The BLACK paPR Report

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PR from an African American Perspective

Contagious 2

royaleLast week I introduced everyone to the amazing vlogs I’d discovered on Facebook.com. There are more and this vlog by Royale Watkins somewhat explains the power of these videos on Facebook.com — they engage and connect:

If I had the embedded code I’d share one of the most poignant vlogs recorded by Royale addressing the suicide of Abraham Briggs, the 19 year old Floridian who took a lethal dose of pills on-camera and then laid down on his father’s bed to die as people observed via a camera he’d set up. That camera ran for over 12 hours and someone finally had the courage and sense to contact the company hosting the streaming video to report what happened to Abraham to authorities. 

Comedian Stevie Mack created the FBTV Network to serve as a hub for the vlogging talent pool on the social network. Members of the group are privileged to information regarding intellectual property issues and video hosting.          

Last night I discovered another gem, a real GEM (Good Enough Mother), René Syler, the author of Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting (Simon Spotlight Entertainment). René spent four years as an anchor on CBS’ The Early Show, and is a spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Read about René HERE. René’s vlogs are incredibly smart and witty, they also incredible marketing tools that engage readers of her book and engage a legion of new fans. (PR Tip: Wanna sell a book? Sell the author first.)

Watch here:

Connect and engage. Vlogging as a marketing device or networking device will not work without making an effort to connect with people and then engaging them on a personal level. The beauty of these wonderful vlogs is that people, famous and infamous, are building the field and people are showing up. This is real reality TV. 

Best, Robin

robin@thejstandard.com

Filed under: African Americans, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Contagious

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Patrice Hale's YouTube page

Social media PR is indeed hot, but it’s proving to be the wave of the future in PR and publicity practices. It’s as simple as connecting the dots between various computer technologies and social networking forums.

However, I won’t oversimplify it in this space, but I will share that I’m incredibly impressed with the way some celebrities and even businesses are using social media to build brand loyalty and followings.

One of the most impressive uses of social media use was during the presidential campaign process by Barack Obama’s campaign. Brilliantly, they engaged (a primary rule of social media) a legion of voters and supporters by sharing (a primary purpose of social media) information on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Moreover, they utilized their own Web site in a manner that included live streaming video (Ustream), events pages and blogging space for supporters. And the most talked about use of social media was the 3 a.m. cell phone text message announcing Barack Obama’s choice for vice-president.  

Barack Obama Campaign Twitter Page (note the followers/following)

Barack Obama Campaign Twitter Page (note the followers/following)

 

Celebrities such as CSI: NY’s Hill Harper utilized social media to promote voter literacy and rights, as well as to record video messages urging people to vote.

I had an opportunity to talk to Jason McCall, a special director for the Obama campaign, whose job it was to recruit celebrities to not only support the now president-elect but to also use social media to promote voter registration and voting. Here is a sample of his projects for Vote for Change

Lately, I’ve seen some really interesting projects on Facebook using the virality of social networking while engaging “friends” in a meaningful dialogue. 

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Terri Vaughn

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Royale Watkins

Actress, producer Terri Vaughn’s use of vlogging or video blogging is absolutely brilliant. Terri is transparent and she actually engages by talking directly to her viewers about life as a black actress in Hollywood, motherhood and about future projects. You can find my favorite vlog by Terri here.  Actor-comedian Royale Watkins produces a vlog, My Life Online, which is also smart and incredibly funny. What I love about Royale’s vlog is that while he’s funny he taps into serious subjects and gives us another side of a comedian’s life.  It’s rare to see a comedian in a multidimensional way, My Life Online is indeed a multidimensional view of Royale. I love smart anything and these vlogs are truly smart in terms of engaging fans/supporters, attracting fans/supporters, and my favorite thing of all – bringing the publicity. Of course, they are also useful for career transitioning and image change. According to the hundreds of comments Terri and Royale receive, their vlogs also help them appear “real” to people. In later editions of my report I will discuss what happens when a vlog goes wrong, really wrong.  

Patrice Hale, a Facebook friend is also attracting a lot of hits to her page as well as friends and supporters. Miss Hale, a screenwriter, who possesses the charisma of a Sherri Shepard and the wit and intelligence of a scholar. Yes, she’s that smart but she’s incredibly funny tackling a serious topic (again one of my favorites) – the lack of black images on broadcast/cable prime-time shows. Here’s Patrice’s infamous and viral vlog:

If there’s anything to learn from these projects it’s imperative that the relationship between the user and the producer of vlogs and other forms of social media is a two-way relationship. The hotness factor in the above was the openness of all to receive and acknowledge feedback, which in turn engages an exchange. It just doesn’t work when you talk at a user. 

Best, Robin

robin@thejstandard.com

 

 

 

Filed under: African Americans, Mass-Mediated Images, New Methods, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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