In a recent eMarketer article, WestJet’s Corey Evans, manager of sponsorship and community investment discussed the company’s 2013 “Christmas Miracle” viral video success. In the post, he is quoted as saying: “You used to do a PR stunt just for the PR. Now you do the PR stunt for the PR, and then you can tell the story through social media, and it can live longer and continue to grow.”
I think that is a really important message – especially because the lines between social media being a PR function vs. a marketing or advertising function are often very blurry.
What marketers or PR professionals must always remember is that – especially when using online video to deliver your message – what sets you apart from other social media initiatives is the story that you tell in order to explain what is truly unique about your brand. The WestJet Christmas Miracle video was so compelling because it connected with viewers in a very emotional way – teaching them that WestJet goes the extra mile for its customers.
So, the story that you tell is most certainly not just a PR stunt. And while you will get publicity for a very good story, your message is more about ensuring that people connect with your brand in a meaningful way – enticing them to want to be your customer.
Likewise, just as the eMarketer article suggests, the more you invest into making your content great, the stronger the impact and the wider the reach of your story.
Here’s the WestJet “Christmas Miracle” video – in case you were living under a rock, or didn’t have a Internet connectivity in 2013.