Within the last two years, the rules of influencer engagement have changed.

Today, influencers have risen to be a dominant and vital tactic in most integrated PR and marketing activations. Yet many in the industry still struggle to define the right influencers for their audiences — which is no small challenge when an influencer is loosely defined as “one that influences.”

But here at Weber Shandwick Seattle, we’ve welcomed the rise of the influencer, often taking the extra time to get to know the right people for our clients.

Verizon Wireless Invites You

This summer, we used that expertise and Rolodex full of local influencers to host a Pacific Northwest influencer event with Verizon Wireless. The event highlighted the wireless company’s innovation program, with the goal of building relationships and showcasing the brand.

Held at the Impact Hub in Pioneer Square, over a dozen influencers attended the event, including key business and technology figures, and Seattle-based reporters and bloggers.

The event highlighted Verizon’s innovation leadership and included a Q&A session. Influencers played with the latest in wireless technology, including mini-drones, a smart soccer ball and talking robot. Light food and drinks were served while the Verizon team networked with attendees.

Let’s Take Things Online

The influencer event also stimulated strong social media interactions through a dedicated hashtag and two Weber Shandwick-produced Vine videos — garnering thousands of impressions over just a few hours! Offline from Twitter, sentiment from attendees was positive, with many reporting that they enjoyed the event and left with an better understanding of Verizon Wireless and its focus on innovation.

About a week after the event, ZDNet mobile writer Matthew Miller mentioned his experience in an article, saying:

“I also spent a couple hours recently at a Verizon Tech and Innovation Influencer event in Seattle where I learned about the Verizon Innovation Program, new smart and destination stores, emergency response services, and Verizon’s active philanthropy efforts with a focus on domestic violence assistance. I may complain here from time-to-time about wireless service and pricing, so it is great to hear news that a carrier is going above and beyond simply providing service to paying customers.”

The event brought together a great mix of influencers from social media, earned media and the tech business community — inspiring great conversations both offline and on.

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