Harnessing the media can sometimes be akin to harnessing wild horses. There are proven skills and techniques to capture the attention of the media but attempting to then control that attention can be a different matter.
We're currently working with a new client who is an author with a youtube channel. The aim of her publicity work was to attract viewers to her channel. When it was time to discuss the mailing list and scope of the publicity she wanted to achieve, she had very specific needs. Usually clients want to reach as many people as possible. A succesful technique is to target the local media first and then radiate out.
However, our client did not want to attract any local media attention at all. In fact she didn't even want her country targetted. We tailored the mailing list according. Yet we had to explain to our client the obvious tension between trying to attract viewers to an online channel whilst curtailing the spread of any publicity. Attracting an audience to any online material relies upon attracting online users. Where do you find online users? Yes, online!
Now, once you put publicity material online, you cannot control who reads it, shares it, passes it on to their friends. It's great for extending the reach of any publicity but not so good if you want to corral the interest in a specific geographical location. Our client understood that risk and we moved ahead with the public relations work. By the end of the week, her channel views had increased dramatically (putting her in the top 20% of youtube channels) and she had even secured some subscribers. It was a succesful campaign but also a timely reminder that the benefits of the internet and the media mean geographical boundaries for audiences are ever harder to determine and respect.
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