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The Strategy Room

You & YouTube: PR Opportunities on the Second Screen

By: Hannah Sedgwick

media outreach

When you’re sending a media pitch, what types of outlets do you generally contact? Print? Sure. Online? Absolutely. Broadcast? Always. But what about YouTubers?

According to YouTube, the video platform has more than one billion users and reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds than any single cable network in the United States. Now would you consider pitching to YouTube producers and content creators?

There are two basic ways you can look at the YouTube space: as a community of influencers and as a broadcast outlet.

YouTubers As Influencers

Influencers on YouTube, or YouTubers, are experts at cultivating a personal brand as well as telling other brand narratives.

For example, Safiya Nygaard is an expert at both original content and incorporating sponsors. An ex-Buzzfeed star, Nygaard became a producer who cultivated a lifestyle and beauty channel that has more than 6 million subscribers. She also recently launched a clothing line.

Nygaard has devoted entire videos to single products, even without sponsorship, like “I Wore 9-Foot-Long Extendo Jeans For A Day.” She’s also done sponsored videos such as “Mixing All My Highlighters Together,” as part of the “Bad Makeup Science” series (ingeniously sponsored by Olay Daily Facials make-up wipes).

PR pros can even learn some insider tips from Nygaard’s videos. In October, she published a video called “Trying Products That Asked To Sponsor Me (Not Sponsored),” where she reviewed past product pitches and explained why they weren’t a good fit for her brand.

Think creatively when pitching YouTubers and watch a few of their videos to tailor your pitch. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for an inventive pitch idea and consider adding YouTubers to your next media list.

YouTube As Broadcast Media

According to TechCrunch, with an increasing amount of “cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers” who are straying from paid cable television, YouTube is steadily becoming a popular and free alternative.

Broadcast media are upping their YouTube presence to reach a wider audience. For example, TODAY posts full clips from its live broadcast, as well as short-form digital extras, that can rack up millions of views and give the hit a longer online lifespan.

Niche and special interest magazines like Vogue are also turning to YouTube to make content come to life. While the print edition of Vogue is only published once a month, its digital team is pumping out engaging and in-depth content daily. Vogue’s popular digital series “73 Questions” gives never-before-seen looks into the luxury homes of the world’s top celebrities, all while asking them quick-fire questions, giving fans a new level of intimacy that they may not get while flipping through Vogue’s pages.

With highly engaging ways media outlets are connecting to viewers on YouTube, your client has more opportunities to be seen in an in-depth way that’s not limited by word counts or layouts.

Digital web series is another genre of YouTube channels that function similarly to traditional broadcast outlets. First We Feast, which bills itself as “food meets pop culture,” produces several popular series. Top series include “Hot Ones,” a show where guests are interviewed while eating 10 increasingly spicy chicken wings, and “Curry Shop,” a weekly series that dives into a variety of curry across the globe with Canadian rapper Jasleen Powar (aka Horsepowar).

Recurring web series are a return to appointment television, giving viewers a specific date and time for new episodes and seasons. These unique interview shows are a great way to reach niche and unexpected audiences.

So if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box, fresh idea for your next campaign, take a look through the “Trending” section of YouTube.

Looking for a fresh idea for your next campaign? Look to @YouTube. Click To Tweet




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