Humor can be a great way to get a conversation started. Just ask the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA) who recently launched several amusing promotional videos aimed to tweak the image of accountants and the profession.
According to Leon J. Dutkiewicz, Jr., CPA and PICPA member, PICPA developed the campaign to start a conversation and prompt further research to find out about CPAs and what they have to offer.
"The goal is for CPAs to forward the videos to clients and friends, who may then forward them on to others who may not have any connection or knowledge of CPAs", he said. "Ultimately, we hope viewers will look for more information at www.IneedaCPA.org which serves as a portal to PICPA's consumer section as well as provides a list of other state society lists."
The first of the four videos mimics the well-known anti-drug public service announcement from the 1980s",I Learned it by Watching You." The second is a take-off on the many sci-fi documentaries made by seekers of mythical creatures. Dutkiewicz says to watch for two additional videos that will spoof "The Bachelorette" on ABC and "What Not to Wear" on TLC. "All deliver similar messages that promote CPA's knowledge, education, and year-round availability to better serve our clients", he said.
The videos are being posted on YouTube as they are completed, and the PICPA is circulating the videos to more than 19,000 members across the state.
"We have them posted on PICPA's Facebook and LinkedIn and we are encouraging members to do the same", Dutkiewicz said. "Firms are also encouraged to include [links to the videos] in their firm newsletter and a number already have. In addition, we have an online advertising campaign that was just launched based upon consumer behavior, content, and location."
As one might imagine, Dutkiewicz says the response has been overwhelming. However, it's taking some people a while to understand the concept.
"Each video has been given a five-star rating by viewers", he said. "But, some of our more senior members have not quite gotten the idea. I think that this is such a new and unusual approach, that it takes some time to get used to."
Overall, Dutkiewicz loves the promotion and finds it's exciting to do something new. "People are online all the time. This is our way to be where people are. It's an unexpected approach. Plus, we are people who have a sense of humor."