To reddit or Not to reddit

in-truth-reddit-does-indeed-have-a-bigger-audience-than-places-like-the-new-york-times-web-site.jpg

It’s no secret public relations professionals are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to get clients’ names out there in the most authentic way possible.

So when reddit burst onto the scene, seemingly overnight, and proved to be a powerhouse, powered by millions of users with over 90 million unique viewers per month, the PR industry wondered: should we be using reddit as a PR tool and how should we be using it?

User stats
User stats

To start, reddit is largely user-generated – not editors or writers, but regular everyday individuals who want to share photos, stories, articles and products they believe others should be aware of. Users can vote on what content they like the best, known as “upvoting” in reddit terms, and least, known as “downvoting.” Content with the most votes gets pushed up to the top of the page, thus getting more views and engagement from commenters.

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via http://www.tippyandfriends.com/2012/09/04/tippy-and-the-reddit-alien/

Ideal for your clients’ brands right? Well there are two sides to every story. Of course you want to share your client’s news and announcements to 90+million viewers per month, but remember: because reddit is user run and organic, the engagement would have to be done right. This means mastering the art of subtlety. If you put quality first with subtle underpinnings of brand messaging, your brand can garner newfound respect and consideration from audiences you may not have been able to reach otherwise.

 

On the other end of the coin is when brands do reddit wrong. redditors can sniff out corporate agendas and PR language a mile away and will punish you for it if your content fails to provide value. Blatantly promotional messaging not only falls flat, but also openly invites ridicule on reddit.

 

Unlike on Twitter and Facebook, a brand can’t control the message on reddit once it’s been posted. But who knows, brands were once weary of those platforms too. Perhaps reddit too will become standard for brands to prove themselves.

 

Whether or not you believe your clients are ready to explore the potential of reddit, it can be a good internal resource to monitor and see if your clients are already in the conversation.

 

Personally, reddit is one of the websites I check daily because even if I don’t find anything client related, I will at least see the top news of the day.

 

So what do you think? To reddit or not to reddit – that is the question. How have you used reddit, for your clients or otherwise? How did it turn out?

Kristen Zemeitus

Kristen Zemeitus is account executive at 451 Marketing. Tweet her at @kristenzem!

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