Welcome to our monthly feature The PR Desk! Written by PR professional Heather Travis, it guides food bloggers on the ins and outs of navigating the world of PR agencies and brands. A rose is a rose by any other name, but what's a content creator or influencer? This month, Heather explores the titles we choose to describe what we do, and how they matter.
What do you call yourself? Are you a blogger, a creator, a content creator, a website owner or an influencer? Do you have another name or title you use? Do you use different titles depending on who you’re talking to? And really … does it matter?
The shorter answer is YES. Words are packed with meaning.
Different Meanings to Different People
Just like lots of other words and titles, each of those (creator, influencer, etc.) has its own connotations and can mean different things to different people. Different industries see and label things differently too. If you spoke to a marketing exec and said, “I’m a digital content creator and social strategist,” they would understand exactly what you "do."
When I said the same thing to my contractor last week, he looked at me like I had three heads. Only did he get it when I explained “I do work for companies by writing articles, and other online bits of stuff they want and need for their website and Facebook and stuff and help them organize how best to use it and share it." He's a very intelligent man but doesn’t work in the same field as me, which is why when I used different words to communicate what I do it was clearly understood. Just in the same way he needed to explain to me in different words what work needed to get done on our house (funny enough, when it comes to budget numbers we ALL speak the same language! But we’re leaving budgets for a later post…).
The average Jane and Joe "get" (or mostly) what a blogger is. They get what a YouTuber is (sort of), but it’s vague terms like "creator" or "influencer" that tend to be more industry speak than average reader speak.
Think About Your Branding Efforts
Let’s stop there for a second and think about your blog or personal branding efforts. What would YOUR READERS call you? Would you maybe consider using different words or titles to describe yourself depending on the audience? Ideally yes. How you describe yourself on your media kit should speak the same language as those you are sending it to (marketing and PR peeps). Your Instagram profile or About Me page are speaking to your readers, or potential readers, so use language they'll understand and that will resonate with them.
Think About Your Audience
So, what’s in a name? A lot.
Think of your audiences and what titles or words you're using to describe yourself to each of them. Depending on who you’re talking to, you could be a blogger, creator, influencer, photographer, chef, or more. Words and titles can be loaded with meaning and can also be completely devoid of any meaning, depending on the audience and context.
For those who joined my session at FBC2016, you'll know: you are your words — so choose them wisely.
- PR Desk: Blogging for Hobby or Work — Is There a Difference?
- PR Desk: What Do Your Digital Breadcrumbs Reveal?
- PR Desk: Setting Boundaries for Your Brand
Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.