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Bring Your Media Relations to Life with YouTube

Written by: Ann Smarty

Sep 15, 2021

Video has been used by PR teams for decades, but long gone are the days of boring B-roll and stale talking head videos.

With the emergence of YouTube, video has gone from a costly, highly time intensive part of PR programs to something that can be used on an ongoing basis to support media relations efforts.

Video can be scary, especially if you are just getting started. Instead of ignoring it, set your company apart by taking the time to build a powerful YouTube channel that reporters and bloggers can rely on as a source of information and inspiration.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Define Your Video Content Strategy

Before you get wrapped up in the technical details of filming and editing video and managing a YouTube channel, your team needs to get crystal clear on how video works for your organization.

Start by looking at all of your content that is currently being created for your website and/or social media channels. From there, look at what content types would benefit from the addition of video.

Would your customer case studies be more dynamic with a short video of your customer sharing their story in their own words? Or maybe a press release could be more engaging by telling the bigger picture story via video. Or maybe you will use video to establish knowledge leadership in your niche. Hari Ravichandran is a great example of the power of video for building authoritativeness.

Text Optimizer is a great tool to create a content strategy for any project, including Youtube:

With your list in place, start to determine who needs to be involved in the creation of your video strategy. Do you need executive buy-in to be on camera or support from your in-house writer to help talking points?

Video will require a team effort so you want to ensure you have a clear understanding of why video is being added to your media relations efforts.

2. Determine Your Video Production Standards

Just like you wouldn’t let a blog post go up on your website with a typo on purpose, video requires a certain set of standards.  If you are going to add video into your media relations and social media strategy, quality needs to be a priority.

The bar for video quality is much lower than it once was, but any video produced reflects on your overall brand. Determine what the standards are for video production in your organization.

If you plan on doing a lot of video, you’ll want to decide if you shoot it in-house and set up an area in the office that is a mini video studio with pro lighting or if you are going to contract a local videographer to shoot.

Video production process will also rely on the video types you plan to create. Animated videos will require some software. Video interviews can be produced using webinar software. Many business phone apps have this included, so you may need no extra tools.

In addition to actual video quality, you’ll want to create a set of standards for editing and post-production including intros/outros, transitions and overlays you may require.

3. Set Up Your YouTube Channel

If you are ready to go with video, you’ll need to setup your YouTube channel, which is where the social part of this media relations initiative comes in.  By using YouTube, you’ll be able to create one stop shopping for media/bloggers who will be able to learn about your organization and serve as a starting point for conversation.

The real power of YouTube is that the platform is tightly integrated with Google, which means your videos if optimized correctly will be easily found via search.  Additionally, interested parties can subscribe so they get updates on your videos as soon as they are released.

A few things to keep in mind with YouTube as you set up you channel:

  • Name your Youtube channel with your company name. If it is taken pick a name that is clearly attached to your brand.
  • Maximize the branding on your channel by adding channel art. Smart Photostock is a great tool for that.
  • Add your website and other social media accounts in the edit links section.
  • Fully complete the about section.
  • Create a list of keywords for each video to ensure it can be found via search.
  • Make the most of the description for each Youtube video.

Getting started with YouTube may take some time and effort but it can be a powerful way to set your company apart with media, bloggers and other key stakeholders. Supplementing your written word with video can bring your story to life and make it much more social in the process.

About Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the co-founder of Smarty Marketing as well as the founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a regular Twitter chat #vcbuzz.