Media Relations

Buzzfeed: The power of influencers and viral media

Creating a website is one thing, but when your website becomes synonymous with popular culture, you know you’ve got the power of influence. Buzzfeed is a perfect case study for a website, turned business, that has it’s ear to the ground and a direct line to the 18-34 demographic on social media. Most likely, you’ve used BuzzFeed quiz to tell you what state you should live in, or you have a Tasty recipe saved on Facebook, or you religiously watch the Try Guys on YouTube.

Buzzfeed is an internet media company, that focuses on the social news which started in 2006. According to an article on TechCrunch, one of the most unique things about Buzzfeed was native advertising. They weaved in advertisements for products into engaging news stories, videos, recipes or quizzes, that were so well done that users didn’t mind they were being marketed to. In 2008, Buzzfeed made a mark on the internet with one of the most famous memes, disaster girl.


In 2016, Buzzfeed had over 200+ monthly unique visitors to its site, and 70% of the traffic is from mobile devices. The bulk of their users are 18-34 which is a prime buying demographic. This allowed Buzzfeed to gain investments and become one of the biggest news outlets for the Gen X & Gen Y internet users. They have cornered the market on the viral video, with various channels, and offshoot pages from everything from unsolved murder to DIY crafts.

For an example of the native advertisement in their recipe channel, Tasty (the BuzzFeed food section), recently did a recipe for soft pretzels with Dr. Pepper Carmel sauce. The product placement blends so fluidly in the video that very few people notice, or even care that it’s a paid post. Over 9.1 million people shared this specific recipe on Facebook and added to the view count that Dr. Pepper got out of their partnership with Buzzfeed. What started as an internet news site has become the king of product placement, and isn’t slowing down.


Overall, Buzzfeed is a part of our social landscape now. It is common to hear someone say, “did you see that post on Buzzfeed about…”, more millennials are getting their news from Buzzfeed then traditional news outlets. If this company can do anything, it can teach us some valuable lessons about what works for blogging. According to, some of the highlights include the fact that List posts still work as long as the topic is timely, a well-placed GIF is worth more than an amazing article, and regular consistent posting is mandatory for a good blog. If you want to learn more what Buzzfeed can teach Marketers, this article from is worth the read!

The lesson: A good blog can become more than you ever thought, so make sure to be consistent, have good content, and stick with the trends.



Media Relations in a Social world


Social media has forever changed the playing field for all aspects of PR & Marketing. What once involved mailing campaigns, along with some special ads on television or radio, has become a world where you create one ad and it can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and your email. Ads follow you around based on your browsing history, and because of these changes, Media Relations has drastically changed. One of the biggest changes is the increased customer focus and higher engagement with the customer base directly. Social Media is where the consumer lives, and the smart PR person leverages this, while also tying in influencers, to create a well rounded digital plan.

According to an article by 5W, a PR firm, there are 5 significant ways that Social media changed the PR game. One important way is keeping the PR cost low for small businesses, and this includes independent authors, one of the biggest small businesses of the last few years. Before social media, you had to take your book manuscript and send it off to different publishing houses in hopes of getting picked up, now there are pitching days specifically on Twitter where indie author pitch their book to big publishing houses, and indy publishing houses alike with hiring an agent, or spending any excess money.

The benefit of this is more promotion. Before if you wanted to promote your client’s new book, you’d need to do the legwork to find an in at a news station. Now, with social media, bloggers have become influencers in such a large way. In exchange for a copy of a novel, bloggers and vloggers are willing to take your book and possibly promote it to all their followers and friends. For example, the vlogger below – Tiny Reads – has a YouTube following of over 3,000 people, and constantly reads and reviews books. In times before social media, reaching 3,000 would cost quite a bit in the promotion, but now, all it costs is an email, a copy of a book, and many some exclusive items to giveaway! The advent of digital media has made media relations an evolving thing because no one is quite sure who the media really is.

Another benefit of this is to continue to craft a relationship with traditional print and video journalists in a new way. Instead of pitching via email, you can now pitch via Twitter or Facebook message. Hooking media into your plan is much more of a tech-savvy choice as according to Cision’s 2015 Global Social Journalism Study, 94 percent of journalists are using social media on a daily basis — with 67 percent spending up to two hours a day. In the U.S., 25 percent of journalists report that they use social media to make new contacts and 12 percent report that they have published stories based on information found on social media. Though PR has been a thriving industry way before the advent of social media, there is no doubt that social media is changing the game for PR professionals.