Punch Comms’ Pete Goold: ‘Seize the opportunity of Facebook Live before it changes’

Facebook Live has benefited a range of Punch Communications’ clients, according to its managing director Pete Goold, but PRs need to make the most of the opportunity before Facebook changes its rules.

Goold told Gorkana that over the past six months Punch has seen an “unbelievably high level of interest among brands regarding Facebook Live, (more) than anything we’ve seen in the history of digital marketing to date.”

This is down to the fact the video service gives clients a level of reach that they had not been receiving before, through video outlets or otherwise, according to Goold.

Having just managed a Facebook Live campaign for Habitat as it launched a range of Henry Holland designed products, the agency claims it produced some of the highest results in its history.

Featuring Holland (pictured with Daisy Lowe) as well as other celebrity ambassadors, the campaign resulted in 9.1m impressions on Twitter, more than 200% more sign-ups for the launch than any other Habitat preview to date and 75,000 views. Engagement for the activity was  more than 400%, which is above the brand average.

PR opportunity

Goold says that video is a big opportunity for PR because it gives higher than average engagement versus static media.

“It’s as though we’ve gone back in time a few years to the era when brands could cost effectively reach large audiences with minimal algorithmic influence. Clearly, this is likely to be a finite window of opportunity – and as a result, the excitement we’re seeing amongst the brands we’re talking to is off the charts,” he added.

As Facebook is known for making changes to its news feed – just last week (29 June) the platform announced that posts from friends and family would be priority on its new feed from now on – Goold urges PRs to “seize a closing opportunity.”

Although Punch also told Gorkana that while its business team is having daily conversations with big brands to find out how to capitalise on the phenomenon of Facebook Live in particular, they are also interested in live, on-air social in general.

Reaching out to publishers

PRs are now able to use Facebook Live as part, or a whole, campaign for brands but there is also opportunity to engage with an influential third party.

Publishers such as Business Insider, Al Jazeera, News UK, Grazia and BuzzFeed have all incorporated Facebook Live into their content strategy recently. Goold says that ‘tapping’ into someone’s social programming is just another method to get involved with the channel.

PRs are able to do this by pitching ideas, personalities or brands to incorporate within a publisher’s Facebook Live video stream.

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