Lately there’s been a lot of chatter about how companies can get involved in Web 2.0 and social mediums successfully. I mean, let’s be honest, it is a fun space to play in. Rather than writing up the tried-tested-and-true press release, we (as PR people) get to venture out and try something new and different. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing (okay, let me rephrase that, I LIKE writing press releases :), but creating a WeeMee is a whole lot more fun. By blazing a trail where no other flacks have gone before, we get the extra added benefit of being creative and working on something that will hopefully be entertaining to the average reader/viewer and to our clients as well.
The problem is that the space has attracted a lot controversy since some PR firms are abusing this unique privilege. A number of folks have been called out for abusing blogs or other user-generated content.
So… since today is Halloween, dare I say that the prospect of entering this undefined second generation of web-based communities and hosted services can be downright frightening?
This week we launched one of those creative Web 2 strategies. We have a client, Taleo, that was behind us all the way that was excited to do something new, different and creative. After weeks of research and hard-work we posted a video for them on YouTube this week. The video itself was meant to start a discussion and get people interested in the bigger picture. Horn Group assisted in the production of the video along with Taleo.
Since Taleo’s products help companies assess, acquire, develop and align their workforces for improved business performance, we thought we’d center the discussion the four letter word that everyone has a love/hate relationship with… WORK.
We interviewed co-workers, friends and just plain old regular folks from off of the streets of San Francisco and asked them if they’ve ever had a terrifying boss, a bizarre interview, a horrifying performance review or a creepy mentor. The end result was our video… aptly named “Career Horror Stories.”
We posted the clip on October 30th and in the span of less than 48 hours our clip has been viewed 422 times! How did we get 422 views? Well, the team posted the link on their social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) and also passed it around to friends and family via email. We also took a look at recent articles on subjects like “bad bosses” and “workplace issues” and simply responded via a comment with the link. No gimmicks, no tricks. The team just explained that it was a project that we were working on for Halloween (Get it? “Career Horror Stories”) and invited co-workers, friends and family to take a look. That was it and the video is getting way more views than we ever imagined.
I think the main reason why this is working is because everyone on the team was honest about the project. No one’s pretending to be someone they’re not. There are no actors, no models. I mean, isn’t that what YouTube is supposed to be about anyways? Sure there are TV show clips and movie trailers and stuff on the site, but in the end I think its name says it all “YouTube: Broadcast Yourself.” I think some of the most successful videos (and the ones I know I enjoy the most) are the ones that involve extraordinary everyday people (like the Urban Ninja or Tay Zonday) or talented/high profile people “acting” like everyday people (like when George Bush tried to escape). I can watch actors play a role on TV. I visit YouTube to find the funny, odd, weird, quirky, crazy, amazing and strange things that I can’t see on TV.
If you get a chance, check out the Career Horror Stories clip and post your comments below the video. The team would love to hear your thoughts (especially if you think you’ve got a story that you think is even better than the ones in the clip).