Many PR agencies are afraid of adopting technology and analytics which will hold them back when it comes to retooling their business, the founder of influencer platform Tribe Jules Lund has said.
Lund: “There’s this mysterious fear around analytics when it’s not that fucking complex”
Speaking on a panel at the Commscon conference about the impact influencers will have on PR, the former TV and radio host said: “I think a lot of PR agencies are intimidated by technology. The real thing that differentiates between any PR agency and the ones that are moving quickly to influencer marketing is the technology.”
During the same session Olympus’ marketing manager Kristie Galea said the company had decided to handle all PR and influencer marketing in house and cut ties with PR agencies because they were getting “perfunctory results”.
“We were struggling to engage with journalists and create meaningful opportunities for discussions about our brand and create in depth relationships,” she said.
“We don’t have a need for crisis management, our products go through review cycles and once we have them in the same way every single year they are handled in exactly the same manner.
“We feel like we were in a situation where for the cost of engaging an agency we could better use that resource internally. We were fortunate that Olympus allowed us to have that head count, not all companies would.”
Looking at the issues with technology Lund, whose company Tribe owns an app connecting brands to smaller-scale ‘citizen’ influencers, said PR agencies were struggling to adapt to the need to handle analytics in particular around influencer campaigns, comments which were echoed in other sessions through the day.
“There’s this mysterious fear around analytics when really it’s not that fucking complex,” Lund added.
“Facebook and Instagram and Twitter insights – it’s really basic, it’s basic maths. You only have to go onto your own Facebook brand page and you can see the audience targeting you want, the breakdown of the regions, the ages, the genders, and that’s powerful.
The panel (l-r): Mel Cullen, managing director, Res Publica; Matt Holmes, co-founder, Poem;
Jules Lund, founder Tribe; Sonia Stackhouse, blogger, Life Love Hiccups;
Kristie Galea, marketing manager, Olympus Australia
“Then when you apply that to influencers they’ve got the same metric. It’s about aligning yourself with companies that have that sophistication and depth of analytics but not fearing that you’re out of your depth in that area.
“The relations part of public relations is your secret source, your magic, your talent. Evolving is the easy part, reaching out for technology and being able to turn your late nights and spread sheets into a far more efficient and measurable output, that’s the opportunity. ”
However Olympus’ Galea said while analytics and understanding demographics were important, it is not her priority.
“The talk about geographic locations demographic breakdowns is all fine, but I actually value more the opportunity for thought leadership and discussion that comes from engaging in the blogger space,” she said.
“So if you came to me with a whole bunch of statistics in relation to targeting a certain audience I’d actually probably laugh you out of my office.”
She added: “Where you will get engagement is where you talk to me about mindsets. How to tap into someone’s psychology, What is the opportunity for the discussion and what is the mindset of that consumer?
“That is far more valuable to me than the geographical breakdown and demographics because any product can be sold to any age and any gender. There is an opportunity regardless of who the person is. It’s about mindsets for me.”