Posted by: lorihowell | October 17, 2011

The Two-Step in the 21st Century

Of our three readings this week, I most understood the article with the oldest publishing date, Katz, E. (1957), The two-step flow of communication. In this article, Katz makes a case for the impact of individual influence and lays a foundation for understanding effective word-of-mouth marketing. The case studies Katz cites are also topics that make the most headlines today: politics, fashion and drugs.

Katz was dissecting influence in a way that (I imagine) it is taught in Amway direct sales training and (I know) is currently presented in social media plans.

Ragan’s PR Daily blog announced this week the 12 Most Irritating Social Media Words and Phrases, by Marjorie Clayman. The term “influencer” is found at the top of the list.  While I agree that it can be overused, I don’t think it should be pitched out. Influencer does the job of describing someone who has an impact on decision-making and can set trends. I think it’s a solid descriptor.  Of course, just like referring to yourself as a great leader, or manager, you should never refer to yourself as an influencer. That’s just embarrassing for all of us.

Q. What do you think of the term “influencer”?

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