Please visit http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/ and choose a company.
Then, acquaint yourself with a couple of these search and influencer research tools:
By topic on Twitter: https://followerwonk.com/bio
By location on Twitter: http://tweet.grader.com/location
By topic or location on Twitter: http://www.twellow.com/
By buzz factor on social networks: http://klout.com/#/pulse
On Google+: http://socialstatistics.com/
On blogs: http://technorati.com/
On blogs via Google: http://www.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en
By topic on blogs: http://alltop.com/
By retweets and mentions on Twitter: http://mentionmapp.com/beta/classic/index.php#user-mentionmapp
By topic online: http://socialmention.com/
Via Google News: https://news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn
In scholarly articles: http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en
Via top trending topics: http://www.google.com/trends/
Note that not all of these search options will return individual influencers; you may have to conduct additional research (such as looking up article authors and cross-checking with Twitter or Klout scores) to find influencers. I’m not expecting scientific accuracy or methodology, so if you miss a big influencer, I won’t mark you down. But I will grade you at least in part on how you made your decision to pick particular influencers.
From there, your job is to do the following:
Pick a desired newsworthy objective for that organization that you believe will result in strong mainstream and new media visibility. Explain why you picked the company and the objective.
Research, using any tool at your disposal (see above; also, the class side decks that have been uploaded to Blackboard have a number identified) the top five online influencers (individuals, not companies). They should NOT be part of the organization you chose, but rather individuals that sit outside an organization’s walls with a community of friends/followers who that organization (the company you chose) want to influence (buy/take action). Furthermore, they should NOT be celebrities or major personalities who may be part of the outcome you chose in #1 above, but rather the people who are most likely to write about that outcome. Finally, you cannot offer to pay any of these influencers. (Hint: Oprah, Hillary, Lady Gaga and Iggy Azelea will want money from you unless it’s a really good (and well known) cause, and thus they are disqualified.) Use the Four Rs to help you with this decision process: Reach (how many people does this particular influencer influence compared to other influencers), Relevance (how closely aligned are the topics that this influencer writes/talks about compared to your organization’s topics), Reputation (what is the common opinion that people have about a particular influencer compared to other influencers) and Receptivity (how approachable is this particular influencer, and how likely are they to be influenced by you). Shoot too high and they may not be receptive (Bill Clinton’s receptivity is too low). Shoot too low and they won’t have enough followers to make it worth the effort. Calculate an influence score between 0 and 1000 for each by assigning a numeric value to each R in the following way, and multiplying these values together:
– Reach: 1-10, with 10 representing a wide read and 1 a very narrow reach – Relevance: 1-10, with 10 representing a very close fit and 1 a stretch – Reputation: 1-10, w/ 10 being a household name and 1 a relative unknown
– Receptivity: A percentage likelihood of action, represented decimally, from .0 (0%) to 1 (100%) Explain how you chose the influencers, and list them out in rank order by influence. In the listing, include a brief bio, their most prominent social platform, and the channel you would approach them on. (4 POINTS)
Pick one of these influencers (it doesn’t have to be the top influencer) for your pitch. Describe how and why you selected this person – beyond their rank, they should be appropriately receptive to the pitch you will describe in part 3 below. (4 POINTS)
Prepare a pitch for that influencer. The pitch itself should be short and sweet – a tweet, a paragraph or two by email, a phone call. Beyond the pitch, describe the desired outcome of the pitch. Is it a story (and what kind of story)? When and where would it appear? You may offer sample product, trips, etc., but no money can change hands. The involvement of your primary influencer must be secured by the validity of your idea rather than your budget. (4 POINTS)
Share your plans for a few different possible responses. For example, if the influencer is not receptive, if the influencer asks for more details, if there’s a risk to the pitch you’ve selected, I want you to have a plan in place for a few different possible outcomes. No pitch is perfect, and all pitches have risks. I want to be confident that you are aware of these potential shortcomings. (4 POINTS)