When a KOL is Essential to a Successful PR Strategy
by Sonya Friesen, Account Manager
A key opinion leader (KOL) is a person or organizational body of thought that holds expert-level knowledge and influence in a certain field. Regardless of industry, one thing always remains the same: Canadian consumers trust reputation, experience, credentials and knowledge. And we know that media typically prefer to speak directly with third-party spokespeople over members of the brand team.
This means that KOLs have the power to impact consumer behavior, making them an essential element of any public relations campaigns. We’ve identified real-world examples of KOLs in-action, to shed some light on these influential brand builders.
In the world of medical therapies or devices, Health Canada and the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) set restrictions on direct-to-consumer marketing activities. As a way in, a medical company may choose to engage a third-party spokesperson, such as a leading healthcare practitioner, to speak to media about the efficacy and scientific development of a new medication or device. The company could also engage the CEO or spokesperson of a recognized, relevant, patient support group to speak to the impact of this medical innovation on the lives of real patients and their families.
This formula also translates to direct-to-consumer campaigns. As a consumer, you may not believe your relative’s opinion on why charcoal toothpaste is more effective than traditional options, but you’re more likely to trust a recommendation if it comes from a Canadian dentist. Dentists are trained experts of oral care, and,if charcoal toothpaste really works, can authentically offer their positive endorsement of the product.
With new, brand, collections and cosmetic technologies launching every day, , it is more important than ever to differentiate from the competition. More often than not, beauty brands benefit from the added endorsement and support of a KOL. This endorsement could come in the form of a influential beauty blogger, a makeup artist, a brand representative from research and development, or even a third-party scientific study. While the beauty blogger could create videos highlighting the products in-use (thereby making them appealing to the average consumer), an R&D expert could to explain what element of the product development sets it apart from the competition to beauty media experts.
A KOL can come in many forms, but what is most important is finding someone who can offer an authentic endorsement to the campaign, in an articulate and engaging way. Finding the perfect KOL match is no simple task! If you are interested in learning how a KOL could help your marketing and public relations strategy, get in touch.