The online landscape is busy and divisive, making it a potentially dangerous place for brands. The rise of negative discourse brings a heightened risk for brands operating in an increasingly polarised world. With aggrieved consumers bolstered by social media and able to communicate directly with the source of their anger, brands are under fire as much as politicians. So, online commentators can drive the political debate and directly impact policy and business decisions.
Online political influencers wield great power and have become both influential and fearsome as the fight for column inches and online space continues. These new 'Spinfluencers' are a dynamic group of influential figures
– - but who are they, and what defines them?
A recent report from communications consultancy Cavendish has uncovered the latest dynamic group of 200 influential figures who are reshaping the landscape of UK politics. They are the ones driving the debate on digital channels. This mix of journalists and commentators wields unprecedented influence, extending far beyond the boundaries of Westminster.
Influencer vs Spinfluencer
What is a Spinfluencer, and how do they differ from an influencer, a word we now hear daily bouncing around in the media? The study uses a scoring system, that measures not only their influence but also, crucially, their ability to impact policymakers. The report
, evaluates factors like 'mainstream influence' and 'political persuasion' to identify the most influential figures. With an astonishing 91% of UK MPs actively engaged on X (formerly Twitter), today's Spinfluencers can have a profound impact on political discussions.
Top 10 Spinfluencers
1 Owen Jones Spinfluence score: 90
2 Alastair Campbell Spinfluence score: 89
3 Julia Hartley-Brewer Spinfluence score: 83
4 Andrew Neil Spinfluence score: 81
5 John Rentoul Spinfluence score: 80
6 Harry Cole Spinfluence score: 78
7 lan Dunt SpInfluence score' 77
8 Jolyon Maugham Spinfluence score: 77
9 Lewis Goodall Spinfluence score: 77
10 Tom Harwood Spinfluence score 75
Implications for Politics and Brands
Online political commentators wield unprecedented sway in an era of heightened digital media consumption. Brands must be vigilant as aggrieved consumers amplify their voices, potentially impacting operations.
e social media plays a dominant role in shaping political opinions, traditional sources still hold influence, albeit to a diminishing extent. A nuanced approach is needed to understand and engage with influencers effectively, and there is a balancing act of new media versus traditional sources.
True Spinfluencers operate outside the mainstream media and political landscape. Brands must discern which influencers align with their objectives and understand their potential impact.
The top Spinfluencers exemplify the shifting dynamics of political discourse. Their continued relevance underscores the growing power of digital influencers in challenging established narratives.
Whilst the leading Spinfluencers are undeniably influential, they represent only a fraction of the diverse voices shaping political discourse.
Vigilance in Brand Comms
Though not as widely recognised, Spinfluencers can play a crucial role in initiating and amplifying controversies involving brands. Vigilance is vital in monitoring these voices to mitigate potential risks.
Navigating the complex digital landscape requires proactive advice and strategic counsel.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, brands and politicians must recognise and engage with these influential figures to navigate the future effectively.
Here you can read the full report here.
Article written by Verity Barr, board director at Cavendish
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