In the fast-paced, content-sharing, ever-expanding world of Web 2.0, one of the big challenges for PR practitioners is being able to locate the right audience.
Mass social platforms such as Facebook may be handy to broadcast a message, but niche online communities of blogs and forums are a more valuable and effective way of reaching a desired audience.
It’s about focusing on people or organisations with influence and authority, and when it comes to influence, look no further than the world of fashion, or more specifically, fashion-blogging. No industry has embraced social media quite like the fashion industry, as PRCouture comments, “the world is consuming fashion in a totally different way”.
One example of successfully utilising fashion-bloggers in a PR campaign was the 2011 launch of Spanish superstore ZARA in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Instead of publishing content on their website or Facebook page in the hope it would reach the right audience, they targeted Melbourne fashion-bloggers with a significant online following, such as Stylezilla, Raww and Fashionising to promote and publicise the store opening. Zara had the bloggers attend the launch, preview styles, and take plenty of photos, and it was ensured that the content would reach the right people.
Channeling a message through bloggers is clever and effective as, not only are they powerful influencers, but as Dierdre Breakenridge states, they provide an audience with “deeper perspective, more insight… their followers highly value the information they share, trust them and feel like they know them”.
So whilst the rise of social media has brought with it an array of possibilities for PR, the two-way style of interaction with audiences should be used wisely: the challenge is to not only communicate messages, but listen carefully to maintain awareness of a public’s influencers.
Fashion-blogger Micah Gianneli at the Zara Melbourne launch.