Today's we're talking about PR teams and if they're the right department for owning all influencer marketing efforts. My answer - no - but let me explain why below.
The reason I say no is because influencer marketing today, 2018 going into 2019, is more often done in campaigns. And there are lots of little pieces to those campaigns, such as influencer compensation or content optimization on a daily basis for high performance. Those items are typically not something the PR team does. Instead, a digital marketing team is involved with campaigns that are optimized daily, like banner ads or pay-per-click ads and the like.
Having said that, there is clearly a role for PR team in maintaining relationships with influencers like you would with reporters or analysts. In certain industries, like technology or financial services, you have influencers that are genuinely covering the industry. They maybe prohibited against taking compensation or they may just not take compensation or even free product, to cover industry topics. In those cases when it comes to maintaining those relationships, there's nobody better than the PR team.
So, I think the question of who owns influencer is a little off. It's similar to the thought of who owns social media, and it's the wrong question to be asking. I say this because social media can be customer support, it can be marketing, it can be all sorts of different uses. Influencers are the same. The real question to ask is what are the various uses and utilization of influencers, and who should run those. So, ongoing relationships? PR team. Flights and campaigns? Likely the digital marketing team because influencer programs are getting more and more like other digital marketing campaigns, where you are expected to optimize and drive clear and measurable results.
If you're looking for other insights on how you should be managing your influencer marketing campaigns, check out our latest checklist for influencer marketing success.