How YouTube Video Builds Trust for PR Firms and Consultants

Mary Fletcher Jones shooting video for a client

One of the most important aspects of YouTube video when it is used to represent your brand is that it is impossible to fake, so it builds trust among prospective clients.

Think about it: you can make a website or brochure say whatever you want and project any kind of image you want for your PR firm, using stock photos and clever copy.  But you cannot fake how you, your employees, and your clients appear on YouTube.

The importance of building trust for your brand, even if you are an independent consultant, can not be over-rated.  The 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer found that, when asked to rank 10 factors in a company’s reputation, 83% of U.S. consumers said that transparent and honest practices and a company being a “company I can trust” are extremely important.

Authenticity and trust-building in public relations is important because PR is not exactly the most trusted industry, according to research on credibility and perceptions.

YouTube videos can help a PR firm or practitioner overcome that obstacle.  Apart from meeting you in person, your prospective clients get the most authentic view of who you are and what you can do for them by watching your YouTube videos.  And that trust you build can make clients a lot more likely to hire you and your firm.

For PR practitioners, at least having a presence on YouTube is must.  I would recommend that every communicator maintain their own personal YouTube Channel, in addition to supporting the business or corporate YouTube Channel, so they can be an active participant in the social sharing aspects of YouTube.  It is also, as I have mentioned often, wonderful exposure for your personal brand.

If there was one thing I would like to suggest to area PR firms and practitioners, it’s this: you are your best client.  The work  you do for your firm should exemplify the highest level of work you do for a client, should it not?  What you present for your own company is compelling proof of what you can do for a client, along with your portfolio of completed projects.

Traditionally, PR firms and many PR professionals have preferred to keep a low-profile; to remain in wings.  That was an understandable approach ten years ago.  Social media has changed everything, however.  Now, I believe if you don’t market and promote yourself and your business vigorously, it will be more difficult to convince a client you could do likewise for them and their interests.

With this in mind, you should never upload a video to your company PR Channel if you would not produce work of a similar level for a client.  Large firms do it, even I do it, sometimes, but we all should be a bit more mindful of how we and our firms appear on YouTube video.  Particularly the large, “name-brand” PR firms!

When I look at the Channels of most public relations firms, it is apparent to me that these firms have grossly underestimated both the marketing potential of YouTube and the impact of inferior videos on their corporate reputation.  Is it affecting their billings? Maybe not.  Is it affecting their brand? Could be.

The worst video mistake a PR practice can commit is uploading video about their firm that is not of a commensurate production quality with their reputation, revenues, other marketing tactics (such as their websites and print collateral), expertise, and resources. It just sends a very strange message.

In other words, do not cheap out on video! And if you don’t have the expertise in-house to produce the quality of video your firm merits, outsource it to the professionals.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on June 8, 2011, in Client/Agency Relationship, Marketing Tips, Public Relations Tips, YouTube Video Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. azucarconsulting

    Mary,

    I appreciate this post. As a consultant, I urge my clients to use social media to the full – including social visual media (i.e You Tube).

    Also, I cannot stress enough the importance in investing the proper amount to produce quality videos. It is true, perception is everything. Project the quality, sophistication, excellence, and superior service that your firm or business embodies. This is key.

    Excellent post!

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