Sunday, September 28, 2008

YouTube as PRTube

YouTube is no doubt a growing phenomena. It is a way to reach out to mass audiences at any tome for any purpose. YouTube is a helpful way to connect to others with video blogs, and can serve as a promotion tool to share an idea or concept with a mass audience.

YouTube has served as an influential tool for the average Joe who wants to make a statement or be recognized, but can also prove to be helpful to as a tool to established companies and professionals. People like Soulja Boy, notably gained fame from a YouTube video. My own brother even makes an appearance in a YouTube piece, much to my own dismay and humiliation.

So we see that this site can serve as a form of recognition and entertainment, but what about FREE advertising and Public Relations? Being free is only one of the many benefits of
YouTube. In addition to being cost free, YouTube offers a venue for video bloggers of all types. From Gurus to Politicians, there is a "Channel" for everyone. With such a variety of subject matter, YouTube also attracts a variety of viewers. Like a real-life market place, "shoppers" are bound to browse beyond what they came looking for. If your video is at the right place at the right time, it is bound to get noticed.

YouTube's rating system is a valuable way to gain recognition. By gaining a place on the "Featured", "Most Viewed", "Most Discussed", or "Most Favorited" list, your video gains instant recognition. The placement on these lists is due to the opinion of viewers--mostly 30-somethings--who view the videos and help them grow in popularity.

YouTube's Community section is a positive tool that can be used by PR personnel. Here, organizations can post short videos that can be used to make a statement, advertise, or clarify. YouTube is an influential form of pull media that allows users to seek out information they find relevant and interesting. It can be a valuable tool for putting information in the hands of consumers.

However, though
YouTube is free and open to the public, using YouTube as a promotional tool can have negatives. First, as YouTube is open to the public, there is a possibility that those who don't agree with your product or cause will post rebuttal videos or just a negative video about your organization in general. As a PR practitioner, it is important to have a plan of how to handle such attacks. Second of all, there is no guarantee that your video will get be viewed by the same audience as say, a TV commercial. YouTube states that there are over 200 million users. So how do you draw attention to your video? If the free thing seems too interesting, YouTube also offers marketing opportunities that offer direct placement to attract your target public. However, it is important to remember, in order for the video to get recognition and become popular, it must be memorable. That means PR people must research current trends and decide on an angle for the video (should it entertain, shock, or show something new?).

With a little research, it would be easy for a PR professional to assess appropriate techniques to make a YouTube video that would be profitable for the client and attract the target public.

1 comment:

Natalie said...


Great blog! YouTube is extremely beneficial; however, there is a chance for some negative pr. You are exactly right when you say as pr professionals we must have a plan on how we will handle any such negativity.

Wonderful observations!
Blog on!