Published on October 24, 2019, at 5:50 p.m.
by Louise Margeson.
According to HubSpot, the definition of public relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This definition highlights the two most crucial aspects of effective PR — communications and relationships. Any good PR pro knows that establishing consistent communication between an organization and its target audiences is what creates a strong and long-lasting brand identity. Today, social media is the primary way for organizations to uphold
effective two-way communication.
In our digital age, where we are constantly hiding behind our small screens and vicariously living through our social media presence, we long for genuine relationships in order to feel connected to the ever-evolving world around us. That is where the “vlogger” phenomenon comes into play. Vloggers, otherwise known as YouTubers, are individuals who consistently post short clips online, allowing viewers to follow their everyday lives.
Although platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are very useful for organizations to reach their publics, YouTube has become a powerhouse in terms of maintaining a brand’s voice. The site, which has over 1.9 billion monthly active users, is, at its core, a platform for two-way communication. Through strategic partnerships, a brand can align itself and its values with one singular vlogger’s voice that advances its message. From a consumer’s perspective, after spending countless hours becoming invested in a particular vlogger, the promotion of a brand or product seems authentic and reliable.
In 2014, Jeetendr Sehdev of the University of Southern California asked 13- to 18-year-olds to rate the 10
most popular English-speaking YouTubers and the 10 most popular traditional celebrities across a range of qualities representing influence. YouTubers took the top five places, making them more influential than celebrities such as Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence. A year later, this number grew to six.
As the content created on YouTube continues to expand to reach a broader audience, the influence that
vloggers have over younger generations will inevitability increase. Now, more than ever, it is up to PR professionals to utilize this influence in order to advance their organization’s image.