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#FC16 | Sharon Flaherty On The Misunderstandings Of Influencers In Comms

Blog post   •   May 31, 2016 09:20 BST

At FutureComms16 on 15th June, Sharon Flaherty, the Founder of BrandContent and former Head of PR and Social at will be lifting the lid on how vloggers and bloggers want to work with brands.

Why have you chosen to discuss influencers?

Third-party endorsements are really important to how consumers see brands, particularly on blogs, YouTube and reviews. Millennials and the latest generation coming of working age – centennials – trust influencers more than brands themselves and often a brand website is the last place a customer will go when doing their product or service research, so it’s important brands work with influencers in the right way to drive them back to their owned platforms.

I believe it’s a really misunderstood area of communications. We’ve heard many horror stories about how influencers have been treated and approached by brands and agencies and the message is quite clear; they’re just not getting it right or getting the best out of influencers. Because of this, we’ve conducted research (primary) with a host of influencers to hear from the horse’s mouth what works and what doesn’t and we’ll be passing this eye-opening feedback on through our talk at the conference.

What are the key themes of your talk?

  • What influencers want
  • How to work with influencers effectively
  • Examples of mistakes brands and agencies make when approaching influencers
  • Why third-party content matters

Whose talks are you most looking forward to & why?

Polpeo - I am interested if they will simulate a real-time crisis we can all participate in?! Emma Gannon because she is super awesome and Northstar Ventures to get a bit of purpose in there too!

In your industry, what does the future of comms look like?

We’ll do less in terms of the amount of content we’re throwing out there and instead do better stuff. As an agency, we are currently advising our clients to keep coming back to the purpose of what they’re saying/doing/communicating as a way of making sure less ‘junk’ content is put out there and only to say something if it genuinely moves a story forward or adds value to their audiences lives not just for the sake of it. I think (and hope) we’ll see some of the braver agencies and brands start to do the same. It may mean less revenue for the agency (maybe not..) but it will definitely lead to better quality results and more engaged audiences.

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