Connections: How can you harness the power of the influencer? 

Connections: How can you harness the power of the influencer? 

There’s no doubt. We’re in the age of the ‘influencer’. So how can you make the most of these profiles in your PR and marketing campaign? Marketing and Influencer Consultant, Freya Lifely offers her expert insights in our latest ‘Connections’ blog.  

Snap felt the power of ‘the influencer’ in full force last month. An 18-word tweet by Kylie Jenner to her 24.5m followers about the Snapchat messaging app was all it took to wipe $1.3 billion off its market value.

The tweet followed the much-criticised Snapchat redesign and the platform’s infamously slow reaction to influencers and brand opportunities; only recently opening up its Marketing API and insights for creators. A function that has been available on competing sites for years.

Influencer power is something that brands are becoming keen to harness as part of their publicity and marketing mix. While there are only a few who can afford to work with influencer superstars like Jenner and her Kardashian sisters, there is a raft of online influencers who fill the same space as opinion leaders and decision makers for modern, digital audiences.

Running influencer marketing campaigns is notoriously complex. A lack of industry-wide measurement or standards mean that it can be hard to know where to start. These are some tips for a successful campaign:

Know your goal

Set the KPIs for your campaign before you start. Whether it’s brand awareness, click throughs to a website or event attendance, know what you want to achieve before you reach out to influencers. Using a defined objective to inform your creative, messaging and call to action will provide a useful benchmark against which to measure the performance of your campaign.

Select the right people

Bigger isn’t always better, and choosing influencers based on reach alone won’t ensure you have an impactful campaign. Analysing engagements on posts to get an idea of the influencer’s audience and engagement will help focus your campaign.

Be sure to request the audience age, gender and location demographics. This information is available on all main social channels for influencers to access, and doing the right research will help you to know what of their audience is made up of the people that you want to reach. Some male 25-year-old influencers have an audience made up mostly of 15-year-old girls – not ideal if your target is young adult men.

Authenticity is key

Influencer power comes from their authenticity. So, work with influencers who like your product or brand and aren’t just in it for the fee. Collaborate on creative routes and listen to the influencers’ ideas on how best to resonate with their audience.

Think outside the box

Leverage the strengths or USPs of your brand to inform the type of content you create. Some of the best influencer campaigns with influencers go beyond the obvious and come up with fun, sharable content which will achieve much better penetration than just a straight sales pitch.


There are legal requirements for disclosing branded content on social channels. Previously a grey area, rules are much stricter now. Be aware of them internally and make sure your influencer is willing to use full disclosure or it could cause trouble for your brand.

Freya Lifely is an independent marketing and influencer consultant, specialising in the media and entertainment industries

The Press Room: John Elmes, C21

The Press Room: John Elmes, C21

This month, we’re turning the press spotlight on John Elmes, Senior Reporter at C21Media to hear more about what’s making waves in the TV industry.

What’s on your mind?

What are you writing about at the moment?

“I’m in the middle of writing some pieces on the technological developments which may (or may not) revolutionise the TV industry. VR and AR are a significant part of this conversation, so if you have insight into either, drop me a line.”

Read all about it

What are the headlines everyone’s talking about at the moment?

“It seems like the whole TV world has been writing about ‘consolidation’ in recent months, thanks to the Disney-21st Century Fox deal at the end of 2017 and the Viacom-CBS talks this year. Elsewhere, column inches tend to be filled by the latest movement in the digital players’ arms race to be the global superpower – which, ironically, tends to lead to stories about consolidation. Who of the FAANGs is going to be top of the pile, and who will be left behind are the questions on a lot of people’s lips.”

Room 101

What is your biggest frustration as a journalist?

“It depends on the audience I guess! Most of my frustrations stem from being scooped or not being able to stand a story up. Thankfully I work with a great bunch internally and externally, which means these irritations are few and far between. People not getting back to me with journalistic requests is another bugbear, but I’m guilty of that, so am painfully aware of my own hypocrisy…”

TV Guide

What are you watching at the moment?

“I’m just about to delve into season 2 of Marcella on ITV. I caught season 1 on catch-up and it was brilliant, so am planning to watch the second run linearly. Elsewhere, Mindhunter, Suburra – La Serie and Fargo have been compulsive viewing on Netflix. I’m also eagerly awaiting the documentary series Flint Town on Netflix too. It drops on March 2nd, so not long to go now.”

