Launched in July 2015, BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos are step by step recipes for “food that’ll make you close your eyes, lean back, and whisper ‘yessss’.” According to AdWeek, Tasty has created 2,000 videos that reach 500 million people a month, in just 15 months. With roughly 75 million Facebook likes, BuzzFeed’s reach is extensive and serves as a model for effective engagement.
While the correlation between public relations and Tasty videos may not be initially obvious, the similarities abound. Let’s take a look at three ways in particular that PR and Tasty videos parallel one another.
Bite-sized attention spans
Daily news consumption has become a non-stop, never-ending exercise. The routine of casually reading the newspaper over a hot cup of coffee has evolved into quickly skimming Twitter while gulping an espresso and hustling to the office, then continuing to scan Twitter and other channels every hour on the hour. Similar to today’s method for consuming news, people are more likely to pick up a take-out menu than pore through an entire recipe book and invest the time to prepare a meal. In fact, according to NPD group, less than 60 per cent of dinners served at home were cooked at home.
BuzzFeed has found a niche market of consumers who don’t have the time or the desire to follow a long recipe from start to finish and has turned them into amateur chefs. The videos are only a few minutes long with easy-to-follow instructions and a quick way to see just how “tasty” the final product will be. The videos are long enough to explain the recipe, short enough to stop someone from scrolling past, and detailed enough to keep people coming back.
Just as the majority of consumers don’t have the patience or desire to spend time on recipes, journalists have even less time to field pitches due to the 24-hour news cycle and stacked deadlines. Long emails, repetitive pitches and lackluster information don’t garner the attention communications professionals desire. PR pros must target the correct journalists interested in our content and present the information in tantalizing, bite-sized pieces. Just like BuzzFeed, PR pros have mastered the art of serving up delicious content in small, tasty doses.
Family bickering and lame gifts aside, if there is delicious food any party can be great. But serving a large group of people and making sure everyone is happy can be difficult. Party hosts look no further. Tasty has everything from pizza tot appetizers to mini-pecan bread pudding and everything in between that are sure to satisfy any partygoer’s cravings.
PR professionals must also cater to their audience – journalists. One journalist might prefer to be called while another may be adamant that pitches only be done through email. Whatever the preference, it is pertinent for PR professionals to do our research to target the right media in the right way with the right message to secure as much coverage as possible. While we don’t present our clients with mozzarella stick onion rings, we work hard to cook up some really great coverage.
Who reads anymore?
Gone are the days of handing down your grandmother’s handwritten recipe book. It is time to embrace the days of checking your grandma’s Facebook page to see what she’s cooking. BuzzFeed completely modernized cooking in a way that has captured a huge audience following. Unlike their pizza bread bowls, this popularity and growth was all organic thanks to Facebook. Tasty generated 1.8 billion views just in September this year, and of that 1.6 billion came from people sharing on their Facebook pages, according to data from video analytics company Tubular Labs.
While PR pros don’t often use Facebook to capture journalists’ attention, we do capitalize on organic conversations to garner coverage. Many times client news does not follow the news cycle and that is why fostering organic relationships, being aware of journalist preferences and adding some garnish to rather bland news angles is necessary.