The PMA Conference
I had the pleasure of spending two days in San Antonio with the Parenting Media Association (PMA). If you’re unfamiliar with the PMA all you have to do is wander around town looking for a local parenting magazine like Boston Parent or San Diego Family to understand what they do. Essentially, each publication is your local resource for anything and everything parents need: from what summer camp to choose to what to do on a rainy weekend.
A Question Via Video
Upon my return one of the resourceful, innovative and curious conference attendees sent me this wonderful video question: Okay, Michele. You got my attention. Great question. So how do you find influencers in your community and what can you do with them when you find them? I noticed that on the San Diego Family website you have a section about family recipes. In my opinion, there aren’t many families browsing around looking for another good Fruit Cake Trifle recipe. So I set out to find you someone local, who already has an audience, and is creating amazing content in a much more focused way. So, who did I find?
Meet Panini Happy
Panini Happy's Chicken, Brie, Fig & Arugula Panini

Panini Happy’s Chicken, Brie, Fig & Arugula Panini

Kathy, better known as Panini Happy, is one of the best food bloggers in the world — let alone San Diego. Not only does she run two amazing food blogs, but she’s a San Diego parent and a mother of two. Since 2008, Kathy’s been creating amazing Panini recipes and sharing them with foodies around the world on her blog. She’s right there in your backyard, Michele. She’s a local food celebrity. (How scrumptious does that Chicken, Brie, Fig and Arugula Panini look?)
What Could You Do With Kathy?
Okay, so I found her. How can you and Kathy work together? Well, why can’t you work with Kathy to expand your network? Can’t she become part of the San Diego Family web of content? Of course you could link to her blog posts each week and maybe even have a monthly, sponsored, Panini demonstration at Grant’s Marketplace, but can you take it further? Of course you can. Maybe Kathy wants to do a monthly Panini video series? Could you help her sell that series to a local sponsor? Could you distribute the weekly videos, even if they were posted on her own YouTube channel? Who knows? Kathy might be the next Food Network star and it could have all started with you. What about an underwritten article in the monthly magazine? Or a Panini Happy book in all the local kitchenwares stores? The possibilities are endless. Maybe you should start sharing her content today? That’s the best way to forge a relationship with her. Share her stuff with your audience.
So how did I find Panini Kathy?
The truth is, I’ve known about Kathy for a couple of years now. (Maybe you already know her, too.) But there are no shortcuts in uncovering the digital celebrities and influencers in your local market. Start with good ole fashioned Googling in the Blogs section of Google. Create a bunch of Google alerts and start mining your audience for what local bloggers and video stars they read, watch, and consume. There’s a Kathy out there for ever single thing you cover – I guarantee it. You just have to start looking. You should already be checking out every single one of your fans’ and followers’ feeds to see what else they share. Buried deep inside those interactions are gems like Kathy. But it takes a concerted effort and a routine approach to finding the digital influencers that you should be working with to extend your brand. What do you think, Michele? Is this helpful? Did you already know about Kathy?