The Rise of the Vlog Star: how digital super influencers have changed the PR landscape

With the latest Strictly Come Dancing 'celebrity' line-up rumoured to contain vlogger Louise Pentland, better known as Sprinkle of Glitter, we beg ourselves the question of what the role of the vlogger is.

This is one of the most exciting times of our industry, writes Bridey-Rae Lipscombe
This is one of the most exciting times of our industry, writes Bridey-Rae Lipscombe
This undercurrent of change has been swirling below the surface, but now it seems that the prominence of vloggers is finally and officially in the mainstream.

So what does that mean for PR? 

Gone are the days of calling around the news desks with your well crafted press release or even holding a blogger-specific PR launch event – now we are faced with a new challenge in the ever-changing communications world. 

The journalist, publisher and gatekeeper of information are now all one person (and probably around 20 years old) – the vlogger. 

Brands are more desperate than ever to feature or star in the headlines of the day’s post, but now with the possibility of one billion people watching, it is no longer a newspaper headline brands are after – it’s the vlog post. 

If we thought journalists were hard to reach and difficult to sway, vloggers are a new super breed. 

They stay true to their audiences and PRs have to carefully consider their strategies and comms efforts in order to gain that cameo appearance – the new mecca of coverage. 

So that leaves digital and traditional PR folk stuck in the middle. The already smudged line between digital and traditional has now basically been rubbed out, the paper torn up and thrown in the air. 

This is a new game, it requires new rules and doubtless to say, we are about to see a lot of new players.
With all of this considered, is the outlook as dreary as it seems? 

Not at all; actually quite the contrary. This is one of the most exciting times of our industry. Just as Facebook, Bebo and Myspace threw us a curve ball with comms strategies, the vlogger and brand relationship is the next challenge.

The marketers who will succeed, whether from a traditional or purely digital background, are those nimble and brave enough to try new things, to engage in different ways and ultimately to let go of the reins a little. They need to learn to trust these new vlog stars with creative direction. 

After all, if they organically managed to create a brand and develop millions of followers, we need to swallow our pride and ask these young, marketing masterminds what they think.

Bridey-Rae Lipscombe is co-founder of Cult LDN

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