How to Leverage YouTube in Your PR Campaign

May 24th, 2010
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At the PRSA International Conference, last fall, I attended the “PR Needs YouTube” panel discussion and subsequently wrote a recap of the session. We were told that in September 2009, Americans conducted 3.5 billion searches on YouTube.  In April 2010, just seven months later, that number is even higher at 3.7 billion searches, according to comScore.

An AdAge article stated that some marketers have just about given up on the traditional path to broadcast media coverage – instead of pitching their stories to reporters, they are directly engaging consumers through original content they and their agencies have created. “And while they haven’t completely abandoned traditional media outlets, big-name marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Best Buy, MasterCard and Coldwell Banker are among those who have taken matters into their own hands by creating content and bringing it straight to consumers.” 

 And, it’s not just broadcast news using video anymore. A large number of traditional print outlets have online affiliate sites that are complementing text with video – even radio stations are getting into the game by incorporating videos into their websites.

If you aren’t already utilizing YouTube in your public relations efforts, it’s definitely time to sit up and take notice! (My colleague Denise Giacin recently discussed a similar topic in her blog post, “YouTube Turns Five … Are You Tuned In?”)

So, how do you get started?  Here are some tips from Douglas Idugboe at smedio:

  • First (obviously) create the video. Expensive equipment or production studio time is not needed; you can use your own flipcam or other video recorder.
  • Build your own YouTube channel by choosing a name. The name should include your company’s or one that reflects the product/service category you’re associated with. Register it and you’ll receive a URL reading youtube.com/user/[yourfullnamehere]. 
  • Create a profile and upload an avatar or video screenshot that catches peoples’ attention.
  • YouTube has different types of accounts. Idugboe recommends “Guru” to stand above the crowd.
  • You can upload your own images and backgrounds to create a look consistent with your website, blog, business cards, etc.
  • To help build your brand and your online community, check all relevant options under “Modules”
  • If you want viewers to always see the latest and greatest, click “Edit” on the screen’s top right. At “Featured Video” click “Use the Most Recent”

From there you’ll then want to:

  1. Embed your YouTube videos on your website and blog.
  2. Link your channel and videos everywhere possible to maximize visibility (making sure to follow the rules of proper engagement).
  3. Leverage your current network, and let YouTube help grow and expand it.
  4. If applicable, notify local newspapers, TV and any other media outlets via press releases, to alert their audiences to your video.

In addition to cross-marketing to your existing network and the media, you’re probably asking “How do I optimize the video for SEO?”  In the video below, Greg Jarboe provides three tips for video search engine optimization from the International Search Summit in London last week:

Do you have additional tips on using video for PR for the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers? Are you using YouTube or other video sharing sites?  Care to share any examples of successful (or unsuccessful) cases of video used in public relations campaigns?

3 Responses to “How to Leverage YouTube in Your PR Campaign”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Lawrence, BurrellesLuce. BurrellesLuce said: Tips for Leveraging YouTube as Part of Your PR Campaign: @tressalynne @BurrellesLuce http://budurl.com/sx4c […]

  2. Traditional media outlets still have a massive quanitity of followers so they should not be neglected, however with Tivo and Youtube I feel like traditional media advertising is going to become a lot more affordable. Youtube is going in the right direction so I see it being the number one place to have an online commercial.

  3. […] with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, PR practitioners are increasingly using YouTube to bridge the gap between their clients and the audience, directly engaging through original […]

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