Influencers, Public Relations Crises, and the Pandemic

When it comes to influencers working with organizations, or public relations agencies, before a brand can put its name in the hands of a social media celebrity, the person has to be thoroughly evaluated.

In the midst of the rise in popularity of social media influencers, both corporations and PR agencies have established a specific checklist. Some of the things that need to be checked before an influencer can work with a company include the core values on both ends, any unpredictable behavior, foul language, and the newest addition to the list — inappropriate behavior during the global pandemic.

While most influencers have been quick to adapt to the changing world, as well as helping their followers in any way they can, others have been falling behind, and even showing how tone-deaf they have become after gaining notoriety on social media platforms. Thus, more recently, people on social media have even come up with their own portmanteau for anyone who’s acting insensitively about Covid-19, and with the term being “covidiot.”

There are plenty of reasons behind the public’s outrage at celebrities and influencers, however, one of the main ones has been their ability to flaunt their privileges while everyone is stuck at home, and grocery store shelves grow emptier with each passing day. The public is now demanding that instead of raising awareness and repeating the same messages over and over, these influencers should do what they can to help and show their support.

On one hand, there have been plenty of influencers and celebrities alike, who have continued to show off their wealth, simply by talking on social media about how they have been feeling while staying at home — in their million-dollar mansions. Others have rushed to get tested and get results, before talking about their results or their test with their followers. This has resulted in receiving angry backlash in return.

Meanwhile, there have been many social media influencers, as well as celebrities, who have managed to quickly adapt to the ongoing changes. Some have even boosted their followers, and that’s why many of them are going to be held in greater regard — by audiences and brands alike.

Influencers have started donating even more or organizing charitable events through live streams on social platforms. Celebrities, especially in the music industry, have started performing for their fans through social media accounts, as a way to lift people’s spirits. Even people from the movie industry have banded together to record special episodes or share good news from quarantine.

Anyone who has been using their voice to help their community, and to give back, is going to be receiving support from their followers. In turn, this is where PR agencies and corporations will now be paying attention — influencers who are producing and providing valuable content consistently are going to be seeing even more growth than usual.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.

Ronn Torossian is CEO & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“

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