You Had One Job and Three Chances…

So yeah, that happened. At the Oscars. The second biggest televised event of the year, next to the Super Bowl.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers is the company that tallies all the votes for the Academy Awards. They print the results on a master list that’s kept at an undisclosed location. They also print those results on cards that go into the red envelopes that get opened by the presenters during the actual show. They print two identical sets of those cards and envelopes, and give one set to one PriceWaterhouseCoopers representative who stands off to the left side of the stage, and the other set to another rep who stands off the right side of the stage. Before the presenters, for example, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, walk onto the stage, they are handed one of those twin envelopes. If they walk in from the left side of the stage, the left side PriceWaterhouseCoopers rep hands him his card, and if they walk in from the right side of the stage, the right side rep hands him her copy.

It seems as if one of the reps handed Beatty and Dunaway the duplicate, sealed envelope from the PREVIOUS winner, Emma Stone (best actress), instead of the winner for Best Picture. When Beatty opened the envelope and saw Emma Stone’s name, he got confused, and then handed the card to Faye Dunaway, who must have skimmed past the Emma Stone part and went straight to the La La Land part, and said what she said.

And the next few minutes will be the most popular stream on YouTube until Beyonce makes another announcement.

Flashback: When I was a kid taking piano lessons, and we had to play a couple of songs at the winter recital, our teacher had one very important tip: MAKE SURE YOU NAIL THE END OF THE SONG. You should try to begin the song competently, and you can afford to mess up a little in the middle, but never ever end the song with a mistake.

Maybe Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were a little nervous and didn’t pay close enough attention to what was written on the envelope or the actual card. Maybe one of the reps, the one that had the duplicate Emma Stone card, was so excited to meet Bonnie and Clyde that they pulled out the wrong envelope to hand to them. Maybe everyone backstage was focused more on the champagne and the crafts table.

Regardless, they had many chances to fix the problem before it got out of hand. Once La La Land was mistakenly announced, one of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers reps should have caught the mistake and stopped the La La Land people from walking up to the stage. Long before that, they should have had a more methodical way of doling out the envelopes, ESPECIALLY since they knew they had duplicates. Maybe Beatty and Dunaway should have taken initiative and just stopped the program as soon as they realized that something was hinky–they’re in the league of Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, so they’re allowed that sort of thing.

But they didn’t, and so I have something to write about.

I just think that for an event in which armies of paparazzi, red carpet bodyguards, hairstylists and makeup artists, dress fitters and dress makers, and trains and trains of broadcast trucks are able to be wrangled to run smoothly enough, that a set of cards and envelopes could be more efficiently organized. It’s like spending tens of thousands of dollars for a wedding, and the groomsman forgets the ring.

So what does this have anything to do with business?

When you make a powerpoint presentation, make sure that last slide is impactful, powerful. When you make a keynote speech, make them remember your last sentence. If you’re hosting a business dinner, don’t screw up dessert.

And whatever you do, make sure you nail that ending.

Why YouTube?

YouTube logoA client just asked me if it’s possible to keep their company videos within their own website, running it off their own web servers, instead of posting it on YouTube. He didn’t want to involve YouTube but was open to Vimeo.

I told him that anything is possible with enough resources, but I highly recommend we go with YouTube. Keep in mind that this is MY opinion, and I do my best to know as much as I can but I don’t know everything, so take it with a grain of salt. My reasons:

1. YouTube is a division of Google, and we all Google. Google is the most popular search engine, used by the most people. When Google acquired YouTube, it benefited the both of them; Google brought its cachet (number of eyeballs, trust, ubiquity) to YouTube, and YouTube brought its content creators to make Google even more powerful. So content meets marketing.

2. YouTube is the fastest growing search engine, and it’s not slowing down. One of the big reasons is technology has made it affordable and accessible to make your own YouTube videos (you can make videos using your smartphone then instantly upload it to YouTube), so there’s much more video content out there, on all topics, which means the average person on their mobile devices will more and more likely turn to YouTube to find answers. If you can’t find it on Google, look on YouTube. Which is owned by Google. See the pattern here?

3. YouTube is a more accessible and adaptable platform than Vimeo or most other video services–you can easily share a YouTube video, embed it onto your website without messing around with hidden codes, you can post it in a Facebook page or post, you can link to it in an email, and you can even resize the video to fit whatever platform you’re serving to. These aspects have their pros and cons of course, but the accessibility and versatility of a YouTube video, again in my opinion, is unmatched.

4. YouTube’s server farms continue to grow and evolve, backed up by Google’s resources–their expansion is basically UNLIMITED. If you try to stream your company’s videos off your own server, once those videos become very popular and you get tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of eyeballs watching, sooner or later you’ll have to upgrade your equipment to allow for more people to access your content. By going with YouTube, yes, you’ll have to put your corporate videos on their servers, but they will have the burden of maintenance and eating the cost of upgrades.

5. If YouTube’s servers get hacked, it’s better than your own company’s servers getting hacked. Your company’s security isn’t compromised, and your data is still safe since you still have the original videos on your company’s machines, hopefully backed up to other devices and your corporate cloud account. Even if all your videos on YouTube get wiped out because of a YouTube server malfunction (and from my knowledge this has never happened), you can simply re-upload your videos back onto YouTube when their machines are back online.

6. YouTube has an app for pretty much every platform out there. If you try to serve videos from your own server, you’d have to spend that extra time to test your videos on different browsers, different computers with different configurations, cellphones, tablets, smart TVs, etc.

7. YouTube is OPEN-ENDED, meaning that the experience doesn’t have to end after viewing the current video. Because of YouTube’s Autoplay feature, where a related video will automatically play after the current one has finished, as well as its Playlist feature that can “play all” within that playlist, if your company has, let’s say, a collection of 50+ videos, you can configure YouTube to allow the viewer to play ALL your videos back-to-back until they’ve seen everything you have to offer. In terms of “stickiness”, the ability to make your audience spend all day with you, watching your videos…well, think about how valuable that is to your marketing strategy and bottom line.

This is just the tip of the YouTube iceberg. In the near future, I’ll talk about monetization methods, using YouTube in tandem with other social media, using YouTube for fundraising events, and using the right video and audio equipment to make YouTube videos, among other things.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading.

Gerardo San Diego

Keck USC Department of Surgery

Keck USC Dept. of Surgery
As of February 2014, the site annually receives more than 2 million page views from more than 1.1 million unique visitors, and has increased traffic by 25% every year. Working directly with surgeons and administrators, I created the architecture for a 2000-page site, including 15 divisional subsites. Researched, wrote and proofread text content, created and edited photos, diagrams, and illustrations, and promoted the site through SEO and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

To see how I devote a whole day working on this project, please read A Day in the Life.