Sunday, September 28, 2008

You Tube

It's interesting to see the growth and acceptance of technologies. For me, I know that a technology has been accepted by the majority once I recieve emails from my mother and grandmother about it. Most recently, I was shocked to recieve an email from my mother that contained a YouTube link. I may be giving her too much credit, because it is extremly likely that she merely forwarded the email. But, I hope its a sign that YouTube's popularity has spread to those not in the technology loop. That being said, I think there are many aspects of YouTube that public relations practioners can exploit.

The first, and most obvious aspect would be to create a video promoting an organization's event/campaign/program. Another aspect would be to create a YouTube page, which features related and official organization videos, for that organization and link it to the organization's official website. The third and most effective, and therefore most difficult aspect would be to create a viral video that in some obscure way featured the organization in a positive manner.

YouTube can be very tricky to exploit, therefore an organization must fully understand what it is getting into. Two major strengths of YouTube are cost effectiveness and potentialy large audience. The great thing about YouTube is that amatuer videos are often the most popular, so a large budget is not a neccessity. Additionally, everyone with internet access has the capability to get on YouTube and many do. However, the major strengths can also be weaknesses. It is very hard to predict which videos will catch on with the public and be passed around the internet.

That being said, YouTube has the ability to enhance an organization's brand visibility and image. I believe it is a good thing for an organization to acknowledge and at least try to exploit emerging technologies, it shows that they are at least trying to keep up with the times. However, it can also hurt your organization's image if the video is recieved poorly, or if someone makes a negative video about your organization and it spreads like wildfire (i.e. Apple).

Although the primary YouTube audience is younger, I believe that an organization can use YouTube to effectively target their current target audience by merely advertising their YouTube video on media currently used by that target audience.

1 comment:

Natalie said...


It made me laugh when you said you got an email from your mom with a link to YouTube to it. I agree that when our parents and grandparents begin using social media, it is a sign that it is extremely popular! My mother has apparently gotten on the YouTube train because one day she talked about a video she had seen and I had to stop and say "Wait. What? You know about YouTube?"

Great blog!