Developing Key Influencers










Buzz Master

Buzz Master












Γειά σου, (hello in Greek, I think).


Last post on the Buzz Master blog was all about the bottom line of social media and that is???? (eek a test!!)……. failed? Go back a read last post now! Answer is “creating buzz” (Damn, now I have given it away.)



Buzz is gossip that goes three or more conversations in depth (read last three posts). If the buzz just creates one conversation or re-tweet and then dies, it’s just advertising, (although a certain few great ads have created buzz all by themselves, but usually not about the product, just about the ad). We also wrote about some of the ways to create buzz and turn it into gossip instead of dying on the twitter or facebook vine.

In this post we are going to talk about “key influencers” and their importance in your social networking strategy.
Back in the day, I started a Public Relations firm in Toronto called Hope-Johnstone Marketing Systems Inc., (HJMSI, or the evil empire as it was known). We approached public relations differently than some of the other Toronto PR agencies and because of that we were successful.


We began each contract by developing three legs to the PR stool: 1) A public relations strategy (which today would include heavy emphasis on social media and social networking) and; 2) A key influencer list, lastly; 3) An action plan.

Social media and social networking are tools of Public Relations but they are not the ONLY tools and neither is media relations (which is all everyone thinks of when they hear the term public relations).

In my book
How to Market Tourism in the 21st Century” I define 21st Century Public Relations as being; “The development of social, political and market capital through third party endorsements and that the value of PR lies in capturing and reproducing it, so it lives forever!” 

So you can understand that third party endorsements are the key elements to good Public Relations and the key results for your social networking. You can tell me how wonderful you are day after day but unless someone backs you up I am less likely to believe you. Then if I capture those third party comments and put them on my facebook or Linkedin pages, (or a link), then we have a really powerful tool.

In developing a strategy for Public Relations (including social media) we have to understand that PR is NOT just about getting some nice piece of press coverage (although that is always great), in fact there are seven publics in public relations:

  1. Press Relations (media)
  2. Employee Relations (staff & suppliers)
  3. Community Relations (both industry community and civic community)
  4. Educator Relations (Schools, Universities, Community Colleges)
  5. Consumer Relations (your clients)
  6. Stakeholder Relations (Your investors, your members etc)
  7. Management Relations (Your bosses, board)

In most businesses (even in developing a brand just for yourself), missing one or more of the above seven publics is done at your own considerable risk.

When you sit down to develop your own key influencer list (these are the people that when they become your “friend” are going to influence many others with your message), then you should have a list that includes people from each of the above 7 publics.

When HJSMI developed those key influencer lists for our clients (back in the day), some would have over 10,000 names, addresses, birthdays etc, today we also record all the social media platforms as well.

Once the key influencer list is created (and that is the hardest part of the job), then you have to develop the strategy. The strategy has to ask; what is the message (or messages) you want to deliver to the key influencers in the hope that they will influence many others with buzz or gossip and what are the best platforms to deliver the messages.

Next week we will chat about how to “ask” someone to join you as a “friend” and how to keep the relationship going. It is all about engagement.

This fall we will be starting up Hope-Johnstone Marketing Systems Public Relations again, as I “semi” retire, with an abbraviated name (see below):




  1. Aida Spennato says:

    La tesi sostenuta da Mr John-Hope Johnstone riguardo le PR presenta molti punti interessanti che possono essere tenuti in considerazione quando si parla di relazioni pubbliche.I 7 punti proposti lasciano spazio a utilizzazioni di rilievo.
    I media e la loro efficacia deve essere valutata affinche il messaggio proposto e pubblicizzato non resti fine a se stesso ma diventi un vero mezzo di comunicazione reale e produttivo.
    Complimenti Mr JHJ.

    • buzzmaster says:

      Grazie Aida per le vostre parole gentili. Capite molto bene i concetti. Spero il mio isn’ italiano; di t poveri ugualmente. John

  2. Lin Zuo says:

    Waits for the next class lesson – how to invite key influencers as friends -which is alway the important part of social networking!


  1. […] dedicated the July 19th post, to the act of developing a Key Influencer List which is a big part of developing your Social […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: