2 Tips for PR Pros to Add Vine to the Communications Mix

Vine, a mobile app by Twitter that enables its users to create and post short video clips, is the latest shiny new thing in the social-media gestalt.

The service, which launched in January, features a video clip that’s just six seconds. While that’s less time than it takes to clear your throat, it may still be enough time for PR pros and communicators to convey a quick message or, at the least, supplement an existing message on another media channel.

As Vine starts to weave its way into the marketing-communications compendium, what’s the video platform’s potential for PR? So far, it’s encouraging.

In an informal poll conducted by PR News, nearly half of the respondents (45%) said they are now using Vine, while 19% of the respondents said they were not using the service.

About a quarter of the respondents (24%) said they were considering using Vine and 12% said they were not familiar with the service.

Our guess is that that last percentage will soon whittle down to virtually zero.  With that in mind, we offer a primer for PR execs on how to find their inner Fellini in six seconds or less.

Jason Woodward, a research and social/digital media associate at Hunter Public Relations, provided two key tips that PR pros need to know about Vine:

1) Brands can tell stories on Vine that they know their viewers will watch all the way to the end.

Research abounds on the optimal video length for the Web’s modern viewer, with recommendations varying from 30 seconds to four minutes. But by capping its videos at six seconds, Vine asks for a virtually insignificant time investment from the viewer.

This all but guarantees that if someone starts watching your Vine, he or she will watch the whole thing. Since Vines loop endlessly, most consumers will probably watch them through multiple times. Instead of worrying about the video’s parameters, the lightweight nature of Vine enables brands to focus on what they should do best: tell a compelling story.

2) Content is still king, but creativity has become the prince.

More important than any medium, budget or featured celebrity is the actual quality of the marketing messages you create and produce. In other words: content is king. However, the quality of your content is fueled by the distinctiveness of your creativity. And the less you have to work with, the more creative you’re forced to be.

In other words: constraints drive creativity. Such is the case with Vine. It now offers videographers a very limited toolkit. To wit, all video must be shot on an iPhone (for now); it must be shot within the Vine app; it can’t be cropped, edited or touched up after the fact; you can’t add any text or special effects and external videos that were taken somewhere else cannot be imported into the app. 

What’s your take on Vine as a PR tool?

Don't miss PR News' Vine Webinar on April 30.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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  • PJH

    Is there a Vine equivalent for Android? I’ve heard there are a few but cannot remember the names of these apps.