May 10, 2013
When building a reputation online, image is paramount. Your image is your brand. It’s what people understand you to be and how they talk about you to their family and friends. This is why social media has such incredible public relations potential and why YouTube, in particular, offers a tuned-in PR firm their best shot at getting their clients entrenched online. Here are 3 ways PR Firms like 5WPR use Youtube to build their clients brands.
1. New product releases
Releasing a new product on YouTube can be a huge bump for a company trying to establish itself in the market. Look at the success the GoPro brand had with their YouTube marketing program. To date there 10,700,000 company and user-generated YouTube videos related to GoPro on YouTube alone. One of the latest releases, less than a month old, already has more than 1.2 million views. As a company, GoPro chose YouTube for its public relations push largely because it is a video-based product. But the success of the program is based not on product but on content. If the GoPro content was less dynamic, the campaign may have failed. If they had made a few “review” videos and never showed people how their product could change their lives, GoPro may have been a flash in the pan. But instead, they struck a nerve, delighted millions of users and turned their CEO into a billionaire.
2. How to’s
That’s not to say reviews are unimportant. User reviews, specifically, can be Internet gold. Manufacturers spot and correct potential defects and communicate directly with reviewers. And enlisting an army of excited, enthusiastic users as their review team allows them to reach markets that analytics never could. Some people want an overview. Others want to know how a product performs under very specific circumstances. User reviews have a better chance of covering all the potential scenarios than traditional market testing. Plus, the sort of unbiased endorsement users can offer is a type of targeted public relations that no campaign could ever match.
3. Viral potential
YouTube is the single most dynamic public relations tool available to anyone, anywhere. With some production know-how and an understanding of what engages and motivates viewers, you can turn this free multimedia resource into a public relations goldmine. People say that no one can predict what may go viral on YouTube, and that may be true for amateur videographers making movies for fun. But it is the responsibility of a professional PR agency to understand how to make content that pops, that is sticky and dynamic. For example, this video which went viral, was actually staged for a Gillete PR campaign. This is why it’s important to create the sort of content that will push buttons and get people clicking.
Embracing all available tools and platforms is vital for a PR campaign to succeed.
May 8, 2013
As the CEO of top NYC PR firm, 5WPR, I hope I don’t lose my Yankee Card for this one. But as a PR guy, there is a lot to admire about a recent YouTube video featuring Tampa Bay Rays star, Evan Longoria. In the video, a reporter is interviewing Longo when a foul ball rockets toward her head. At the last second Longoria reaches out and grabs the ball out of the sky barehanded, obviously saving the woman from grave injury or death.
Gilette Longoria Stunt
Now, Yankee faithful know that Derek Jeter could have made that catch, no problem. But, as the video went viral on social media, questions about it began to arise. Fox Sports, Huffington Post and even Snopes weighed in on whether or not the video was staged.
But every single one of those reports had one thing in common. They included the video. A video that was watched again and again and again. Now people who never watch baseball know who Longoria is. They know who the Rays are and they have reason to be … ahem … impressed.
But here’s the rub …
There are several reasons to believe this impressive feat is actually clever PR wrapped in a fairly realistic package.
- First, the reporter’s microphone has no media identification, and the Chyron graphic has no media logo. So, either the outlet filming this is incredibly shy or there is no media outlet filming this.
- Second, in a stadium where every section of the baseline is sponsored, only one logo is visible … the one in the center of the entire video. Gillette.
- Third, Evan Longoria happens to be one of Gillette’s new “Young Guns” spokesmen.
So, what’s my verdict? I’m saying “ad.” But I’m also saying this is a very smart use of both solid film work and clever social media PR. The graphics are clean and the clip has all the hallmarks of a very viral bit of media.
Whatever the sponsor, whether it was Gillette, the Rays or an unnamed PR agency paid to produce this video, it was money well spent. Brands have been strengthened and both Gillette and the Rays are part of the national conversation.
May 7, 2013
The NFL draft prognosticators are so often dead wrong in both getting the draft order right and guessing what the teams will do. But they remain relevant and respected. How can this be? Sharp public relations definitely plays a part. These prognosticators are a function of the overall NFL brand, sparking interest and providing conversation topics. The goal of entertainment PR is not necessarily to make the right predictions, but to generate buzz for the league. In that area they get an A+ … but how?
Ronn Torossian, the CEO of top NY PR Firm 5WPR, reveals the 5 way brands stay relevant:
1. Establishing a Reputation
All of these prognosticators have varying ties to the NFL, from former players and coaches to current color commentators. Others have been covering sports for so long that fans cannot imagine football season without them. These individuals have established their reputation based on their prior accolades and name recognition, not on how accurately they predict the draft. Fans trust these guys because they believe that these individuals have access to inside information. This sense of mystery amplifies their credibility.
