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YouTube: Not Just for Cat Videos

Still cresting the wave of an Easter Sunday jellybean sugar-high (extended in duration on account of Monday morning coffee consumption), I find myself probing the net and mulling over potential topics for this edition of PR/PR’s blog. The brain is a finicky organ, as much of the time my topics are derived from pacing the hallways or clicking random web-links until something strikes me as blog-worthy. This morning, it was perusing YouTube for Parks and Recreation clips (specifically Ron Swanson) when it hit me: employing YouTube as a viable weapon in a professional speaker’s arsenal, and the immediate spark it can provide to your career.

Contrary to popular opinion, YouTube does not exist merely for viewing videos of cats playing piano. Since Google’s acquisition in 2006, the online broadcast website has undergone an extremely corporate-friendly shift, providing a practical outlet for professional speakers. The ability to immediately post keynotes and workshops to the masses (and simultaneously post the YouTube link across your social media cache) has branded the site as a stout contender in the realm of creating and sustaining business online.

When booking speaking engagements in the past, there was a lot of snail-mailing DVDs of previous speeches, creating a palpable lag in locking down business. With the explosion of YouTube, meeting planners can now access your keynotes with a simple name search or point and click. This means a wider audience, and lack of delay in getting your message in front of the decision makers who will potentially sign your checks.

Like it or not, we are an Internet-driven society, and a distinct presence on every online platform is not just necessary: it’s make or break. Why put in the legwork of crafting relationships and building a network to increase your speaking gigs when a Google search returns no evidence of your keynoting acumen? Your qualifications may look terrific on paper, but this is often trumped by the accessibility of others’ video-evidence on YouTube.

Every professional with visually-driven content should have a YouTube channel. The new HBO film Game Change outlines the McCain campaign’s process of selecting Sarah Palin as the VP candidate in 2008. How did campaign manager Rick Davis begin this endeavor? By viewing Palin’s interviews on YouTube and determining she was a political star in waiting. If candidates are being selected for the second-highest office in the land via online-video, annual corporate meeting keynote speakers are, too.

-Carter Breazeale

PR/PR Public Relations

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