39:09] Why the word ‘content’ annoys Rax.
[00:39:32] Why content is not king, it is merely a vehicle to help you reach your communications objectives.