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How to Understand Context to Maximize Outcome

Authors: Jess Shonali Burke
Posted Under: Influence Pros Podcast
About Influence Pros Podcast:

Influence Pros is the weekly show where professionals learn about case studies and success stories in the fast-growing world of influencer and advocate marketing. Hosted by Heidi Sullivan of Cision and Julianna Vorhaus of TapInfluence, the show chronicles how B2C and B2B companies are working with online influencers and customer advocates to grow reach, engagement, and conversions. View all shows—including free downloadable resources—at

Shonali Burke, CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, joins the Influence Pros Podcast to talk about wearing many hats, the importance of context, and keeping community at the center of everything.

Shonali Burke_InstagramWe’re All in This Together

There is no “I” in team.
But there is an “i” in Shonali. That doesn’t mean she’s self-focused though, on the contrary, Shonali believes that value and success comes from taking the time to research, build relationships, and focusing on what’s mutually beneficial.
Shonali Burke Consulting is an international Social PR firm that focuses on having a strategic mix of platforms, measurable objectives, and empowering communities.
Shonali also maintains faculty positions at Rutgers and John Hopkins University, as well as a being a speaker, trainer, and avid volunteer for many community-building organizations.

In This Episode

  • How to balance many different roles
  • Why education never stops
  • How to stay personal in your work
  • How to best approach your influencers after thorough research
  • Why community is key


Quotes From This Episode

“Putting the community at the center of our programs just gives them a lot more power and fuels them in a much more effective way.” —@shonali
“Context is really everything.”  —@shonali
“When you approach it from the relationship-building point of view as opposed to the transactional point of view, then it works.” —@shonali

“For me, an influencer is someone who can motivate your target audience, your target community towards actions that are beneficial for your brand or organization. If you think about it in that regard, then those influencers are very much contextual to your brand and to the value that you bring to your customers.” —@shonali

“Unfortunately, most brands do not approach influencers in a very personal way. Which, I think, is what you need to do.” —@shonali
“It has to work for both. It can’t work for just one. That’s just not a win/win situation. I would much rather focus on contextual influencers as opposed to celebrity endorsers, because I think the former is where you’re going to ultimately get much more value.” —@shonali



Would You Rather

Would you rather be able to control fire or control water?
Water. I learned how to swim, but I’m not comfortable treading water. So, one of my goals as I grow up is to learn how to do that, but if I could control water, then I wouldn’t drown.
Would you rather be stranded on an island with someone you hated, or stranded on the island by yourself?
Oh, by myself. Why waste all the energy that I could be spending into surviving or getting rescued fighting with somebody I hated?
Would you rather wear clown shoes every day, or a clown wig every day?
I think a clown wig for sure, because I would not get callouses on my feet.

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