The Changing Face of Media Influencers

At the beginning of my PR career, it was easy to identify who the key media players were. If you worked for a beauty brand, you pitched the Allures, InStyles, and Vogues of the world. You could easily recite the names of the last few articles an editor wrote at the drop of a dime. Today, things are a bit more complicated.

Print magazines took a massive hit in the late 2000s, leaving many editors to look for new work. Over the past few months, magazines have come back into prominence – however, they look a bit different and are less glossy in the traditional sense. Many outlets have expanded their reach beyond the printed page, influencing consumers via Pinterest boards, Twitter feeds and Tumblr pages, all of which are updated multiple times daily with new tips, promotions, videos and artistic imagery.

Real Simple has taken Pinterest by storm thanks to its visual tutorials and storage solutions. It is now arguably even more influential in this new medium than it is in print (more than 92,000 followers and counting)! Eva Chen, Teen Vogue’s  Beauty & Health Director, has become a go-to guru for teens and twenty-somethings via her popular Tumblr and Twitter pages, where she documents her wardrobe choices and encounters with different beauty brands, giving readers an inside view of her life.

Several long-time print journalists have made the switch to short-lead, online outlets, which gives them more flexibility to cover time-sensitive content. Dawn Spinner Davis, formally of Cosmopolitan, recently began writing for Total Beauty. Jane Pratt, former editor of Sassy and Jane (my teenage favorites!) launched a women’s lifestyle site called xoJane and established it as a top lifestyle destination for women within a year (as named by Forbes).

With all of these new communication tools, the way we communicate with media influencers has changed, too. No longer can you just pick up the phone and expect to get a moment of their time. Media influencers are busier than ever, so developing strong relationships is key to getting your point across. When you do have the chance to speak with an influencer in person, take a few moments to ask them questions about themselves and how they’d like to be pitched in the future. Let them know that you’re listening by following their instructions. Comment on a blog post or repin/retweet something interesting they’ve shared so they see your name outside of their (jampacked) inboxes.

When you put the same time and care into your communications that influencers put into the content they write/post/pin/etc., you’ll start seeing results!

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