For Free or a Fee… How are you Working with Influencers?

This week the Escapade team went along to FutureComms16 to hear more about ‘Storytelling, Social Media & Digital PR Challenges’ facing the industry. Hosted at BAFTA, the scene was set for a day of information sharing with like-minded comms pros, and of course snapping selfies with the various iconic BAFTA masks around the building.

We’ve posted recently about the rise of the influencer, and how working with bloggers and vloggers is becoming an ever more important aspect of the communications mix.  So I was interested to hear more from a panel of bloggers and communicators, including Emma Gannon and Susie Verrill, on ‘How to Use Influencers Effectively’ – revealing both the best and worst experiences they’ve had with brands.

Working with influencers, although becoming ever more common, is still relatively new, and with the ‘new’ comes a set of whole set of ‘rules’ and best practice – which aren’t perhaps as widespread as you’d think.  At Escapade we love working on a blogger campaign and with vloggers, and over the years have enjoyed developing these relationships across a variety of different clients and campaigns.  We’ve always approached bloggers we admire (sometimes ‘fangirl’) and truly believe our client’s product or service is a great fit – that will deliver real benefit to both them and their readers.  Yet, I’m still amazed at the stories of those who target bloggers with irrelevant press releases, requests for posting wholly inappropriate infographics on a fashion or beauty blog, or expecting work to be done for free – for the love of a product they may never have heard of until your email landed in their inbox?


The biggest part of the debate centred around the payment of bloggers.  Should they be grateful for brand exposure – even if their following is significantly higher than the brand they’re promoting?  Or brands who dictate content, and strip any form of creativity – the very reason that a reader follows a particular blog… ‘A reader sees a sponsored post and switches off – they just know it’s not our style’.

Of course every client campaign is different, every blogger campaign is different, but it’s key to understand them, their blog, their style, content and their audience.  Surely there’s a reason why we’ve targeted them in the first place?

Following the conference, Emma Gannon summed up her thoughts on ‘To Pay Or Not To Pay Bloggers: That Is The Question’!  It makes for a great and thought provoking read… “There’s lots of different opportunities at the moment for any sort of “influencer” making things online: such as working directly with brands, publishers, tourism boards, events, specialist social agencies, marketing & advertising departments and PRs. We’re all navigating this online world together and learning all the time how best to collaborate.”

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors;Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at