The growth & importance of digital in PR & an insight into the world of Harrods PR
I rarely work on the automotive side of the business unless I’m helping out with an event or participating in brainstorms however, Anne-marie and I were invited to fly the Nobull flag at the recent MIPAA AGM. Attending the event wasn’t totally irrelevant to me as the guest speaker was Lauren Stevenson, Head of Communications for the world’s most famous store, Harrods.
I was extremely excited to hear what Lauren had to say and to find out some PR secrets and insider knowledge into the world of Harrods. Being head of PR and communications at Harrods comes with a wealth of responsibility, although Harrods PR is managed in-house, I can imagine it’s rather like working in an agency as the store has so many departments.
One of the most intriguing things we learnt from Lauren is that she treats bloggers, journalists and editors equally (risky business, right?), Lauren recognises the importance of bloggers, although to the print world bloggers may not be as well established, in the digital world they are worshipped by and have millions of social media followers, all you have to do is look at fashion blogger Danielle Bernstien’s, founder of the blog We Wore What, Instagram and her incredible 455,911 followers and compare that to Elle magazine’s editor, Leah Cherikoff's diminutive 2,567 followers.
Bloggers have become some of the most influential writers in the world; most bloggers have a bigger digital influence than magazine editors. Bloggers have become so influential and significant due to the fact they can say anything they like about, well, anything they like! The information bloggers pass on is a reflection of how they truly feel about what they’re writing about, making what they have to say authentic and credible.
I didn’t quite realise the power and influence bloggers had until I began working at Nobull. Nobull recognised the importance of bloggers when social media truly began to take off and created a blogger outreach programme which I have continued to expand since working here.
By working closely with bloggers they can become brand ambassadors, rather than brands targeting consumers, the bloggers (who are seen as “regular people”, unlike journalists) begin to target people (the consumer) who has much more authentic influence, hence the birth of “H2H” (human to human) marketing. Blogging has now become the new “word of mouth” and can heavily influence purchasing decisions.
Research from BlogHer has shown that 81% of the online population trusts information and advice they get from bloggers and that 61% have made a purchase based on a blogger’s recommendation.
By Olivia Sealy