Orla Kiely x Uniqlo (via @wishwishwish)

Influencer marketing – or good old fashioned PR?

In the olden days, or at least as long ago as 2005, the formula was simple: send out a press release to journalists and follow up with a phone call. Play it right and you’d see your client’s name in print. Timing and context were essential, plus the strength of your story, and the depth of your relationship with the journalist.

What’s changed? Very little actually. A good story presented to the right person at the right time will still be passed on, but the mechanism of presentation is completely different.

We no longer deal in press releases, but in the essence of an idea. And the “right” person is no longer necessarily a journalist, he or she is just as likely to be a blogger, a vlogger, a Viner or a Pinner. Or something else entirely. Or a mixture of things.

In October 2013, fashion brand UNIQLO teamed with hosted a Google Hangout with designer Orla Kiely, to mark the launch of a jointly produced collection. Kiely was interviewed by fashion blogger (and Tweeter and Instagrammer), Carrie Harwood, with five other bloggers joining via the live video feed.

The event (masterminded by agency iCrossing), was a great success, generating over 30 articles across fashion blogs and other publications, and helping achieve a 26% increase in year-on-year natural search revenue for UNIQLO.

In UNIQLO’s case, the secret to success wasn’t a carefully-crafted press release, but a one-off event, painstakingly planned, and fastidiously seeded across the fashion blogging community. (You can read more about it in this recent Guide to Influencer Marketing from Brandwatch.)

It was a good story presented to the right people at the right time. New technology maybe, but the underlying principles are old school.

Photo: UNIQLO x Orla Kiely (Wish Wish Wish)

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