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Influencer Agency Zink Talent Takes on Cyberbullying_2
Photo Courtesy: Alaina Booth and Zink Talent

Influencer Agency Zink Talent Takes on Cyberbullying

When people think of influencers, multiple things may come to mind: receiving free products, going on brand trips, moving to LA, watching your follower count increase, and becoming famous—an “easy” job. But sometimes, the recorded and shared sunshine and smiles do not translate beyond the camera. Being a content creator enlists one as a target for cyberbullying. Hate may come with the territory of a rising platform, but at the end of the day, we are all human—there are people beyond profiles.

That is why Samantha Zink, CEO of Zink Talent, a globally recognized talent management company representing digital creators and influencers, is partnering with The Cybersmile Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating cyberbullying and promoting digital wellbeing, via the influencer-led Beyond Profiles digital campaign. 

Having worked in fashion, lifestyle, and beauty PR since 2013, Samantha drew from this experience and forged her path into managing influencers herself, establishing Zink talent in 2018. Beyond her passion for marketing and PR, Samantha also has a passion for empowering her influencer clients. Boosting and maintaining their sense of fulfillment and confidence is imperative in her work. Because of this, Samantha is hyper-aware of the issue of online bullying. 

While Samantha is aware that cyberbullying is nothing new, the true severity of cyberbullying has never been effectively addressed. Zink is spearheading the movement because she witnesses cyberbullying firsthand through the influencers she represents. 

The dark side of social media is rarely delved into. There are trolls, hate comments, and rumors spread—but how does this truly impact the life of the person behind the “@” sign? The reality is worse than people realize. As social media grows evermore, the severity deepens, creating a cyberbullying epidemic. The online abuse manifests outside of the app, seeping into people’s personal lives, causing creators to struggle in society. Cyberbullying has disrupted digital creators’ mental health, impacting them to the point of suicidal ideation, where individuals have contemplated ending their lives

Influencer Agency Zink Talent Takes on Cyberbullying
Photo Courtesy: Alaina Booth and Zink Talent

Samantha and Cybersmile decided to reach out to people they personally saw getting cyberbullied and asked them to share their stories in an intimate setting. The campaign short, filmed at a studio location in Los Angeles, features three creators who each share powerful testimonies relating to their own experiences of online abuse. The creators remind viewers that there are real feelings and emotions behind social media accounts. 

The film features the following influencers:

  • Sydney Gordon – A reality TV star, Sydney went on a show to find love but faced a different kind of experience instead. Following a public backlash and after receiving death threats and hundreds of hate messages, she is now hoping to use her platform for good to raise awareness of the realities of cyberbullying and prevent what happened to her.
  • Christie Val—Christie was the first bald model for Sports Illustrated and the founder of Baldtourage, a community for girls with alopecia. When she was first diagnosed, she hid behind a wig and did not want anyone to know about her condition. She is now proud of herself and has become an inspiration to many young women.
  • Charlie Rocket—Charlie started in the music industry, representing talent like 2 Chainz. He sold over 10 million records and went on to participate in 8 world tours, receive 4 Grammy nominations and bring home one Grammy with award-winning artist 2 Chainz. However, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and surviving, he decided to follow his passion for helping other people and started a foundation called Dream Machine, where he helps struggling kids around the world make their dreams come true.

Participating influencers will share the black-and-white short film to raise awareness of cyberbullying’s impact and make social media a more positive space.

Zink Talent is building a safe community with Cybersmile to allow influencers to discuss this critical subject. It begins with Sydney, Christie, and Charlie stepping forward and continues with extra influencer supporters for the initiative. 

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Cybersmile and that attention is being brought to this huge issue, but this is just the beginning of the important work ahead,” Samantha Zink said.

The social media blackout is one step in the right direction before it is too late. Beyond Profiles aims to start the conversation, bringing this massive issue to light through social media. Beyond Profiles is the first installment of a recently announced strategic partnership between Cybersmile and Zink Talent, which will utilize the power of creators to tackle key digital wellbeing-related issues.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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