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YouTube at Work; Why Your Employees Should Be on There

youtube.jpgIn a post about Intel's new office design plans, we included a link to a hysterical Conan O'Brien spot that was posted on YouTube. Did you consider whether you should watch it at work? You wouldn't want to give your employees the impression that YouTube has a place in the office, right? Actually, no.

According to eMarketer, the number of online video viewers is expected to increase 61 percent to 183 million by 2011. And a lot of companies are utilizing online videos to build their brands. Forbes describes how Dreyers "rewarded" (got free talent) a senior public relations manager with a starring role in an online video spot for five American Idol-inspired flavors of ice cream. That video generated over 120 million media impressions.

But corporate video can be so much more than just product promotion. Shel Israel, author of "Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk With Customers," posted an interesting blog about the power of video as a corporate application. Israel first addresses one of the biggest challenges in getting executives involved in social media through blogging: the time investment is too great. Bloggers need to post at least three times weekly, read user comments, and respond when appropriate to benefit from the conversational nature of the tool -- and this can be a deterrent. He then offers an alternative.

Go to the same CEO and say, "we'd like to video interview you a few times every month. We will lightly edit the results and then post it for people to see. Over time, we will interview all the key players here. We will use digital video to announce new milestones, answer investor questions, show the humanity and brilliance of our key players and create a permanent record of what the people here have done.

I'll bet you a whole mess of C-level executives will now be very willing to participate. If you happen to be the inhouse evangelist in your organization, and you are tired of the bosses shuffling papers and looking at their watches when you mention corporate blogging, you might try discussing online video and see if you get a better result.

Online video is nothing new, and yet some companies are still hesitant to jump in. What's been your company's experience?

(YouTube image by bigmick)