Weber Shandwick Taps Niche for Social Celebs

Interpublic’s Weber Shandwick PR outfit, which recently launched an in-house advertising agency, has entered into a strategic partnership with Niche, a company that has relationships with over 5,000 social media influencers and through them over one billion followers, in order to leverage the power of online celebrities for its clients, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

Niche’s high-profile affiliates include social media stars like Nash Grier, a teenage Vine celebrity who has accumulated some 25 million followers across his various social media platforms, and Amymarie Gaertner, a dancer who has over three million followers on Vine alone. Niche also has relationships with “traditional” celebrities like Kevin Jonas, formerly of the Jonas Brothers.
The emphasis of the partnership is on “visual” influencers, according to Weber Shandwick global president of digital Chris Perry, who was quoted by the WSJ: “Beyond YouTube, the new visual influencer marketplace is anything but established or mature. It’s growing and fragmenting across newer networks like Instagram, Vine and others as we speak. And access to cheap production apps and networks are fueling more content being created and shared.”

Perry tells the WSJ that up to a fifth of Weber Shandwick’s PR campaigns currently involve social media influencers, and the proportion is growing.

Last month, Weber Shandwick launched a full-service advertising agency called Sawmill in order to provide clients with fully integrated marketing solutions. The new shop’s expertise spans content and channels — broadcast, print, social, digital and mobile. Services include creative advertising, account management, strategic planning, production, and paid media strategies.

For its part, back in May of this year, Niche raised $2.5 million from a group of investors including SoftTech Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, Advancit Capital, and William Morris Endeavor, among others.

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