Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
November 17, 2009

PR Needs YouTube

Did you know that Americans conducted 3.5 billion (yes, billion) searches on YouTube in September of 2009? You should, according to Greg Jarboe and Laura Sturaitis in their “What’s the ROI on Your Press Release” workshop. 

Multimedia is one of the biggest trends in public relations today. One reason is that your press release no longer goes just to the media, but now directly to consumer as well. 

Three ways to build ROI with every communication was shared in a pre-conference post by Jarboe and Sturaitis. In his presentation at the PRSA International Conference, of which BurrellesLuce was a sponsor, Jarboe offered some additional key points for optimizing your release:

  • Conduct keyword research to find relevant terms (synonyms) that your stakeholders are likely to use.
  • Edit your press release to include those terms — particularly in the headline and first few sentences.
  • Add links so readers can easily locate related content.
  • Measure your results — not only in brand awareness and Web site traffic, but also in qualified leads and online sales.

Keep in mind, different people want different formats. Some may only want text. Some may need hi-res photos, video and/or audio. While others may just want to link (so be sure to include your URL). Sturaitis advises to use social media buzz, Twitter, blogs, Web sites, link love, etc., to garner as much “Google real estate” as you possibly can.

Not convinced you need to utilize multimedia in your press release?  Here are some eye-opening statistics via comScore Video Metrix. During September 2009:

  • 168 million Americans watched 26 billion videos.
  • 125.5 million viewers watched 10.3 billion videos on YouTube.
  • 45.6 million viewers watched 424 million videos on MySpace.

Jarboe shared three ways you can help ensure your videos get discovered in search results and related videos:

  1. Think of the title as your 120 character headline, but Google only displays the first 61-65 characters so the brand name (if in the title) should go last.
  2. Be as detailed as possible within your 1,000 characters, and include URLs.
  3. You have 120 characters to tag brand, city, topics, etc.

Finally, Jarboe advises, “PR needs YouTube. Do it offensively, do it defensively, just do it!” 

Tressa Robbins brought 15 years of diversified business, communications and public relations experience to the company when she joined BurrellesLuce in 1998. In the decade since, she has applied her extensive sales and marketing know-how to reinforcing BurrellesLuce’s position among public relations professionals. Robbins currently serves as vice president-Media Contacts, overseeing sales and client services for BurrellesLuce’s popular digital database. She has been active in public relations and regional business groups, served on the Fair Saint Louis Marketing/PR Committee, and is a current member of the PRSA St. Louis Chapter. Connect with Tressa on Twitter.

For coverage of the PRSA 2009 International Conference: Delivering Value, visit our Conference blog or follow the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #prsa09.

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