We all know how important YouTube video has become for informing potential clients about a business. However, I think it would be very difficult to convince a client that a PR firm is worth the investment if it produces poor quality video to promote itself. The irony here is PR practitioners are supposed to be creative, expert communicators! Yet, PR firms struggle with telling their own story on YouTube in a compelling way that gets views.
The Most Common YouTube Mistakes
It’s time for that trend to change. The typical mistakes PR firms tend to make on their own videos and Channels include
- Their videos do not tell a story. In other words, they are boring.
- The videos fail to be “videos.” Video is a visual medium, not a talking blog post.
- Failing to optimize the YouTube Channel with search-friendly text elements, brand colors, design, logos, and Channel setting.
- Failing to optimize individual videos by tagging and describing videos.
- Glaring absence of an apparent brand message or video strategy.
- The videos are too long or communicate too many concepts in one video.
- Not using editing, microphones, lighting, tripods, multiple camera angles, graphics, images, cutaways, animation, and other assets to produce quality video that is interesting to watch. A large firm should produce video that reflects their caliber and resources; an independent consultant may produce video with lower production values. At a minimum, there should no shakiness, poor sound, or inadequate lighting.
- Uploading too many of the same kind of videos (e.g., too many talking head videos by one person at one conference).
- Not including examples of their work, through links.
- Lacking video testimonials from clients or partners.
- Including examples of client videos, but as uploads on the Channel (this is YouTube terms of service violation and cannibalizes views from the client. You should only LINK or PLAYLIST to client videos from your Channel).
- Failing to use the social aspect of YouTube: allowing comments, acknowledging subscribers.
- Neglecting to promote the Channel through YouTube through playlists, subscriptions, and video responses.
- Failing to embed their YouTube videos on their websites, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, email communications, and other media.
- Failing to say “thank you” when their employees appear on Conversations in Public Relations. Okay 🙂 I threw that one in!
Maximizing the Marketing Impact of YouTube for PR Firms
Not every video a PR firm produces may achieve thousands of views, but videos that obtain fewer views can still make an impact on clients and influencers if they are well produced and optimized. I am convinced if most PR firms and practitioners took deliberate steps to use YouTube features to their full extent, as we do at Fletcher Prince, they could greatly increase the views for their videos.
A Surprising Finding Regarding YouTube Popularity Among PR Firms
And, one of my clients, Susan Rink, who is an independent public relations consultant, has more views on YouTube for her PR videos than four major PR firms put together!
Isn’t that incredible?! I can barely comprehend this. What is even more surprising is that, although these firms have vastly superior resources, Ogilvy only has twice the views of Fletcher Prince and Fletcher Prince has nearly as many views as Edelman!
As happy as I am to have the views I have, I do feel that is a situation that does not reflect well on our industry. I would like to see PR firms produce the kinds of YouTube Channels and videos that demonstrate their expertise, reputation, and success level.
Fletcher Prince Can Help Your Business Make the Most of YouTube
Most PR firms on YouTube could significantly increase their viewership this summer by prioritizing YouTube video in their marketing efforts and making some basic optimization changes to their Channel and videos (an area of expertise for Fletcher Prince).
There’s no better time to start than now! Ask us to help you maximize the marketing impact of your YouTube Channel.
- Got YouTube? You Need It – If Only For SEO (fletcher-prince.com)
Who’s getting a big lump of coal in their stocking this year? And who is getting the good word for Santa Claus? Oh yeah, we’re going there.
Let’s start with the naughty one, so we can end this blog post with a high note 🙂
Fletcher Prince’s Naughty List (it’s not very long)
A big lump of coal goes to an unnamed pro to whom we were quite friendly in 2010. Not only had we gone out of our way to introduce this person around to our contacts, we also referred one of our nicest clients to him. For a juicy project, by the way, that if he landed would have amounted to more than twice our billings for all of 2010. The thing is — as much as we wanted that project, we knew he could do a better job than we could, so we recommended him, instead. Wait for it….
Guess what. We did not hear thank you. Well, that’s okay. But then, less than a week later, he’s dissing Fletcher Prince’s work. On Twitter.
Wow. Did not see that coming.
I’m all for constructive criticism but this was kind of like Lance Armstrong telling a kid on a tricycle he really should be pedaling faster.
We’re not really sure what motivated this person, since we’re not exactly eating his lunch, but that’s the last referral he’s getting from us. The lesson here? Besides, show some gratitude? And pick on someone your own size? Take if offline, if you’ve got to say it.
Fletcher Prince’s Nice List
Fortunately, looking back at 2010, that was really our only negative experience. Plenty of Fletcher Prince clients and supporters should get lots of loot from Kris Kringle this year, if we have anything to say about it.
Thanks for the LinkedIn recommendations!
Santa, please remember all the good folks who gave us LinkedIn recommendations this year, including Laura Fall and Bruce Fall, Rita Mhley, Barbara Burfeind, Coral Gundlach, and Soraya Duke. Thanks to all of you!
