YouTube is more than just sleeping kittens and “jackasses” performing insane motorcycle stunts. So how do you, as a PR pro, own YouTube? Here’s how other PR pros have made good with the popular video sharing service:
Create Good Will – Fact: Public relations is all about creating good will. Fact: People (i.e. the public) are inherently visual creatures. Because of these facts videos are, naturally, a great way to engender good feelings in your target audience. Inform them, make them laugh, or bring a tear to their eye. Just get your audience to feel something and they’re likely to remember you and maybe even share your video. Make enough people feel something and your video will go viral.
Post a Tutorial – A commercial or funny video can create good feelings in a watcher’s mind, but chances are they’re watch it once and then forget about it. A tutorial that teaches them a new skill will be watched and re-watched and provides lasting value in your watcher’s life.
Underscore Your Other Efforts – If you really liked a movie, chances are you took a few minutes to watch the DVD commentary. Use YouTube as a virtual DVD commentary for your company or service. Interview insiders about the making of your company’s products, or, if you represent a big PR firm, make a mini-documentary about the creative process behind your latest big campaign. In today’s social media age, people expect to be able to talk one-on-one with companies and key players. Let them inside your world.
Adopt YouTube as Your Video Host – This one is just a practicality. Videos take up a ton of bandwidth. Use free and easy YouTube to host your vids and simply embed a link to them in your own site.
Sounds easy? It is, but there are plenty of “What Not to Do’s” when it comes to YouTube:
Don’t Rehash Your Commercials – Don’t just upload your business’s television commercials on the site and expect them to gain viral status. People watch television commercials passively, often while eating dinner on the couch during Lost reruns. YouTube, though, is interactive. If you foist off recycled content, you’re going to hear about it. Or worse, hear radio silence as everyone ignores your video. Commercials are short. YouTube gives you plenty of time to share your expertise or make your audience laugh. Use it.
Value Your Video – Keep in mind that the amount of work and money you put into creating a video will show through in the final product. Sure tons of viral videos are obviously homemade affairs, but if you are otherwise presenting your company as sharp and professional, a wobbly Flip Camcorder video just won’t cut it, even on a site notorious for wobbly Flip Camcorder videos.
Has YouTube helped your PR campaigns? Share your stories (and your links) in the comments!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html