2012 Platinum PR Awards: Podcast/Videocast

Winner: American Chemical Society - Bytesize Science

Originally launched in 2010, the Bytesize Science video series—designed to help the public discover chemistry in an educational and entertaining way—was relaunched in 2011 in an effort to gain more online viewership. To reach that objective, the team at the American Chemical Society aimed to make the content more relevant to the average viewer; develop more episodes more efficiently; and pitch the end products more effectively to bloggers and journalists. 

To make the content more relevant, ACS regularly released holiday and season-themed episodes—a video on beer chemistry premiered in time for St. Patrick’s Day, for example. Prior to the relaunch, videos were heavily animated, a time-consuming process. For the 2011 series, the team opted for a mix of on-location footage and animation, streamlining the production process. For media relations, ACS reached out directly to journalists and bloggers via e-mail and Twitter.

The results of the relaunch were impressive: The series garnered more than 1.3 million views, compared to 300,000 in 2010. The number of subscribers quadrupled by the end of 2011. Thanks to the improved media relations, Bytesize episodes were posted on the sites of The Los Angeles Times, Gizmodo, Techcrunch, Time, Washington Post, NPR, Wired and many more—three times as many blogs and news sites than in 2010. —SVC

Honorable Mentions:

Carmichael Lynch Spong with WebmasterRadio.FM – Untying the Purse Strings of America’s Most Powerful Consumer: PurseStrings, a 30-minute show that streams on WebmasterRadio.FM and is also available as a podcast, gives corporate executives and SMB decision-makers the inside track on today’s women. It also serves a new business generation tool for Carmichael Lynch Spong. Hosted by Maria Reitan, podcast downloads of PurseStrings grew by more than 24% in 2010-2011.

Dixon Schwabl and Greater Rochester Enterprise – Eyes On The Future Radio Show: Eyes On The Future draws an average weekly audience of 16,000 listeners, making it one of the top-rated Saturday morning shows in the Greater Rochester area. Focused on news of the region’s economy, the show also provides business leaders with the information need to grow their companies. In 2011 a  “new podcasts” section helped generate a 13% increase in monthly visitors to GRE’s Web site.

National Shooting Sports Foundation – NSSF’s Shooting Sportscast: To educate new potential participants to the sport and modeled after a “tips” concept from Popular Mechanics, Shooting Sportscast offers at least 13 tips during each video shoot. The edited tips are shared via iTunes and through NSSF’s YouTube channel. In 2011 the series garnered nearly 1.6 million views, and 850,000 views from Jan.-May 2012.

Scholastic Inc.- Coming to America: Ellis IslandA Virtual Field Trip: With its 1 million registered teacher users and thousands of pages of free content, Scholastic.com looked to tap these resources in creating a series of live webcasts that give students a chance to virtually visit cultural landmarks. More than 2.5 million teachers and librarians were targeted via e-mails, a corporate blog and other social platforms about the Ellis Island trip, which resulted in more than 19,000 advanced registered participants from all 50 states and around the globe.

Strategic Public Relations Group – SouthGobi Resources Ltd - Global live webcast of financial results presentation: SouthGobi, a coal mining, development and exploration company with stock listings in Toronto and Hong Kong, produced a global live webcast announcing fiscal year-end results to investors and analysts. The event drew 140 investors, analysts, journalists and shareholders from around the world, and resulted in 12 research reports written by companies like Citi, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, among others.

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