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In social media world, PR pitches are reaching consumers directly

October 27, 2009

As more magazines and newspapers disappear and the staffs of surviving publications shrink, some marketers are finding alternatives to the traditional path of pitching journalists to generate media coverage. As reports, marketers haven’t completely abandoned traditional media, but a growing number are also creating original content to engage consumers directly.

Some companies are using YouTube to convey their product messages. Mark Hass, CEO and partner of MH Group Communications, is quoted as saying that creating and distributing content not only controls the message, but can also reach a wider audience. “You build a channel on YouTube and you get millions of views,” he says. “If you wanted to reach that many people using traditional media, you would have to pitch and place in dozens of outlets.”

Taking a similar tack, MasterCard is posting interviews of its executives on the Web. The videos are shot informally on camcorders, edited on laptop computers, and then uploaded to YouTube. The company often tweets links to the clips on Twitter and then follows up with reporters to let them know MasterCard has commented on a particular issue or topic in the news. The company isn’t “necessarily becoming less reliant” on mainstream media, says Andrew Foote, senior vice president at Cohn & Wolfe, MasterCard’s PR agency. But “Sometimes mainstream [media] can’t keep up with the needs of the company to get stuff out.”  — Greg Beaubien 


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