As part of Social Media Week, I attended the panel, “Technology Tastemakers: How Social Media Socialites Influence Fashion Brands,” hosted by Parsons. The event explored how online media is evolving and the role the Internet and social media will play in brand/consumer interactions going forward. Gretchen Harnick, Assistant Professor Fashion Marketing, Parsons moderated the two hour event that included panelists Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Co-Founder, Managing Director, The Digital Brand Architects; Leandra Medine, blogger, ManRepeller; Ari Goldberg, CEO, StyleCaster; and Levi Maestor, digital video producer, www.maestroknows.com.
The key takeaway from the event was that the panelists emphatically believe that more and more ad dollars are going digital. This means we can expect more original online content and increased opportunities for brands to connect with consumers directly via online marketing and media. Consumers are beginning to demand this kind of direct interaction, forcing brands to adapt their customer relations and media outreach practices. While it is important to utilize bloggers and online media outlets as part of a public relations outreach plan, it is also necessary to qualify which bloggers are best suited to disseminate the client’s message. With the overwhelming numbers of bloggers out there, as public relations professionals, it is our job to wade through the masses and find the individuals and sites that best match our brand’s messaging to effectively put social media to use.