As the media landscape changes, so too must PR professionals’ research approach. We used to live and die by Cision, but nowadays that database only provides a fraction of what we need to create a solid, relevant media list. So, how do we find influencers to help tell our brand stories? Elementary, my dear SPMers! Please put on your Sherlock Holmes tweed and join me on a sleuthing adventure.
Step 1: login into Instagram
Step 2: identify hashtags that will connect you with your desired subject matter in a specific area (in my case it’s usually food-related in the DFW market)
Step 3: wade through all usage of your hashtag to see who is using it and if they would be a fit for your brands
*Often social influencers will tell you all you need to know in their bio. Those few sentences can help us decide whether or not they would be interested in our news.
Step 4: add in social influencers who are a fit into your overall media list and save for future use
Repeat Steps 2-4 as needed to compile a robust contact list
Step 5: pitch and build relationships with the next wave of influencers for your brand
Using this method, I was able to add some 40+ influencers to my media list in the DFW area for a local media tasting, and our team was able to secure more than 20 attendees for a local media tasting. Success!
I’ll be sure to keep this tactic in my toolbox for other markets and repeat the process often, since new influencers emerge regularly.