Getting creative with influencer outreach
When a box of chickpea pasta stuns someone with its splendor, you know creative PR has been at work. This very thing happened when noodle company Banza dazzled Kristen Bell in such a way that she had to post a video about it. I came across this video at a Raleigh Public Relations Society meeting, where Abigail Quesinberry, AVP of social media and influencer marketing at French West Vaughn, was discussing the ins and outs of working with influencers. While outlining the importance of personalized outreach to influencers, she showed us this Instagram post:
Kristen Bell had sent a “love note” to Banza, a company that produces chickpea noodles, telling them how much she adores its product. In response, Banza sent her a completely customized pasta box. Mimicking the packaging’s typical design, the Banza logo was replaced by “Kristen Bell,” and phrases like “25 g protein, 13 g fiber” were replaced by “25 g charm, 14 g humor.” The box makes reference to various aspects of her personality, from geekiness to vocal range.
“And apparently, Banza, they’re a bunch of comedians,” Bell said. “You guys have just made my day! Thank you.” She also declared that this was probably the best present she has ever received. That’s some high-level praise! Praise made even more remarkable by the fact that it’s earned media. Not to mention that in the sea of influencer-brand content, this interaction stands out for its cleverness, humor and originality.
The secret of Banza’s success? Bell nailed it when she referred to the company as comedians. Bell is funny herself, so comedy is the most direct way to her heart. Banza delivered its response to her note in a way that matched Bell’s sense of humor. A more serious or traditionally professional response wouldn’t have garnered the same reaction. The box is not only fun and quirky just like Bell, but the gesture is also totally unexpected. By exceeding expectations in such a phenomenal way, Banza all but guaranteed her response.
Research is important. Banza obviously did quite a lot when curating characteristics of Bell’s personality to include on the box. However, this video also demonstrates that creativity is just as essential. All the research in the world won’t help if the execution falls flat of stunning.
Evidently, if a PR professional wants to see outstanding results when reaching out to an influencer, they have to make the extra effort to create a hyper-personalized message. And, if possible, a clever, inventive message. The same concept applies if you’re trying to create feelings of surprise and joy in a customer.
One of Clairemont’s areas of expertise is creating stunning, head-turning influencer campaigns. So if you’re itching to reach out to an influencer in a memorable way but don’t know where to start, check out Kelli’s blog on nano-influencers!
Piper Anderson is a Clairemont intern and recent graduate of UNC.