Live video streaming through YouTube just around the corner

We all think of YouTube as a way to catch up with events through video. But what if it offered you a front row seat to an event . . . anything from a concert . . . to an inauguration . . . to a community event or a press conference? Think of the possibilities that it offers to communicators as a way to reach a broad, worldwide audience in a truly interactive way. This is the step that will really turn YouTube into a broadcaster.

YouTube has been testing its new live streaming platform which integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera.

There will also be a “Live Comments” module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community.

This feature was trialed in September. Soon to be available to Google Partners!

Who needs traditional advertising when YouTube is available?

First Frito-Lay eschewed the Superbowl and started running commercial contest on YouTube, Crash the Super Bowl.

Now, Ray Ban is taking viral video marketing to to the next level. If you haven’t seen the most recent video in Ray Ban’s campaign, Guy has Glasses Tattooed on his Face, then you are rapidly becoming one of the minority.

The video was posted just a week ago; already there are 1,099,435 views! Not to mention the media coverage this has generated. Did he? or didn’t he?

Actually this is just the latest in Ray-Ban’s campaign. The videos are posted on Ray-Ban’s YouTube Channel under the moniker Never Hide Films.

Each of their videos is clever, entertaining and gets people talking.

So, what do you think? Is the tattoo for real? or is it a well done fake?

Video is changing writing forever.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? It’s incalculable. YouTube and the plethora of video that it offers are changing the way that we communicate and I believe will profoundly influence the course of mass communications.

Take for example, the simple communication of instructions.

With video you essentially have a private tutorial with an infinitely patient teacher. You can watch the difficult parts over and over again until they make sense. And with YouTube, you have the opportunity to interact with that instructor through comments so you can get answers to your questions.

I’ve seen this play out in small ways. When my son got a new calculator — one that allows him to solve math problems that I’ve never even heard of — he didn’t read the instruction manual. Instead, he went to YouTube where he found a demonstration of the exact task that he wanted to perform. In less than five minutes he was completely empowered.

I use YouTube for its instructional properties as well. I’ve been teaching myself how to knit and crochet. When I need help with a technique or a stitch, it’s all there — in slow motion and high definition. Instructions that were indecipherable in their written format become clear and (frankly) obvious when shown in video.

How will that impact mass communications? In general, I believe people are reading less and that by using video to communicate thoughts, ideas and instructions, this trend further diminishes the impact of the written word.

That does not mean that our job as communicators is becoming obsolete; rather we must learn how to use video as an effective medium. People listen differently than they read. We need to understand that dynamic in order to create videos that use words and images together in a way that both educates and entertains. Writing isn’t going away. It’s just taking on a new form. One that is potentially even more powerful and influential.

Weber describes YouTube as a “juggernaut”

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.


No one reads anymore . . . The future lies in video.

Has anyone else noticed this? Because it seems glaringly obvious to me that people no longer read. Not us PR types. We still read. It’s the people we are trying to reach that have given it up.

I am assuming this is why when someone is given written instructions, the task is inevitably done wrong. Or why when you email or text a question to someone, the response is not an answer. At least not an answer to the question you asked.

The alternative is that people are mostly stupid and I don’t think this is true. Reading, especially reading for comprehension, is just too time consuming.

That leaves us with a conundrum. How can we tell the stories we need to communicate in a way that appeals to our target audiences? The answer is video.

Ten years ago corporate video was widespread and elaborate. Web-based communications made video unfeasible until recently because of bandwidth restrictions. Now, it’s back and it’s more important than ever.

YouTube is now the most broad-reaching broadcast channel out there. It’s bigger than any of the network channels and soon will reach a larger audience than all of those channels combined.

To best serve our clients, we must now embrace the use of video as a communications medium.