Websites and Public Relations Go Hand-in-Hand

If you didn’t already know things are pretty digital these days! It still amazes me that some companies don’t have websites. I know some companies don’t have social media, but how could you not have a website?

Obviously there are many other factors that play in to why a company would not have a website. I found an interesting article that mentions a few reasons. If you want more details check it out, but for now I will mention a few of the main points.

  1. We would like to have a website, but it costs too much
  2. We already advertise in different ways, change is scary
  3. We are too small to have a website

I would like to talk about how websites affect public relations efforts.

Public relations is all about influencing the publics’ opinion through communication, right? Does a website communicate to the public? It certainly does, that is the whole point of a website.

Most companies are trying to sell a product or service and a website is a great information center. The information on websites needs to reflect the values of the company.

First, let’s take a look at superficial details of a website. If I go to a website that is ugly and cluttered, I automatically think the company is not credible. Is this just me?

While I was researching doctors for my wife I came upon a horrendous website. I would never go to that doctor’s office just based off his website. He may have the best care in the world but I would never know because I left his site immediately and kept searching.

Take a look at these two websites and you tell me who you think is more credible.

Pure Healing Foods

Nature Nate’s

Second, website content is important, but let’s be real, if there is no visual appeal not many people are going to waste their time reading the content. When was the last time you meticulously read website content?

81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before buying! If that statistics doesn’t want to make you get a website then I don’t know what will. Here is another statistics, 61 percent of shoppers read product reviews before making a purchase!

I never buy any huge purchases without researching it online. I do understand that not everyone is like that. There are a lot of impulse buyers out there.

If consumers are doing research on your company, you want to have something aesthetically pleasing for them to look at. Imagine car shopping and then you come upon this website: Ling Cars.

I am sure this website was made to be intentionally bad, but you get the point.

My main point is that if companies are going to have a websites, please make them presentable. It doesn’t have to be crazy fancy like this website, but it does need to make a good impression because it certainly affects the public’s opinion.

 

How effective are New Age PR Stunts?

Public relations is known for doing stunts to get publicity. Traditionally they have relied on journalists and media gatekeepers to publish media for them. They have also had to rely on new stations to pick up their story.

With the New Age PR stunts companies don’t need any of that. No need to contact journalists, gatekeepers or worry about buying costly media space.

Companies have found a new way to hone in on the highly digital age that we live in.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the changes that have been made in public relations just over the last five years. Public relations relied so much on others before, but now when it is done right you can have a successful PR stunt done in-house.

The latest PR stunt recently that drove me to write this blog was done by Ubisoft to promote their new game Watch Dogs.

Before you watch the video let me explain about the game in one sentence. The game Watch Dogs is based in future Chicago and the main character can hack into any system using his cell phone, whether than be shutting off lights or changing traffic lights.

In just over two weeks of the video being put on YouTube it has almost 13 million views. There are some video that have gotten more views in the same time period, but this is still impressive.

I can infer that the producers of the video are pleased with the 12.7 millions views, but want more.

These type of videos have been going on for about the last six months. The first one I remember seeing was the Jeff Gordon Pepsi MAX prank. This video has over 43 million views.

People thought that it was fake so they made another video to prove themselves.

Other notable one to watch if you have time is the Devil Baby prank in New York and the promo PR stunt for the movie Carrie. The Carrie video got 57 millions views.

I watched the behind the scenes video for the Street Hacks video and there were a lot of factors that played into the video. It was very complicated and intricate.

It may have cost a lot of money to make the video, but they didn’t have to pay for any commercials on TV. They didn’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a TV spot, which people could easily miss if they left the room.

By putting the video on YouTube they are able to know exactly how many people viewed the video. They know that the audience and demographic for Internet use is only growing.

They could have made a commercial and then placed the commercial on YouTube and then have people share that, but why use the middle man? Put it straight on YouTube.

I think that these New Age PR stunts are very effective. I am not saying that traditional media is a waste, but a lot of companies are going in this new direction.

The amazing thing is that people are choosing to watch your PR stunt a.k.a “commercial.” If a friend shares the video people are going to be more likely to watch the video themselves. They will also be more likely to share and mention the video to friends.

If their friends mention it to them they are most likely going type in “Watch Dogs Prank” on Goolge or YouTube, driving their traffic and impression through the roof.

If you look on Google trends, people searching for Watch Dogs has gone up exponentially since April.  Check out the picture below.

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I think that they are effective for impressions, whether they impact sales or not is a discussion for another day.

#L2E – Learn 2 Earn Highlights

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Last Thursday night I made the long drive down from BYU-Idaho to Salt Lake City for the L2E Conference that LDS Business College hosted. I heard about it from a classmate whose sisters go to LDS BC. From the second I saw the video I knew that I needed to go.

