FIR Live #24: Hangout-On-Air panel discussion on influencer marketing

Our first FIR Live broadcast on the web in real time via YouTube took place on Saturday June 16 to address the topic of influencer marketing.

FIR hosts Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson led a discussion with an all-star panel comprising influential opinion leaders in the US and the UK:

We broadcast the discussion as a Google+ Hangout On Air, the newest version of Google’s video chat service on the Google+ social network, that lets you hold a public video discussion live via YouTube. A key feature of this new version is that it also makes a public recording of your session for viewing later, which you can do right here.

If you don’t see the video embedded above, watch it on YouTube or download the MP4 video file (148Mb).

Plus, as always, you can listen to the audio as an FIR podcast:

The lively – and, at times, passionate – discussion over nearly an hour embraced a wide range of topical issues concerning influence, influencer marketing and outreach, and more.

As Andrew Grill succinctly summarizes in his blog post about the event, he thinks it helped highlight some of the challenges facing marketers in finding influencers or advocates:

[…] One key take-way is the real need for education to dispel the myth that anyone with  a high influencer score is automatically valuable to a brand.  We need to go “beyond the score” to find out why someone is influential.  As David rightly stated, even with the tools available, you still need humans who know what they are looking for to make sense of the information you uncover.

The other key takeaway is that you as a brand or agency need to know exactly what your goal is before you even start the search for influencers or advocates.

We also discussed the need for PR firms and agencies to engage with and employ bloggers and influencers.

The hashtag #firlive was a focal point for many insightful comments and questions as people watched the live broadcast and contributed their thoughts on Twitter – increasingly the shape of interactive online events these days.

What do you think of the discussion? Will it help you be clearer about influencer marketing? Do you have an alternate point of view? Let us know your thoughts which we’ll share on FIR.

And stay tuned for news about the next FIR Live On Air.


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FIR Live is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)