2. Making Bold Predictions
Part of furthering that reputation is making bold predictions. If the prediction does not come true, both the league and the fan get entertainment value out of it. After all, every armchair QB has to have some “idiot” to poke fun at. If on the off chance that prediction comes to fruition, fans will be astounded by that prognosticator’s genius, giving his reputation a boost. Better yet, that one correct prediction will get endless airplay, further cementing the swami’s prowess.
3. The Power of Logic
Making the prediction is only step one. It is followed by a long, detailed rationale behind this choice. The commentator will combine their insider info with the obvious needs and wants of a particular team. They will play out possible scenarios which underline their choice. Not only does this provide quality content for fans, it keeps a failed prediction from causing any loss of credibility. If the logic is transparent, then obviously the guys actually making the pick knew something the rest of us didn’t know.
4. Giving Viewers Quality Content to Share, Discuss, and Debate
After the prediction is made and the logic outlined, it is the fan’s turn to take the information and run with it. Again, it isn’t so much about accuracy as it is accessibility. Ronn Torossian of 5WPR believes fans will take these predictions along with their personal comments, questions, and concerns to Twitter, Facebook, and sports talk radio, providing an endless cross-platform content barrage. This will spark debates and widen the circle of the draft spotlight. The more conversations they start, the more potential viewers will tune in next season.
5. There is Always Next Year
As soon as the draft is over, discussion shifts to how these choices will impact teams the following season, thereby creating a whole new set of predictions, followed by a whole new set of debates, and the cycle continues. The NFL is a respected brand and therefore produces respected prognosticators. This respect, in turn, feeds off and builds on each other in an endless cycle season to season.
May 6, 2013
If brevity is the soul of wit, Twitter is brilliant. Capped at 140 characters, the true power of Twitter is that it forces you to be concise. Handled by a professional PR agency, your message can be concentrated into its most impactful – and quotable – context. Messages, images, even video links can be shared quickly and easily.
This means your content can be packaged, sent and received in an instant, then shared exponentially across the globe. Having a sale? Starting a new product line? Re-branding, publishing a book, releasing a movie or a record? Twitter can blast that good news out to everyone. Plus, the conversation dynamic of Twitter allows fans to respond, repost and re-tweet in real time. This keeps the buzz at a fever pitch indefinitely.
But if you send out something on Twitter, there’s no getting it back. No matter how fast you take it down, your message is out there. It’s like firing a bullet. Once it leaves the gun, there’s no getting it back. Even if you reconsider, assume that one of your followers already took a screenshot, capturing the moment forever.
The lesson here is think before you Tweet. How will you feel about the message when you are not so fired up? Because, chances are, that is when other media sources will get a hold of it and start reposting it all over cyberspace. Suddenly you are answering questions about why you felt a certain way – and you may not even feel that way anymore.
When you are in the moment, it can be easy for the frustration or anger to get the best of you. The nearly instant responses of back and forth Twitter messaging has the feel of an actual conversation. The rough reality here, though, is that this is a conversation being witnessed by untold millions, none of whom will ever hear the entire context of conversation.
Suddenly snippets of your argument are being posted and re-tweeted across the web. And it is impossible to explain “what you really meant” on that exponential a scale. You simply cannot counter all the misquotes and out-of-context sound bites.
And you cannot stop them either. Since none of us can completely trust ourselves to be discreet in the midst of a heated exchange, do you really want to have that argument in front of millions of people? Especially when most of them can’t quite hear you or came in late?
Ronn Torossian point is simple. Save your fights for more private and less permanent situations. When it comes to Twitter, fight about it and then forget it is not an option.
May 4, 2013
When you live your life in the public eye, chances are sooner or later you will find yourself dealing with an uncomfortable situation. Mistakes may have been made or, perhaps, you or your company may have been accused of errors. At that moment, the facts of the case matter much less than your reaction to the situation.
While it is understandable to vigorously defend oneself in the face of negative PR, 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian suggests a careful and considered response. Sure, when something potentially negative happens, most strong people wish to address it as soon as possible. That is an understandable response, and it can be the right one. As long as that response is measured, planned and controlled. Let’s look at some scenarios.
#1 – You make a mistake
We’re all human, but there is some truth to the idea that the only thing some people love more than a success story is a fall from grace. Think of that mistake as an unexploded bomb. It may feel like you are already getting shelled, but if you immediately fire back, chances are that mistake you’re holding will really explode. Instead, your response must be cautious, careful and tactful. A difficult proposition in a highly emotional situation. But it is possible when you have the right representation.
#2 – You get accused of a mistake
You did nothing wrong but now at least some people are convinced of your guilt. It’s humiliating, frustrating and can leave you angry – with nowhere to direct that justifiable anger. Here’s the problem, if you decide to respond while angry, no matter how justified, you may make matters worse. While it is true that many people like to think the worst, many will believe the truth if presented properly. It is not enough just to tell the truth, it must be packaged in a way people want to hear it.
