Vine for PR
It has been just over three weeks since the launch of Vine, the new Twitter-owned mobile app featuring six-second video clips. But three weeks is an eternity in the world of social media, and while it first blew up like the “Harlem Shake” when it came out, how has it fared since?
Vine allows users to easily record short video clips and share to Twitter with just a few swipes of the finger. The user-friendliness had early users experimenting with videos of their pets and dance moves, but brands quickly saw the potential for it as a new creative promotional tool. Dove created this fun clip using stop-motion techniques for its first try. Since then, some public relations professionals are seeing the potential as well.
“I have been advising several organizations on using Vine and they have loved the process,” said Brian Adams, a communications consultant. “I helped to remove the fear they had for trying yet another app and they are now much more comfortable with their own creative process.”
Adams said he likes the app’s potential as a way to pitch reporters and get a client’s name out there in a unique way. Since Vine only allows for six seconds of recorded footage, it caters to those looking to get a message across quickly and succinctly.
“Vine really lives up to the hype,” he said. “Pitching a reporter or sharing news with your supporters in six seconds is fun and easy!”
Gigi Ross, blogger of KludgyMom, said Vine’s integration with Twitter is a key component to its success, by amplifying it and giving any sponsored or brand-centric video that much more exposure. Another important component lies in the fact that Vine is its own self-contained social network as well.
“Like Instagram, Vine will probably develop its own set of fan boys and fan girls,” Ross said. “There is a community that will grow organically there, and that provides brands an opportunity to reach users that they might not otherwise reach in other social networks.”
Ross said she has not yet received any pitches that would be “Vine-worthy” but said she created a sample pitch for her blog to show others how to feature a product that is part of a sponsored brand campaign.
“I used to be a brand ambassador for Method soap, so I did a Vine video showcasing five or six of my favorite Method products,” she said. “As I pitch brands myself, I won’t hesitate to include a Vine video as part of my campaign work where it feels appropriate.”
Not everyone sees Vine sticking around for the long hall, however. At a recent Publicity Club of Chicago event on social media trends for 2013, the app had mixed reviews from the panelists. Amy Guth, social media and SEO manager for The Chicago Tribune, said so far she hadn’t seen much potential for the app, past cat videos. Yet attendee and PR pro Erin Jordan disagreed, tweeting “It’s visual—that’s how people want to share.”
Like many social networks, whether or not Vine can be useful for PR may simply depend on each individual brand’s personality and audience.
“You need to kick the tires and play around with apps to better understand them—that’s why they rarely come with any sort of guidance or instruction,” Adams said. “Even app creators want to see how their product is digested and used by the consumer. If you can take it in a direction that works for you but was not intended by its creators, then you hit on something. Remember, the re-tweet was created by users, not designers and engineers.”
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