The current trend in Public Relations is the use of social media to reach target audiences directly and create buzz. Videos and audio are a great way to package information for convenient viewing and listening.
YouTube, once a site aimed at young people, is now being utilized by PR professionals put out content about their clients. Youtube announced in July 2006 that more than 100 million were being watched everyday and an average of 65,000 were being added every day. President Barack Obama‘s team used YouTube during their 2008 presidential campaign to reach to the young audience by uploading the Obama’s speeches and attracted over 4.4 million hits.
Uploading interesting videos has been proven to get media exposure and boost sales. Blendtec viral marketing campaign “Will it Blend” featuring its blenders blending unusual items has become a phenomenon on web and increases sales of Blendtec’s products.
Releasing videos are also a great way to address a crisis. When faced with a crisis it important to act quickly and address concerns target audiences may have. During Toyotas recent crisis, commercial director Jon Williams released a video to YouTube explaining how sorry about all the drama they had been having with the recent recalls of their vehicles.
Podcast are also being used to release company information. PC Magazine reported in August 2008 issues that 13 percent of Internet users listened to a podcast in 2007. Creating a podcast is cost effective and is good way to reach target audiences. Reaching target audiences directly can very beneficial to a company and the strategic use of video and audio content are a great tool to accomplish this.