Pondering PR

Exploring how we choose to be heard in a noisy online world.

YouTube… the voice of the new generation

2 Comments

YouTube image

YouTube image

The other week I was watching the movie “White House Down” starring Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum with my family, and the 11 year old daughter (Emily Cole) of one of the primary characters played by Tatum announced in the movie that “no one ever blogs anymore” and that she proudly had a “YouTube” channel.  Not to give too much of the movie away, but her YouTube channel becomes a pivotal plot devise as she uploads a video taken on her cell phone of a hostage situation in the White House that alerts the world to a crisis involving the President (played by Foxx).  At the end of the movie an exhausted Emily is stunned when informed by a reporter that her channel now had over 7 million subscribers.

After my first knee-jerk reaction of denial “NOOOOO- I only started blogging, how could it not be cool?!”, I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I may have been missing a vital part of what’s available on social media.

I may be dating myself (and most likely because of just that statement, I probably just did) but I know what YouTube is.  I understand that it is a video-sharing platform, and I can honestly admit I’ve wasted time watching cute cat videos or celebrity parodies.  I’ve also seen my teenage daughter lose many hours glued content from her favourite bands, to manga comics, to instructional videos on how to style her hair, to crazy animated unicorns having adventures (btw in my opinion Charlie the Unicorn’s friends tend to be jerks.)  I’ve even had to create an account to upload a video for a class project as that was the only file-sharing video option that Prezzie would accept. But I obviously wasn’t completely grasping the powerhouse that was YouTube.

According to Craig Smith of DMR in his February post “By the Numbers: 32 Amazing YouTube Statistics”, YouTube boasts of some pretty impressive stats:   

– 1 billion users as of Feb 23, 2014

– 4 billions YouTube views/day as of Jan 23, 2012

– 6 billion hours of video watched/month as of Feb 23, 2014

– 1 billion mobile video views/day as of Oct 27, 2013

– 50 per cent of teens consider it their favourite website as of Nov 5, 2013

graph2

When I took at look at the channels with the top subscribers, it quickly became apparent that while many different age groups were using YouTube, it was the younger generation that were regular users and commentators.

This could also been seen in what YouTube recommended that I watch:   recommended2

But by taking some time, you can find some really good examples of public relation companies establishing a presence on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ragancommunications

http://www.youtube.com/user/mmipublicrelations

And brands that have carved out their place as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhBjJqu5lHM

Author: Cindy Tate

A Ryerson University, distance education student through the Chang School, I am pursuing a Public Relations Certificate while working full time as a municipal employee.

2 thoughts on “YouTube… the voice of the new generation

  1. Great post! I agree – I was stunned to find how many former bloggers are singing the praises of video blogs – “vlogs” – or twitter (140 characters or less) because they “just don’t have time to write a whole blog post any more”.
    Or perhaps much of the shift is with the audience? With so much information out there, and new social media tools introduced daily, promotion is both easier and more difficult. By providing valuable information in a smaller (ideally visual) package, we can reach our audiences and connect with them in a way that invites them back to connect again. These small connections can make a big impact on meeting business objectives and lets viewers/readers see very quickly if they wish to connect with you further.
    With limited time and resources, some companies are opting for the more is more approach – more social media platforms to reach intended audiences. For each blog post they used to write, they are writing 50 tweets. More impactful? Depends on the audience and message. Using the right platforms in conjunction with one another helps people you want to attract connect with you – to perhaps read your blog!

    • Thanks Barb. My thought is that perhaps more vlogs is due to the shift in the demographics, but I just can’t understand a strategy where they don’t have time to write a whole blog post, considering any good video blog post takes hours of production and editing (somewhere I read that it averaged around 6-8 hours per if done right – compare that to 1-2 hours of a standard blog.) Shooting out multiple tweets as an alternative to a blog just doesn’t seem customer friendly to me – I would rather get a couple tweets redirecting me somewhere then 50 in my feed spamming me. What I have seen done well is a blog format with posts on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that redirected back to the blog, and inside the blog – video and vlog postings! The best of all worlds, IMO.

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