WEEK 4: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Sara Dunaj by Annie H Cho 

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Annie H Cho

Annie H Cho 

Annie H Cho

Our class had an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from Sara Dunaj, social media manager at Princess Cruises. Her passion and intelligence challenged many students, including me.

Sara discussed a variety of topics key to success for anyone working as a marketer, social media manager, or content creator. Much of her presentation involved the power of influencers, so I have decided to focus this blog post on influencer marketing.

Why do we need influencers? Sara pointed to many reasons, but there were three that I found most interesting: 

  1. They draw traffic.
  2. They develop content from a new perspective.
  3. They project authenticity and provide independent (third-party) credibility


Sara provided examples of influencer-developed content for Princess Cruises, including photos that highlight the brand in ways that her team could never imagine.

The trick is creating the type of influencer content that your target audience wants to see (see Venn diagram below). 

Another example from Sara illustrated how brands can leverage influencer authenticity. It was a journal about the influencer’s Princess Cruises experience, which was written in a personal and very moving way. Since it was her personal experience, it conveyed authenticity and spoke to potential customers in a way the brand couldn’t do on its own.

After explaining the importance of working with influencers, Sara discussed how we can find the right influencers for our brand. It sounds simple, but the first and most important consideration is to work with influencers who authentically like your brand, as people can tell if someone is faking it.

Sara then explained why it’s important to have a written contract that spells out clearly what work will be done. This helps ensure expectations are met and there’s no misunderstanding. She then touched on disclosure requirements for brands that compensate influencers. There are various ways to comply with the rules, from using the #ad hashtag to referencing disclosure within the text of post.

Sara wrapped up the discussion touching on the various ways to measure influencer campaigns, including brand lift studies, clicks to website, social engagement, video views, social reach, and blog UVM (unique visitors per month).

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