Writing Sample: Blog Post

“Turning Likes Into Loves”: The Social Media Empire

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Photo Credit: Flickr User KOREphotos

USA Today published an interview with a social media entrepreneur who is changing the face of digital entertainment. Oliver Luckett is the CEO of a company called theAudience, which connects celebrities with brands through the use of social media and online impressions. He represents around 6,000 different clients ranging from Vine stars to the music mogul Usher. The era of digital engagement is changing how businesses interact with their audiences, and Luckett is one of the first to help his clients make the leap.

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CEO of theAudience, Oliver Luckett (center), shows off his Los Angeles office to The New York Times. Photo Credit: The New York Times

Social media is aggressively pushing old-school communication out the window by providing new platforms for content development. Giving people the opportunity to create and experiment by using outlets such as SoundCloud and YouTube is leading to a massive new industry. Entertainers such as Justin Bieber would not have careers if it weren’t for the advent of social media, so continuing to capitalize on these tools have led to a growth in entertainment.

PR professionals are seeing a shift in client, media and consumer relations with the rise of social media. For example, television advertisements reach around 2-4 million viewers on average, whereas a Vine user with 10 million subscribers can press a button and in an instant access millions of online impressions, or views. According to theAudience, their business alone “pumped some $25 million into the social media economy”, just because they successfully connected brands to online influencers who had the right audience. Although platforms such as Vine and SoundCloud are relatively new, an explosion of online connectivity is beginning to turn ‘likes’ into dollars.

Endorsements from A-listers are invaluable and the rise of social media has come a word-of-mouth approach to promoting products. A simple tweet can generate thousands, if not millions, of online impressions. A New York Times article profiles the Sundance Film Festival and publicist Kari Feinstein‘s efforts to market her clients to a generation that follows online personalities.

In Feinstein’s Style Lounge, you can find notable bloggers and YouTubers eager to test out the freebies she is offering. Whether it is a hat or a three-night stay in Aruba, for free of course, each online personality leaves with a lavish swag bag. Although it may seem excessive, these swag bags pay off big time. One Internet personality in particular, Justine Ezarik known online as iJustine, has more than seven million fans that follow her content. As soon as she starts blogging about her fun trip to Aruba, her fans take notice. For Feinstein, this means her client is receiving unpaid advertising that seven million people have seen.

Although Hollywood stars are invited to these events, its the social media influencers who shine the brightest. It is their job to produce content their followers want to see, so why not take that $300 purse and post a picture of it on Instagram? This “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your’s” mentality is what this new wave of PR is all about.

In my opinion, I think it is a clever way to do business. It would be silly to turn your back away from this opportunity to promote a client for no cost at all. Savvy PR means successful PR.

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