#3 – Your employee makes a mistake
Depending on the severity of the offense, it may be tempting to fire them and just move on. But doing so can leave far too many questions unanswered. In 2012, a major media network was accused of doctoring a recording to implicate a potentially innocent man of a crime. It worked. The producers were subsequently fired and the network moved on as if all was right with the world. Then, months later, another mistake was made. Guess what the first thing that came up was? Yep. That “old” news was suddenly breaking news again. Instead of dealing with the current mistake the network was dealing with accusations of institutional corruption. They could not deal with the actual issue because an unresolved issue was in the way.
In all of these instances, your first response may be defensive. That’s understandable. But you must squash that reflex and think about the response to your response. Your first call should be to a public relations firm. Agencies like 5WPR handle crisis PR on a regular basis, and we know exactly how to address these situations.
May 3, 2013
With well-known PR phrases like these, you may be tempted to believe they are true. But as 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian knows, this “All press is good press” idea is one of the biggest myths in the public relations industry. Reputation is everything, in any business. Bad press can have significant negative ramifications.
Adoring fans and interested spectators will tune into the red carpet pre-show on awards night just to see what celebrities are wearing. And the day-after coverage will not only cover who won which awards, but who looked the best and, more importantly, the worst. The best dressed will have their careers discussed and other positive accolades. The worst dressed will have their horrific fashion fail dissected in embarrassing detail.
A fashion fail during a highly publicized event can completely derail a promising narrative. On a night when they were hoping to elicit positive TV commentary, tweets and glowing press coverage, an unsuspected celeb may just end up as fodder for TMZ.
Ronn Torossian of 5WPR further explains that this doesn’t just apply to public events either. Being in the public eye means that somebody is always watching. It may not be fair, but it is the price of fame. The paparazzi know that they can just as easily sell a candid picture of a disheveled, frumpy celebrity as they can a red carpet glamour shot.
While some celebrity fashion flops are simply a matter of poor taste or ill-fitting garments, some celebrities will take a fashion risk and wear something wacky, risky, or flat out risque just to generate some attention. This kind of flash in the pan publicity can do more harm than good, causing that celebrity to lose credibility and respect in the public eye. Cheap gimmicks and “wardrobe malfunctions” rarely pan out as intended.
Look at it this way, that fashion faux pas may have made front page news, but it may have also replaced a potentially priceless fashion PR opportunity. 5WPR knows that when so much about celebrity is public image, that image needs to send the right message at all times.
A bad fashion incident, either accidental or “accidental,” could burn up precious time in the spotlight. Worse, it can follow you for years. Look back at the BEST and WORST dressed lists of fashion mags and post gala reports. There’s a reason why the same names seem to grace both lists each year. Think about it.
May 1, 2013
As consumer technology continues to evolve, the way PR firms approach marketing media must evolve with it. PR approaches vary depending on what audience brands seek to reach. Modern technology, with high-def TVs in nearly every home and digital image screens on smart phones, has changed the status quo in less than five years.
5W Public Relations, also known as 5WPR gives three formerly “cool” media examples that are “heating up” and how that is changing consumer PR.
#1 – Television
Do you know someone with a console or tube television? Do you remember the last time
you watched a square format program or a movie produced before 2000? Do you remember TV looking that “bad?” The average consumer is now accustomed to experiencing picture clarity and quality in their home that a few years ago was only possible on the big screen. It is really not accurate at this point to think of TV as a cool medium any longer. It is fairly universally hot, and marketing strategies must be also.
#2 – The Internet
Video is taking over the Internet. The only question is when this will happen. Further, as upload and download speeds increase, increased visual acuity is possible across the web. This combination of rapidly improving technology and a shift in consumer expectation is driving a new sort of content war online. Consumers are looking for quick, interactive content to view and share. PR firms like 5WPR must respond to this by formulating campaign content that is “hot” for a traditionally “cool” medium.
#3 – Personal Computers
Here we are using the “PC” label in the traditional sense but including laptops and mobile devices in the equation. While in some cases PCs are still cool media, with the capabilities of many to play high-def music and video, that is changing. More importantly, consumer expectation is changing.
Ronn Torossian of 5WPR believes if you rigidly follow the traditional rules for hot and cool media, you will miss out on what’s possible with today’s new media. Worse, you will also frustrate a consumer market growing accustomed to “hot” media on just about every tech device they own.
April 30, 2013
Last week sports media was abuzz with the NFL draft. Fans of every team scoured the Internet for the latest updates, hosted draft parties and waited – wishing and hoping for the missing piece that would get their team back into the playoffs. “This tension,” said Ronn Torossian,the head of top PR firm 5WPR, “can teach you the most important fundamental of a good social media campaign.”
