Thank you, Larry Weber, for helping me sell the idea of corporate YouTube channels. With your new book, Sticks & Stones: How Digital Business Reputations are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click, and your subsequent tweets, you’ve given the stamp of credibility to YouTube and made it an acceptable tool for corporate America.
For the past year I’ve been talking to my clients about the necessity of managing their on-line reputation by taking control of such viral elements as video. Now that Larry has chimed in and devoted an entire chapter of his book to YouTube perhaps they’ll pay more attention.
Maybe now people will understand that YouTube is no longer just college students lighting farts. Okay, that’s still part of it, but in general there has been an on-going shift on YouTube to more professional content that is an integral part of a company’s (or college’s) outgoing message.
Maybe now people will understand that by not participating in YouTube they are giving the control of their online reputation to the masses. Just because YOU haven’t put anything about your company on YouTube, don’t assume that there’s nothing out there. Type your company name into YouTube and see what you find. I did that for a client of mine and showed them that there are three videos that come up. The first two were a rant from a former employee that started with the statement, “They want to shoot the president and black children at my job.” Just what you’d like your customers to find when they are looking for information about you, right?
Then there’s a college that I’ve been talking to. Type in their name and one of the top five videos was of a student, drunk, with his friends writing all over his body with black magic marker. It perhaps did not accurately convey the image of the college that they had intended.
YouTube should be evaluated and handled as part of every organization’s public relations strategy. Because, guess what? Every day more of your “public” is finding their information right there.