FR Perspective: content, communication & connections

FR Perspective: content, communication & connections

It’s not every day you make the decision to return to a job you left more than four years ago but that’s exactly what I did, returning to Franklin Rae at the tail end of last year. So why did I come back? Well, that’s an easy one.


Franklin Rae has a long legacy in working with media and entertainment companies, helping them to communicate their messages to the industry as well as promoting their content to consumer audiences.  Working with creative companies has always been something I’ve loved and getting to do it at an agency with such a unique offering was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.


The team here at Franklin Rae have such a wide range of experience, they all bring something unique to the table. Whether it’s a heritage in working with brands and/or producers, a passion for factual programming, a somewhat unnerving love of Rob Brydon, experience working in-house for distributors, a history of working for the trade press, or a love of all things TOWIE, everyone brings something to the company which helps to build our effectiveness and deliver for our clients.


Not only does Franklin Rae pride itself on its communication strategies, it also looks to bring added value to clients in a range of different ways. Connecting people is an important part of trying to bring that added value and as you can see from this month’s newsletter we’ve spent the past few weeks working with Edge Investments, setting up opportunities for production companies/content producers to meet with a VC and hear all about what they are looking for and how to be investment ready. Our feedback showed that those who attended found the event really useful and that’s what’s important to us.

Our plan for 2018 is to continue working with creative companies, connecting those in our network and adding value wherever we can. If Rob Brydon also wanted to stop by that would be a bonus.

By Leigh Turnbull, Managing Director, Franklin Rae

Connections: How to be investment ready

Connections: How to be investment ready

Last month Franklin Rae and Edge Investments, the creative industries’ sector investor, hosted a roundtable breakfast for creative companies interested in learning about business growth and how to be investment ready. Over coffee and pastries, David Fisher, Investment Director at Edge Investments, took everyone through the routes required for raising money from institutional venture capital companies. Here he shares a few of his tips.

Know your audience

Before you approach a company – or an individual – for investment, make sure you know who you are pitching too. Whether it’s an angel investor, a trade company or an institutional venture capital company, know what information they will be looking for and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Be pitch ready

Have a pitch deck. It’s your meeting and this will allow you to control the narrative and tell your story. The deck should highlight your key USPs, your place in the market and your vision for growth. Why are you a good investment opportunity? How are you going to build your IP and grow the business? Don’t over load the meeting but have your key management team in the room. And make sure you each take roles and practice beforehand.

Build a financial plan

A written business plan will help you stand out, but the key is the financial plan. An institutional investor will require at least 12 months in detail, broken down on a monthly basis, and three years broken down on a quarterly basis, plus a detailed P&L and cashflow. The more detail the better. It shows you are on top of the business.

Be realistic 

Make sure your plan is sensible. We will understand many companies are not going to sell to Google for £500m, and we don’t expect a plan that projects those returns on exit, but we are looking for companies that can grow to significant scale. We would like to see a sensible exit, based on your sector’s EBITDA multiple. For example TV Production companies usually sell on a multiple of 10x EBITDA, so understand the returns that are on offer to an investor from your plan. We don’t invest for hits, we invest in good solid businesses who are going to build their IP over a sensible period of time. Of course, we hope you have a hit…

Know your numbers

Be in shape when you go to pitch for finance. Make sure you have someone who understands your numbers attend the meeting, but even better, make sure you do. Be ready to answer any questions.

Identify your key hires

There’s three things a VC looks for – management, management and management. Managers and entrepreneurs build the business. We need to know you have the ability, the vision, the drive and the energy to win work, deliver work, manage your finances, manage your team and grow a business. Hires we like to see in place include sales, financial and operations, plus the key creatives. In a content related business we do understand the mix of business and creativity, that blend of people who have a vision for the business corporately and creatively.

Have an exit plan

Building a business takes time, but make sure your vision includes a route to exit. An institutional investor definitely needs to be able to see how and when they can get their money out. At Edge we look at a 4 to 6 year horizon to build the business and generate a sufficient return to be able to exit.

David Fisher is an Investment Director at Edge Investments, the creative industries venture specialist 

The Press Room: Jesse Whittock, TBI

The Press Room: Jesse Whittock, TBI

We speak to Jesse Whittock, Editor at TBI and to get the scoop on life behind-the-scenes at the publication.

