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This week, Google rolled out the most extensive redesign in YouTube’s history, and there are several important changes PR firms can leverage to add value to their clients.

1. The new YouTube is about personalization

With the redesign, YouTube has become more oriented around personal interaction with the site. They have organized content into channels, just like TV channels. Their goal is to do what any website does: Make people stay on the site longer.

If people are staying on the site longer, that makes it more important to have content there.

2. The new YouTube makes video a critical communications tool

There are many services out there to embed video on a client’s website. YouTube does that as well, but with this redesign, Google is making a statement that YouTube is more than a web tool, it is a destination. They are increasing the marketing value of YouTube itself.

That means not only should PR firms encourage clients to pursue a video channel as part of their overall communications strategy, but also that the quality of the video be better than a Flipcam or iPhone.

3. It is still all about content

In the age where thought leadership and expertise are at a premium for brands, pursuing a video channel makes sense as a great way to position your client. More than handing them a camera and telling them to “shoot stuff”, video needs to be part of the client or campaign’s overall message. It needs to be scripted, shot, edited, and distributed in such a way that it delivers both entertainment and value to the target audience.

More organizations are creating online video, and that is one of the coming waves in 2012. Being so important, it can’t be a standalone project. It needs to weave into all of the other channels where you are engaging your target audiences.

What do you think? Should PR firms encourage more clients to have a YouTube channel? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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