Scottish Influencer Awards: Social media stars to be honoured for the first time
Glasgow is being lined up to play host to the awards, which aim to shine a light on the Scots making their names and a career out of their online passions and digital desires.
The event, planned to be held before the end of 2020, is set to herald the most influential online figures and rising stars in the fields of culture, lifestyle, food and drink, travel, health, fashion and beauty.
It is also planned to “challenge perceptions” about influencers and celebrate the part they plan in shaping “Scotland’s image and appeal at home and internationally”.
The event is being launched by Mary McGowne, founder of the Scottish Style Awards, one of Glasgow’s most high-profile red carpet events, which has honoured the likes of singers KT Tunstall and Shirley Manson, dance superstar Calvin Harris, and actors Martin Compston and Richard Madden.
Public nominations will be open for the various categories, while an expert panel will judge finalists on “compelling and informative content, authoritative voice, quality of output, notable use of technology and audience engagement”.
McGowne said: “The awards will celebrate the country’s freshest, most exciting talents found in the virtual world that is social media and we’ll bring them together for a real-life red carpet event in their honour.
“In the spirit of social media, they’ll be open, accessible and far reaching. Every area of Scotland will be covered, rising stars will be recognised for their ‘influencing’ endeavours and the overall winner will be named Influencer of the Year.
“We aim to challenge perceptions of what constitutes an ‘influencer’ and highlight the overwhelmingly positive contribution so many are making towards Scotland’s image and appeal at home and internationally.
“A great many are trusted voices, independent and passionate arbiters of good taste. They’re nailing their niche and have the power to propel messaging to their highly engaged followers, which often helps generate vital commercial success for brands, people and places.
“From initially being on the fringe to taking centre stage in the digital world, this is a timely opportunity to recognise their achievements. The awards promise to be a seriously Instagrammable event, set within one of Scotland’s coolest locations with a fantastic host and plenty of flashbulb-popping excitement.”
A spokesman for VisitScotland said: “The significance of digital marketing in tourism over the last decade has seen influencers becoming a regular part of our overall marketing strategy.
"They play an important role as an authentic and trusted voice in extending the reach of targeted campaigns and engaging directly with key audiences, which traditional marketing may miss, to bring our stories to life.”
Scott Douglas, co-founder of Edinburgh-based public relations agency Holyrood PR said: “An awards ceremony for the best of Scotland’s influencers is a brilliant idea – but perhaps not for the obvious reasons.
“In fact, this should be an ideal chance to give this fledgling sector some long overdue scrutiny. For every genuine, creative, taste-shaping influencer, there are also any number of identikit wannabes.
"There are outright chancers and freeloaders. It seems likely the work of influencers is here to stay. If so, we need to see the sector mature, as it’s something of a Wild West at the moment.”