Using editorial calendars, online video efforts, more

How can I make my online video campaign successful?

Online video

How can I make my online video campaign successful?

If your company is debating being on YouTube, here is a reality check. You're already there. In a recent search for "Merck" on YouTube, "Merck Gone Wild" was the top item. "The Coal Miner Versus Pfizer Inc." topped a recent "Pfizer" search.

So how do you begin? "Start with smaller campaigns to let your organization test the waters," says Eric Wright, SVP of marketing and business development at DS Simon Productions. Identify who within your organization should be featured and, more important, who should not.

Create a feedback mechanism so you can measure response and fine-tune your program. Says Wright, "Authenticity is the key to using these tools to build brand reputation and connect with key audiences."

Know that it's not just kids watching. A Pew Research Center report titled "Online Videos Go Mainstream," released in July, found that 57% of US adults watch Internet video. The report found that 46% of Internet users aged 50 to 64 watch or download video. For those older than 65, 39% watch online video.

Editorial calendars

How can PR people better make use of editorial calendars for a client's placement?

If you are not using editorial calendars from your key publications, you are missing a valuable opportunity, says Eric Hill, EVP of sales and marketing for MyEdcals. Thousands of publications have already released their 2008 schedules, some as early as in June. Approximately 25% of all 2008 editorial calendar opportunities will have a deadline in 2007.

The majority of publications release a 12-month calendar and periodically update it throughout the year. "These moving targets provide a great wealth of information that a publicist may use to obtain placements," adds Hill. In the past, the publications would set the calendars for 12 months and make minimal or zero changes. "As the media has evolved, so has the editorial calendars," explains Hill. A conscientious publicist needs to monitor the changes going on with his or her key publications and stay abreast of the changes.

Approximately 6,500 print publications in the US and Canada produce editorial calendars, which equates to more than 400,000 story opportunities. And more than 50% of those publications will change, add, or delete their calendars.

Rich media access

Can every computer access YouTube?

Because the Flash player is so prevalent, most computers configured in the past three years can easily view a YouTube video, explains Michael Schwartz, founder of WebWire, a provider of multimedia, text news, and press release distribution. "The problem is that video is a big time bandwidth hog, so most network managers will play the part of gatekeeper by precluding sites like YouTube," he adds.

What this means to Internet users within many corporate environments is that they will not have access to YouTube or any other site known to deliver public rich media content like video and audio. It is very easy for an IT manager to simply preclude these sites by just adding a few lines of code to his or her network hardware.

"We found that the free aspect of YouTube was offset by how easy it is for the gatekeepers in the IT department to block the site," Schwartz notes, "so we get around this by hosting the video files on our own servers and lesser-known streaming service providers, along with YouTube."

Send your questions to toolbox@prweek.com . Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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