Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spinning it for the press.

Press coverage helps raise awareness to the rest of the population to what we're doing. But how do we get it?

The founders of the Mid Ohio Rock Show have figured it out. Here's a clipping from their full page article in the Mansfield News Journal.

Upon seeing this on my Facebook feed, I read the article. Then I searched for their YouTube channel and realized a few things. None of these things are in any way an insult to anyone, and I do have a point. That point is that you need to play your strengths up to the press to get that coverage. This is going to dissect the strengths and weaknesses I found in this article to show you why, despite what you may think is a not so newsworthy article, someone may still find it newsworthy if you play on the right facts to the press.

So let's begin the dissection. And again, this isn't meant as any sort of slight at anyone, just an analysis of what I find.

Let me explain. The article calls the show a YouTube "sensation". However, the most viewed video on the profile was a video of Charlie Sheen driving a train. They superimposed information about the Mid Ohio Rock Show at the tail end of the Charlie Sheen spot. I think this was wise, but risky.

You see, if someone is going to search for Charlie Sheen, they may find this commercial and watch it. This would explain the 14,000 views on this video. Where this was a smart move for them is that it created content on their channel that would appear when someone searched for Charlie Sheen. Then at the end, they place their show information, helping to increase the likelihood that people interested in this type of show might tune in to the rest of the channel and find content they like. Here's an example of the content they provide.

Where I find this risky is that they tricked people into finding their page by searching for Charlie Sheen, then placing their show's promo at the end of that video. This could create a false expectation in the viewer that they are seeing the original piece, then they could get frustrated when they find that it's actually someone else using Charlie Sheen to advertise their show. That's the risk involved in this type of advertising.

The point is that it did generate views for their channel. The newspaper article touts that the channel is a YouTube "sensation" because it's been viewed in over 140 countries. This is likely due to the fact that they included Charlie Sheen content in their page, hence increasing the number of times that their content appeared in YouTube searches (can we say SEO?). This could have the effect of bringing people to their channel to check out the music featured on the show, but the evidence shows that may not be the case.

When I look at their original content, there's less than 1,000 views on almost all of the other videos. These are the videos that feature local bands. I'd be hard pressed to tout that as a "YouTube sensation", but their channel HAS been viewed in 140 countries. Therefore, it could be said to the press that the channel has reached worldwide exposure, hence creating interest to the media.

The creators of the show, knowing what press potential there was in the fact that their channel has received so many views in so many countries, took that information to the local press. The local press published an article talking about the worldwide reach of the channel. This increases the likelihood that people in the Mansfield area will be aware of the show's existence, and will increase their likelihood of tuning in. Therefore, even though the views for the videos of the local bands on the show aren't really that high, they found a factual piece of information that would create a buzz worthy story in the local press and ran with it.

The point I'm trying to get across is that you want to find ways of using your stats or other information to help generate a buzz about your band. There are journalists looking for that interesting piece, even if it's just to act as filler on a slow news day, but that piece could turn into you gaining press exposure! Take advantage of that where you can!

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