What’s on your mind:

What are you writing about at the moment?

We deliver a daily newsletter, so that keeps us busy, but we’re also currently getting a digital special together on what we’ve dubbed the ‘UK Screenings’. This is when smart distributors put on events for buyers in Britain for the BBC Worldwide Showcase in February.

Besides that, we’re currently researching the history of TBI and the international TV business for our year-round coverage of TBI’s 30th anniversary (happy birthday to us). It’s been fascinating speaking with previous editors and publishers, and hearing about a time when magazines existed purely on print advertising, crazy thought.

Read all about it:

What are the headlines everyone’s talking about at the moment?

This year is going to be all about massive M&A – whether AT&T can close the Time Warner deal despite Trump’s objections and the implications of Disney buying Fox. All of our best connected sources are also predicting further massive deals: everything else will fall by the wayside if Apple buys Netflix.

The TV biz is also a very gossipy one, which is why there will be plenty more people news covered on as new companies emerge and execs switch teams.

Room 101:

What is your biggest frustration as a journalist?

Where to start? I’d love to be out of the office chasing stories and exploring new opportunities more than I am, but the ship doesn’t steer itself.

From a PR perspective, I really, really wish more time was spent identifying if a story is right for TBI. The worst thing a PR can do is send me a passive aggressive ‘have you considered the release/pitch I sent you two days ago’ email when the original mail was completely wrong in the first place.

It’s the only thing that makes me lose my rag a bit, and the best PRs never make that mistake, because they know intrinsically what we want to cover.

TV Guide:

What are you watching at the moment?

It’s a long list: season three of Narcos, which is fantastic; I’m Dying Up Here, which I love but for some reason haven’t finished; McMafia – haven’t made up my mind on it yet; re-runs of Scrubs, a great comedy that reminds me of the 2000’s; Netflix comedy Love; Archer season six; a planned binge of Blue Planet II as I missed it first time around; and Peaky Blinders, which is ridiculous and silly and I love that.

I’m also a big podcasts dude – I recommend Mark Maron’s WTF, Romesh Ranganathan’s Hip Hop Saved My Life, Hollywood and Crime: Young Charlie, This American Life, 30 for 30, No Such Thing As a Fish and The Football Ramble.

Edinburgh International TV Festival: Diversity and the role of PR

Edinburgh International TV Festival: Diversity and the role of PR

At the Edinburgh International TV Festival, news presenter Jon Snow delivered a stirring and emotional MacTaggart Lecture in which he argued the media has become “disconnected” from some parts of society. His impassioned speech had tears in many of the audiences eyes, mine included.

“The completely man-made Grenfell disaster has proved beyond all other domestic events, how little we know, and how dangerous the disconnect is.”


“The Grenfell story was out there, shocking in its accuracy, hidden in plain sight.. but we had stopped looking.”

The challenge for the media is; how can it better reflect the problems, interests, and sensibilities of different cultures so that it better represents modern British society?

Behind the Camera

One of the best ways to achieve this is to increase the diversity of behind the camera talent. These people decide what is interesting, what programmes are made, and what news is reported. It is an issue that needs to be tackled at the grassroots level. It’s about increasing awareness of opportunities that are on offer – and shedding light on TV as a potential career.

Raising Awareness

Edinburgh International TV Festival’s Talent Schemes

This is where PR can help. As a company operating in the media industry, there’s scope to use PR to develop awareness and events to raise the profile of the industry in communities. At Franklin Rae we work to promote the Edinburgh International TV Festival’s Talent Schemes, Ones To Watch and The Network. These work together to drive applications from all parts of the country.

Combining platforms

To engage with people from a number of varied communities meant we had to work differently. In order to raise the profile of the talent schemes we worked closely with local journalists, placing case studies and using social media in ways that would resonate with the audience. For example, interviews with creative leaders of diverse backgrounds and sourced testimonials from TV talent who are well known in these communities.

Both schemes do incredible work getting people from all walks of life involved in TV.  Jon Snow applauded the schemes in his speech for this very reason – to great cheers from this year’s members! We were with the members of the schemes throughout the festival and their enthusiasm, knowledge, and skill was incredible. Their energy will really help drive the industry forward.

By Xander Ross, Senior Account Executive at Franklin Rae