Thanks for the referrals!
We hope Saint Nick puts an extra candy cane in the stockings of Coral Gundlach, who not only retained our services but also referred us to a new client Fall Properties, as well as Susan Rink, Lorelei Harloe, and Woody Hinkle who took time in 2010 to refer prospective clients to Fletcher Prince. Thank you, too, to Rita Mhley who also referred me to a colleague, and who brought in a group of communications professionals to Fletcher Prince for a morning of social media training. Personal referrals are golden and we thank you so much for your confidence in us.
Thanks for bringing us on to your projects
We felt especially honored that some of our colleagues brought us in to help with their client projects. We feel that is just the highest vote of confidence you can get. Thank you to Heathere Evans-Keenan who brought us in on her work for Timberline Bank and to Sandra Wills Hannon, who brought us in to help with a Howard University project. We love subcontracting and it was wonderful working with both of you.
Thanks for the speaking engagements!
We hope Santa is extra good to our friends this year who referred me for speaking engagements. Thanks to Tim Flaherty for arranging for me to speak about social media to TIVA-DC early this year, and thanks to Richard Harrington for referring me as a speaker on blogging at the Government Video Expo. I enjoyed both opportunities very much.
We love you clients (and please hire us again in 2011)
Our 2010 clients are the best. We appreciate you more than we can say. Thank you for working with us in 2010. Stick with us in 2011; we’ll take you places! Santa, please be extra good to
- ASQ Communications (Claudia Askew)
- Coral Gundlach
- Dominion Mechanical
- Fall Properties
- Keenan PR (Heathere Evans-Keenan)
- PRofessional Solutions
- Rink Strategic Communications (Susan Rink)
Every year, Washington Women in Public Relations honors three women and awards one female public relations professional the prestigious Washington PR Woman of the Year Award. It is always an inspiring event for me, and I’m sure, for all the attendees.
The awards luncheon is taking place Wednesday, November 10 at the fabulous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, and I am thrilled that both David Hyson and I will be attending (we’re also donating a gift for the benefit raffle, but more about that later this week). If you want to go — and of course, you do! you can learn all the details and register here.
Thinking about this award got me to pondering this week: what does excellence in public relations mean to you? I decided to ask some female public relations professionals I know (they also happen to be Fletcher Prince clients).
Heathere Evans-Keenan, President of Keenan PR, Inc., an award winning public relations and marketing firm based in the Greater Washington D.C. area, was honored by Washington Women in Public Relations and had this to say on the subject of excellence in the practice of public relations —
“Too often practitioners forget to do the upfront research and “listening” required to develop truly excellent campaigns. Best practices in public relations always begins first with listening to the market and finding out what problem you are trying to solve with your public relations program. Once you have either uncovered or validated the true issue(s) at hand, following up with a solid plan that can be implemented and evaluated at key intervals is the recipe for success.”
Susan Rink of Rink Strategic Communications (also the incoming 2011 IPRA President) specializes in employee communications. She offered this wisdom:
“In the world of employee communications, excellence is less about flash and dazzle and is defined by authenticity. Employee communicators look for ways to help employees form an emotional connection with their company.
So, the best employee communications create a reaction, and drive employees to take action to benefit their company.
Tone and voice are also very important when communicating to employees, and companies that find ways to infuse their employee communications with the voice of their brand and culture are most likely to create an environment of brand ambassadors within their workforce.”
Do you work in public relations? Or do you work with people who work in public relations? If you do, I would love to hear what your thoughts are about excellence in the practice of public relations. Feel free to leave your comments below.
This article is part of a series of Fletcher Prince client profiles, designed to explain the work we do, and quantify the results.
The Client and the Challenge
Who: Susan Rink, Rink Strategic Communications (http://www.RinkComms.com)
Business: Independent employee communications consultant.
Challenge: Establish reputation as subject matter expert in niche area. Create an online brand presence.
- Blog with custom masthead, and blog training
- Referral to Examiner.com and The PRSA-NCC Blog for article posting
- Video interviews for Susan on Capitol Communicator’s Thought Leadership Series
- Facebook Page
- Twitter account and Twitter training
- Social media logo
- Online video marketing plan
- YouTube Channel and sixteen YouTube videos
- Email newsletter template and training
- Promotional materials, including a postcard campaign
- Web site and LinkedIn account updates
- Photography, and Flickr account
Susan’s investment in affordable marketing services with Fletcher Prince has paid off. Since the launch of her social media outreach program in June 2009, Susan has obtained new clients and achieved notable exposure in less than a year, including
- In Google searches, Susan’s videos are achieving top rank, first page results for the search term “employee communications” in the video and images categories, and she obtains multiple results for her name and business name on Google in the primary search categories.
- Rink Strategic Communications has acquired nearly 200 Fans on Facebook.