I am grateful to the people who took the time and effort to organize and plan the event. I can’t even imagine what a logistical nightmare it must have been trying to get all the speakers lined up and everything organized.

It was worth the time and energy driving down because as the host Spencer Taggart said about a thousand times it was mind blowing. I was opened to new ideas and concept that I need to implement in my personal career to be the best person I can.

I have been telling everyone at BYU-Idaho that they missed out and I have been anxious to share what I have learned.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith from K Cross branding came and talked about branding ourselves, how to become free and how to find our strengths.

One of my favorite quotes from his speech was, “You don’t need to ask permission for anything, just tell them that you are coming.”

What a bold statement, if we want something than we have to go out there and get it. He talked about how the opposite of fear is freedom. If we put ourselves out there and fight fear we will become free.

“Strengths aren’t always things that you are good at, they are things that strengthen you,” Smith said. “Weaknesses aren’t things that you are bad at, it is something that weakens you.”

I had never thought of it like that. It is an amazing concept. Chris played out a scenario that I think happens a lot and discourages people from their facing fears and becoming free.

He said then when we are not good at something people tell us to stop, even if we really love it. If we are good at something people say to keep going it even if we don’t love what we are doing. Just because we aren’t good at something, doesn’t mean that we have to stop doing it if we truly love it.

Smith encouraged student to tell their story. He said that content is key. Content is better than PR and advertising. Stories raise our personal brand and what we have to offer.

We need authentic stories. Every great story starts with Once upon a time….suddenly….luckily and happily ever after.

You brand is what you stand for! What do you want to be known as?

He gave keys on building your brand are: DISCOVER, ALIGN, SERVE.

We truly are a brand and if we brand ourselves we will be more marketable. After his speech we got to dance. I was able to jump on stage and get my dance on. I have no shame! That song has been stuck in my head all week!

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Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie came all the way from Boston. Represent! I was born in Boston!

She talked about the jobs that are available in social media, but that part of her speech that caught my eye was once again about personal branding.

She instructed us to have a number 1, 2 and 3 written down on our paper. She then had us write down the top three things that we want people to think about when they hear our names. It was hard for me. What do I want people to think of when they hear my name? PR? Advertising? Journalism?

After you write down what you want people to remember you then have to brainstorm underneath and think of ways to be noticed. It can be through hashtags or various ways.

“Social media has changed me, I see the world in a new perspective, I helps me focus on the details of life,” Leishman said.

There are plenty of jobs out there, we just have to build our brand so THEY can find us.

Judy Robinett

Judy Robinett gave a great speech on networking. Most speakers on networking say just go out and talk to people, but she gave some great advice.

Network = Net work. What a powerful statement.

The reason that people are afraid to network is because of fear.

Here’s what to do:

1. Confront Fears

2. Challenge Assumption

3. Change Beliefs

4. Create Political Capital

She encouraged us to focus on a group of 50 connections and build strong relationships. The money and jobs are in the weak connections, the friends of friends.

What you need to ask: What other ideas do you have for me? Who else do you know that I should talk to?

We need to build a network before we need it. Plan for the future.

There were many other speakers that came to L2E. I wish I could write about all of them.

Tom Dickson who invented the Blendtec came and talked to us about how social media changed his life. He is famous for his YouTube channel Will It Blend?

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Alex Houg and Dennis Yu came from Blitz Metrics to talk about the importance of analytics. They offered a free course, which I just barely signed up for. Thank you for that opportunity.

Thanks you again to all those who put this conference on. My mind was truly blown.

If you went, what were you favorite parts?

Red Bull: YouTube King

Red Bull: YouTube King

Red Bull has done just a good job at branding their image that sometimes I forget that they are an energy drink. I can’t remember the last time I have seen a “Red Bull gives you wings” commercial.

Words like extreme sports, dirt bikes, skydiving and space jump come to mind when I think of Red Bull. They now have over 3 million subscribers on YouTube. Why? Because they partner with extreme sports and everybody loves watching death-defying feats.

Red Bull has over 1.2 million twitter followers, I just became one yesterday. They must be doing something right.

That right thing is that your advertising and PR doesn’t have to directly promote your product. Never have I seen a commercial where they show a Red Bull.

They are first on YouTube and the second place company is Playstation, they aren’t even close. They have a little more than 2 million.

Here are the top 10, according to Mashable:
1. Red Bull
2. PlayStation
3. Rockstar Games
4. Apple
5. GoProCamera
6. Rovio Entertainment
7. Ubisoft
8. Nike Football
9. DC Shoes
10. Pepsi