Using PR Packages to Boost Your Influencer Marketing Efforts
Dr. Kelly McBride has an impressive 21 plus years of experience in the field of communications, which includes her background as a Pennsylvania public school district communication director, director of communications and media with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and press secretary to former Lieutenant Governor, Mark Singel.
During her work with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, she trained in media relations with the former Press Secretary, Mike McCurry, and even provided communication and media support for the 1996 presidential election. This incredible background set her up for success in her current role as the Director of Public Relations with Emerald Vines Media. This marketing PR company considers itself a boutique agency specializing in marketing spirits and wine companies. They are planning on expanding into some other types of products in the near future.
Currently, Dr. McBride is working on her book, which is all about social media theory. Her experience teaching social media helped her stay on top of the constantly evolving world of social media and kept her from having a steep learning curve when she transferred into her job doing marketing PR work with Emerald. Typical duties for Dr. McBride include hosting large PR events, like an upcoming public tasting in Florida and press releases.
How Does Emerald Vines Media Work with Influencers?
As is the case with most marketing budgets, you can’t afford to pay the Kylie Jenners of the world millions of dollars for each post, especially when you’re starting out. So, Dr. McBride instead looks at ways to entice people to try and market their product for them. For one of Emerald Vines Media’s clients, Silk Road Wines, she took an innovative approach: a stunning gold wine box.
This box did the trick! By targeting specific influencers, like Dallas Food Nerd, who have a niche audience, she was able to gain positive reviews for her client. She even added lights that sprung on when the box was opened to make it an extra impressive presentation. Inside the box, the influencers would find a branded wine glass, branded wine opened, a box of Godiva chocolates, and their beautiful bottles of wine. The Godiva chocolates are an incredibly thoughtful touch since few things go better with red wine than chocolate.
What is the Influencer Marketing Strategy?
The presentation of the PR box may sound nice. However, if you send these boxes to influencers with millions of followers, they may get lost among the elaborate and luxurious PR boxes they are used to getting. Emerald Vines Media targeted small and mid-sized influencers with target audiences that best fit their needs to avoid this conundrum.
Of course, Dr. McBride doesn’t expect influencers to be wowed by the idea of free products when so many companies are vying for their attention. To stand out from the crowd, she uses a unique hook to catch their attention.
Imagine getting an email with the subject line: How Would You Like An 8,000 Year Old Wine?
Thanks to her experience in public relations, Dr. McBride is used to needing to pitch and get people’s attention immediately, which helped her come up with this hook. Of course, the wine itself isn’t 8,000 years old, but the country (Georgia) it’s from is.
She saw immediate results with this email subject line. The rest of the email was simple – going over the origins of the wine and offering them a box of complimentary wine. There was never any mention of expecting anything in return. To date, they have gotten a fantastic response from people who mention their products on Instagram, TikTok, and even write blog reviews on their products.
Sending wine boxes to wine and spirit influencers is obvious, but sending it to food influencers is another excellent choice because they can share with their audience the best foods to pair with different wines. Some of Silk Road Wine’s drinks are also highly unique, like their amber wine or red wine that tastes like a peanut.
Overall, they were less focused on the data for this influencer campaign and were more interested in the honest feedback of influencers, both negative and positive. They were highly pleased with the positive feedback from the campaign and plan on continuing to work with influencers in this way.
Dr. McBride’s Advice for Smaller Companies Interested in Influencer Marketing
Her advice for smaller companies?
Don’t ask influencers for particular things, and don’t tell them what to write about or say. Just provide them with the necessary product, the information they need, and step back.
“Sometimes any publicity is better than no publicity.”
Believe in the product you’re representing and wait for honest feedback from influencers. It’ll probably be excellent publicity. Dr. McBride also sent handwritten thank you cards to everyone because she believes thanking people is crucial in building long-term, loyal relationships with influencers. She also plans to keep these initial influencers on her radar as the company continues to grow and reward them with bigger opportunities.
Things that she plans on changing for next time include using a fulfillment company to put together the boxes and send them out for them. A fulfillment company can save them a lot of time putting together the boxes and mailing them out.
They are also planning on expanding their sales staff quite a bit, in both Texas and Florida, where they are growing the company. They are also expanding their portfolio in both states, working with central markets on their grilling season, and developing how many clients they work with.
She also continues to ask influencers to stop and take a moment to work with smaller companies so that they have the opportunity to grow and you to grow with them. There are so many benefits for both influencers and small companies that choose to work together, especially as both sides grow.
As a whole, companies should look to use influencers of all sizes and in different backgrounds – you may be surprised. And influencers should try to give other companies that aren’t big names a chance – you may also be surprised at the product and the opportunities you gain as they grow. Loyalty is a beautiful thing for both sides that can change the game.