Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Why We Did It: New Viral Video Marketing & Online PR Campaign

According to Hitwise’s 2006 edition of the "US Consumer Generated Media Report," MySpace garnered the number one spot among the top 20 leading social networking sites, receiving 82 percent of the visits in a month-long period. What’s more, that same report indicated the average MySpace user spends at least two hours on the site per sitting. And that’s just social networking. In January of 2007, Internet monitoring company Netcraft reported that there were 106,875,138 websites with domain names and content on them. YouTube hosts nearly 73 million videos and 2.8 million user channels. Technorati, a blog search engine, currently tracks over 112 million blogs. Clearly, the Internet has become one of our most valuable tools for connecting with other people.

I will be the first to admit that Phenix & Phenix has always been a firm that has resisted PR fads. We have consistently stuck to our guns amidst the latest crazes in the industry, much to the benefit of our clients. Hard work, a focus on building relationships, creative positioning and savvy promotion have allowed us to deliver national media and launch best selling books for years. For that reason, we have seldom seen the value in changing our approach to building brands for our clients. If it ain’t broke…

However, it is no secret that book publicity is changing. It is not just about landing ink and airtime anymore. If a book does not have significant Web presence in today’s digitally driven marketplace, it is missing out on potential sales and long-term media opportunities. Success stories abound for authors who used the Internet effectively to build their platforms. Just this week Publishers Weekly ran a story about Christian author Anita Renfroe, who will now be making regular appearances on "Good Morning America" after they aired her YouTube video and got a great response. Renfroe posted a creative video online that has now been viewed millions of times:

As was the case with Renfroe, success on the Internet often starts with entertaining, eye-catching visuals. As we did more research on viral marketing success stories and talked with agents & publishers about what they have seen work well, it became clear to us that P&P needed a campaign that focused on building platforms for authors online. We also knew that any online viral marketing and PR campaign we designed needed to be anchored by entertaining and informative video clips of the author.

I won't bore you with the specifics of what is included in this new campaign, as you can read more about it here, but it is important to note that this the first new campaign that P&P has launched in years. We're doing so because we believe this is a direction that both the media and the book industry are headed.

We will be updating the blog with more viral marketing success stories from authors in the coming weeks, so if you have one to nominate, let us hear about it!

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