PR PROfile: Danielle Wiley, Sway Group

Danielle press headshotDanielle Wiley

CEO

Sway Group

What is Sway Group? We are a content marketing agency with a network of more than 90,000 influencers.

Age of Sway Group? 4 years

What opportunities in the marketplace led you to start Sway Group? While at Edelman, I recognized a need for a bridge between brands and influencers to execute the business aspect of sponsored campaigns.

How can Sway Group help PR agencies? We recruit for and manage social media campaigns, including all metrics and measurement.

What has been the most unexpected result of starting Sway Group? I don’t think we ever expected to be a company of nearly 30 that has grown as fast as we have!

What has been your biggest learning? Definitely the business aspect. I am WAY more adept at P&Ls and budgets since starting the company.

How has the company evolved in the past four years? We have gone from a blogger-based company to a company that uses all types of influencers. Many of our campaigns no longer include any blog elements at all!

How have blogs changed in the past several years? For one, people are consuming blogs differently. You don’t usually go to a blog every day to see what is new, but are arriving via search engine, social media, or RSS feeds. This is also why unique visitors per month (UVM) is an antiquated metric for sponsored post performance.

What do you wish PR agencies knew about influencer marketing? Not all influencers are “mom bloggers.” In fact, many women bloggers (who happen to be mothers) don’t write about their families, but rather focus on their blog theme (i.e., food, photography, etc.)

Sway PartnersIf you hadn’t started Sway Group, what would you be doing? I might still be an executive at Edelman, but would love to be bartending at a tiki bar in Hawaii!

Favorite non-work hobby: Cooking!

Last book you read: “The Cartel” by Don Winslow

Cocktail of choice: Bulleit Manhattan on the rocks

Favorite movie this year: I rarely see movies in the theater! But the best movie I watched at home was “St. Vincent.”

Your first “real” job: I worked as an Assistant Account Executive for a small literary PR agency run by an agoraphobic chain smoker in the basement of her Brooklyn home (no joke).

Childhood “dream job”: I wanted to be a crossing guard or the tooth fairy!

Three people you’d love to invite to dinner: Jacques Pepin, Sarah Koenig and Amanda Hesser

Your next big adventure: Hmmm, we are hoping to bring our kids back to Hawaii in April. Not sure how adventurous that will be, but you never know.

Your ideal Saturday: A 5-mile hike with my dog (while listening to “This American Life”), brunch with my family at our favorite local restaurant (Mill Valley Beerworks) and then time alone to read a book out on my deck.

Most interesting thing about your job: It’s different every single day!

Favorite way to de-stress: Cooking a complicated dinner with LOTS and LOTS of chopping.

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