The current role of influencers in public relations: Comparing Spain and the USA



Influencers currently play a key role in corporate communications. Their presence is increasing in promotional activities, initiated both by private companies and public institutions, which has transformed them into particularly important figures over the past decade. But what is their specific role in public relations? Are they also part of PR campaigns? Are they considered a useful tool? This paper intends to provide answers to these questions, first by reviewing the academic literature in order to gather information about the current position of influencers within PR campaigns; and next, by analyzing two surveys completed by professionals in the USA and Spain, in order to understand the situation in both countries and to compare them with one another, so as to give a more complete picture of the current scenario. The bibliometric review shows that academia is studying the figure of the influencer, both from a general and a public relations point of view, acknowledging its importance in strategic communication today. Furthermore, the results of the questionnaires reveal that PR companies are actively hiring influencers; that they are considered a good complement to their other tools; and that these partnerships are delivering good results for their clients. Although incorporating them involves challenges, practitioners are improving their managing processes and believe that such collaborations will continue in the future.


public relations, influencers, social media, communication strategies, Spain, USA



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