During the entire process, from the Round 1 pomp and circumstance to the undrafted signings after Round 7, the NFL’s Social Media/PR agency was working overtime to keep fans engaged. Here are three ways they did so utilizing social media PR. You can apply the same principles for success in your business.
#1 – Easy sharing
This is vital. No matter what the news was surrounding the draft, from player reaction to pictures of draftees holding jerseys, the NFL’s PR Agency made it easy to share. A simple click kept content flying back and forth across cyberspace. This can work for your social media PR efforts too. No matter what you publish, make sure it is “one-click” simple to share.
#2 – Ready-made images
Within minutes of a pick being made, teams released dynamic images of that player in a team uniform. After some added splashy text and a catchy slogan, suddenly that image was being shared across the web at blinding speed. That was how millions found out who their favorite team had drafted. Not from some news report. From a picture that popped up in their newsfeed. Think about how much information was actually being shared in a single image. Did you know that consumers are much more likely to share a visual image than a text link? It’s true. So … how can you communicate news about your organization with a single dynamic image?
#3 – Re-tweets
5WPR’s Ronn Torossian also pointed out that over the past year, Twitter has increasingly become a channel for news. What gets tweeted or re-tweeted has even impacted presidential politics. During the draft, Twitter was on fire. Instead of asking the players how they felt when they were drafted, news agencies simply followed their Twitter feeds and reported what they read. What about you? Who’s following your company Twitter page? Have you trained your employees to automatically re-tweet company messages? If not, think about how much potential market saturation you’re missing out on.
With some forethought planning and training, any company or cause can use social media to ignite their PR efforts. Take a page from the NFL. Make it easy for fans to share. Keep them well stocked with shareable content and encourage your employees, volunteers and fans to re-tweet your content.
April 25, 2013
Music may be a universal language, but everyone has a favorite dialect. Genres are often important to a person’s sense of self. Who you listen to matters. Most people have a favorite artist or genre, but they are open to new musical experiences. They know they might not like it, but they are willing to give it a shot. In the Public Relations industry, we call that an opportunity.
One of the key concepts of basic marketing is called “participation.” This is the idea of attracting new clients or customers and turning them into fans. One of the main catalysts of this sort of marketing is employing current fans to introduce your product or service to their friends, family or coworkers. How can you do this if you love orchestral music but everyone else you know digs rock-n-roll? Chances are your local orchestra already has this figured out.
#1 – Guest artists as soloists
Many orchestras will invite a superstar solo act from rock or pop to join them for a special series of shows. They do this not only to get wider exposure, but to give their loyal fans the opportunity to do a little one-on-one entertainment PR. “Hey, did you know so and so will be singing with the orchestra next month? We should get some tickets!”
#2 – Crossover performances
One of the most famous rock-opera crossovers happened when two members of the international super band, U2, joined forces with opera powerhouse Pavarotti. Their single took the world by storm and is still getting airplay on YouTube and mass downloads on iTunes.
#3 – Rock series
As the boomers grow older, classical concert orchestras have increasingly added rock songs and series to their repertoire. And why not? That generation came of age during the glory years of the British Invasion. The idyllic harmonies of the Beatles and the huge wall of sound generated by Pink Floyd pair perfectly with a full orchestra.
And even a much younger crowd can remember the orchestral arrangements on Guns N’ Roses and Smashing Pumpkins albums. Replaying these arrangements are a terrific way for orchestras to introduce new fans to their talent and create that “participation” every entertainment act needs to succeed.
April 25, 2013
Gwyneth Paltrow was today named the world’s most beautiful woman for 2013 by People Magazine, and all of us should stand up and celebrate her success. She is a beautiful, successful, intelligent and confident woman, and it is special to watch her.
Paltrow is a great mother, in a seemingly healthy celebrity marriage, committed to her family People Magazine deeming her the most beautiful woman will be great for her career and should help her to achieve even higher success.
It was absurd that last week Star Magazine named her the Most Hated Celebrity. She was more hated that Chris Brown who beat up Rihanna, or Kristen Stewart who cheated on her boyfriend publicly? Could the reason be anything other than jealousy?
Brand Gwyneth is simply awesome – she took care of her mother when she was sick, her husband is rock star Chris Martin of Cold Play, and she cares about all aspects of her childrens’ lives. No one is perfect, but this is a successful, intelligent, confident woman – haters should leave her alone. Isn’t it nice to read about a celebrity who is honestly a nice person? Her reaction to the People Magazine cover? “I honestly thought someone was playing a joke on me. I had to reread the e-mail three times. I was like, ‘This can’t be true…” Genuinely humble.
As CEO of 5WPR, I have worked extensively with celebrity brands – and the Gwyneth Paltrow brand is simply an amazing brand. All of America should salute her and root for her.