- Susan’s videos have received more than 1300 views on YouTube.
- Her blog has received more than 1200 views, in addition to 100s of views for her posts on the PRSA-NCC blog and her Examiner.com column
- Her podcast was featured by iTunes, and more than 500 people have subscribed to her podcast.
- Her videos on Facebook have received multiple positive comments.
- Her Twitter account has been featured in 15 lists.
Feedback from the Client
We were so gratified by Susan’s endorsement of Fletcher Prince on LinkedIn and YouTube. Susan wrote
Mary’s help was absolutely invaluable — not only in helping to establish my blog, podcast, Twitter and Facebook accounts and activities, but also in recommending new and creative ways to drive traffic and build my SEO metrics. I consider Mary to be a valued advisor and a highly-skilled Social Media practicioner. Plus, she’s a heck of a lot of fun to work with. I’d would not hesitate to recommend Mary and her team.
As 2009 draws to a close, I would like to report on the activities of our small marketing communications company, Fletcher Prince. Fletcher Prince, as you may know, is managed by David Hyson and Mary Fletcher Jones, and provides creative and affordable marketing solutions to small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and beyond. Our services include website design, graphic design, photography, video, social media and marketing consultation, public relations, and email marketing.
Fletcher Prince Client Work in 2009
Rink Strategic Communications. Fletcher Prince produced an online video series and podcast for Rink Strategic Communications. Working with Susan Rink, we also helped her launch her company blog, email newsletter, Facebook Page, YouTube channel, and Twitter account. It has been a pleasure working with Susan, and we look forward to producing six more videos with her in 2010.
PrimeTime Staffing. Fletcher Prince produced a corporate marketing kit for their existing client, Doris McGhee of PrimeTime Staffing, including a custom-designed pocket folder and inserts.
Fall Properties. Fletcher Prince was retained by the residential real estate firm Fall Properties to deliver social media marketing consultation and email marketing training, an effort that will continue into 2010.
Fletcher Prince Pro Bono Work in 2009
Fletcher Prince completed numerous pro bono projects on behalf of communications organizations.
Social Media for PRSA-NCC. For the first half of 2009, Mary served as Marketing and Public Relations Committee Co-Chair for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, coordinating the chapter’s social media efforts. She also created a social media policy for the chapter. Fletcher Prince re-designed the chapter’s Twitter account to be brand-identifiable, and designed and launched a blog for the chapter. Mary continues to moderate the blog and train chapter staff on how to write blog posts. In addition to the blog design, David designed a social media-friendly version of the chapter logo for use on the chapter’s accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and WordPress. Mary was commissioned by the chapter to produce a video featuring several chapter and board committee members on the value of public relations, a pro bono project. The video was shown at the chapter’s Thoth Awards gala and at the PRSA conference in San Diego, CA.
Meeting Coordination for DC Podcasters Alliance. Mary served as Assistant Organizer for the DC Podcasters Alliance through June, and planned meetings and made presentations on topics related to podcasting.
Conversations in Public Relations Blog and YouTube Videos. As a service to the Washington, DC area professional communications community, Fletcher Prince produced an online video series and podcast, “Conversations in Public Relations,” featuring interviews with local communicators and association leaders. We produced more than 80 videos on a variety of public relations and advertising topics.
World Water Center YouTube Channel and Videos. Fletcher Prince produced five videos and designed a YouTube channel, pro bono, for the World Water Center, a nonprofit organization.
Fletcher Prince Promotional Efforts in 2009
Our promotional work for our company involves presenting informative content about creative and affordable marketing strategies.
Fletcher Prince YouTube Videos. This year, we produced six informative, how-to YouTube videos that describe various ways of using social media to promote and market a small business or nonprofit organization, including blogging, Twitter, online video, online press rooms, and other topics.
Fletcher Prince Blog. We moved our blog from the WordPress.org platform to the WordPress.com platform. We lost a couple of years of posts, but the change was worthwhile for the SEO benefits. We blogged three times a week, on average.
In other 2009 Fletcher Prince news…
- Mary and David received 18 LinkedIn recommendations for their work in 2009.
- Mary was interviewed by Paul Vogelzang and Limor Schafman for Capitol Communicator’s video series featuring local thought leaders in communications.
- David was retained by Deloitte Touche and Florida Education Association to provide graphic design services.
- Fletcher Prince was registered in the Federal Government contract services system.
Thanks for reading. Please contact us if we can help you with marketing projects in 2010!
In this one-minute video, Susan Rink of Rink Strategic Communications explains why she enjoys working with the professionals of Fletcher Prince on her social media projects.
Mary Fletcher Jones and David Hyson of Fletcher Prince are pleased to announce the acquisition of their latest client, Rink Strategic Communications, owned by Susan Rink, an employee communications expert.
Fletcher Prince has been contracted to produce a video podcast series for Rink Strategic Communications.