The Growing Impact of Influencers

By Braylyn Bruno, English and Public Relations Major / McAnulty Academic Internship

Recently, I attended a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) event on campus and was able to speak to someone in the industry about my career goals. With one-on-one speaking and group discussions, I was able to gather a lot of insight about the different paths people take in public relations careers. 

One of the jobs our guest speaker spoke about was influencers. This is a new type of career, and people are still trying to accept that it is a respectable profession. Many of us like to discredit influencers and say they have it easy. While they may not have the stereotypical nine to five jobs, it was interesting to talk about all the work that goes into becoming an influencer. 

Photo and video skills are a must, and something we are required to learn in the Media Department at Duquesne. Every student is required to take Media Design, which teaches Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and more. I was surprised to learn that many influencers also hire content creators who majored in public relations, graphic design, advertising, or a similar area of study. Not only are we being taught the skills to become an influencer, but we are being recruited by people who already have the title. 

Influencers are also involved in many legally binding contracts and partnerships, and because of this they often release statements and other public announcements. This is where skills taught in news releases and other business writing styles are important. Personally, I have been exposed to this type of writing in both my English and public relations majors. 

The point of the guest speaker sharing this information was that influencers do not just sit behind a camera and wing it. There is an element of education and skillfulness that accompanies the ability to become a successful influencer. If the influencers themselves are not equipped to handle the writing requirements and communications skills, then they hire someone who is. While we like to talk down to influencers, they are the future of marketing and will only grow as the dependency on social media expands. With this growth comes the growth of the job market for companies and freelancers who specialize in the art of communications.


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