Vlogging and the New DIY PR

December 4, 2007

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(image: Andy Plesser shooting footage for The New York Times corporate site)

I’ve been talking to people in the industry about the fight for marketing dollars recently between interactive agencies, PR firms, and other consultants. Where PR people succeed and fail–and this was the main theme of the Critical Issues Forum–is in their ability to tell compelling stories. My theory is the overall nut of marketing dollars will remain the same, while PR firms fight to keep what they have, or learn new methods and take a bigger chunk. Creating new media, specifically producing video for the web is going to be the nut the industry fights for.


While we try unravel the real PR motive behind the geeky voyeur-fest of Julia Allison and Jakob Lodwick’s video blog (if something in their relationship goes unblogged, did it happen at all?) we’re also chasing video work being done by PR firms on behalf of actual brands. J&J’s detractors and haters make for fun reading & viewing during coffee breaks though.

Check out this TV Week story about and those working in space including Ask a Ninja, Revver, Blip.TV, Gary Vaynerchuk, host of the wildly successful Winelibrary.TV vlog, and boutique PR agency head and Beet.tv vlogger Andy Plesser.

Both Vaynerchuk and Plesser understand how to create interesting video on very specific topics, how to build a loyal audience, and prove that in the era of new media, you have to put your own face on it to be credible. Plesser has covered the web video trend like a journalist for years, which I’m sure was critical in landing corporate work for The New York Times.

And Vaynerchuk is the pinnacle of what I call the new, DIY PR. Consider this for a moment: how long many years would it take an agency to land Conan, Ellen, Nightline, New York magazine, weekly mentions on Digg Nation and hundreds of other placements using traditional media relations? Gary took his charisma, a heavy Jersey accent, a love of wine and pro wrestling, and a solid understanding of new media and turned it in to a retail empire.

(Disclosure: I worked for Plesser Holland from 2000-2006)

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One Response to “Vlogging and the New DIY PR”


  1. One issue facing many firms that want to use video is that those people who appear on video aren’t always the same ones proficient with the technology of camcorders, computers and Final Cut Pro. Some companies that have TV studios that are externally connected to the broadcast networks are also using those same studios and fiber optic channels to send video to post-production houses for editing, encoding and posting to corporate web sites or YouTube. This eliminates the need to hire an internal A/V person. Another option is to purchase software such as FlipFactory that automates the video production process. (Disclosure: VideoLink provides the ReadyCam on-site TV studio systems for both live TV and web video production)


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