Is video becoming the PR star?

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Xenia Kingsley

From the revolution of the Gutenberg press to the über interaction of today’s social media, the communications landscape is ever evolving. Amid this constant change, the importance of video as a tool for engaging business audiences is growing rapidly.

Using Video in PR

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Business leaders are increasingly technologically engaged (in some instances seemingly addicted). The growing presence of the iPad in the boardroom and the rise of ‘Crackberry’ culture (or should that be iPhone addiction now?) is evidence of this. For a time-poor, but switched-on audience, video content is an ideal medium, especially in B2B communications.

Sites like Youtube, Metacafe, Vimeo and Slideshare each have their own unique set of socially engaged audiences and comms opportunities. Alongside this, many ‘traditional’ media outlets are recognising the opportunity to engage their audiences in new ways by experimenting and developing their own video channels.

The Guardian’s recent announcement of a ‘digital first’ strategy is pioneering, but it won’t be long before this approach becomes the norm. National newspapers are investing heavily in video with the Telegraph and the FT both creating credible platforms. From a communications perspective, it’s clear video offers big opportunities, especially when many such channels are open to external content.

Top PR agencies are now au fait with online news distribution and SMNR, but video has not yet been exploited to its full extent. Video can put a ‘face’ on a story and summarise ideas quickly and in an engaging manner.  This, coupled with the falling costs of production, makes video the next logical step for adding value to PR activities.

We’ve outlined some considerations to enhance your business to business PR video efforts:

1. Get creative:

‘Going viral’ is the holy grail of high tech marketing and the same principles apply in business. Without creativity your video will languish with minimal hits and have little to no effect. Consider striking ways of making your case, create something that hasn’t been seen before and surprise your audience wherever possible. Even if you don’t ‘go viral’, developing powerful, creative content will enhance your chances of interesting what may be a small, but high-value audience.

2. Ditch the branding:

Though online media outlets are increasingly using video to supplement their coverage, heavy branding will kill-off your chances of being featured. Think of video as an extension of your content rather than an advert – it is an opportunity to add additional perspectives and personality to views and opinions. Accept that you’ll be credited in the story and settle for a quick introductory name and title banner.

3. Add, don’t repeat:

Video shouldn’t repeat what you’ve already said in other content. Use it as an added bonus to support releases, promote your thought leadership, provide extra insight and convey interesting sound bites. If appropriate, think about interviewing customers, analysts or other relevant spokespeople.

4. Make it easy to use:

It’s great to host video on your website, but using YouTube, Vimeo or another common platform will increase your opportunities to see, search visibility and potential pass-on rates. These sites provide easy-to-use embeddable HTML code, which can be included in releases and easily added to stories by media.

5.Let people know:

It may sound simple but the only way to drive interest to your video is to shout about it. Let the press and bloggers know video is available when you launch the story. Likewise, email and tweet defined audiences with key video content. Other important social outlets include LinkedIn, Ning (for niche groups), Twitter, key message boards, and any other online space your identified target group occupies.

Some other good blogs to check out are:

PR Daily

The Guardian

Planet Content

PR newswire blog



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