So yesterday I wrote about the importance of knowing who your local elected officials are and how to find them. Today, I am flipping that around as a message to locally elected officials to find out who the local community influencers are.
Influencers are people that have influence.
There are beauty influencers, brand influencers, etc. In marketing we used to know these people as brand ambassadors or spokespeople. They have a following; an audience that listens to them and believes their opinions to be solid and worth acting on. For example, if they recommend a product or service, you might see sales go up as a result.
The same is true for what I call local community influencers. These are the people that can make or break your project as a collective. Local influences can wield their audience to either support what you are doing or become highly skeptical of your intentions. What they say goes and these are people you want to identify early on and possibly get them on your side.
People who might be local influencers:
- Local media outlets
- Thought Leaders
- Non-profit Leaders
- Community Activists
- Civic Association Leaders
- Former elected officials
- Current elected officials
Think about who these people might be, reach out to them and set meetings to get to know them before you actually need something from them. It may work in your favor down the road!
Pro tip: Influencers are a subset of your existing stakeholder group and may be "key stakeholders" for certain projects.