Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Importance of Video in a Fast-Paced World

Fast-paced. It's basically the adjective of the century, and it's well-known that speed is what defines the future. PR professionals are all asking the same questions - How do I grab the public's attention, and how fast can I communicate my point? The answer is simple. Video.

The above video is an excellent example of how video can help PR pros communicate in a more effective, succinct and appealing way. This YouTube video of nurse Doreen Riccelli from Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett, Texas, grabbed the attention of news sites, radio stations and social media followers because it was an exciting, fast and visual way to communicate how to perform CPR.

So, why is video important? Visuals bring life to news, and the Internet is making it easier to share and access videos than ever before. Video is also important because:

  • People relate to people. Video can capture character and personality, which people relate to more than written information. Pair a personality with visually attractive b-roll, and your audience will be more willing to watch and listen to your news.
  • People have short attention spans. With the enormous amount of information online and in the media, engaging your audience is harder than ever. Short, attractive videos pull people in, and if they like what they see, they will continue to watch.
  • It helps create a brand identity. Using video is an easy and fun way to create and build your brand’s personality. Videos help your audience get to know who is behind the brand and associate your company with something other than its logo.
  • It’s easy to share. Videos can be shared virtually anywhere. YouTube, social media sites, news sites and email are all great ways to share videos. More importantly, PR specialists can use video when pitching story ideas to the media. The CPR rap video above was used to secure a radio spot on KERA's Health Checkup segment.

How do you get started making videos? Chris Yates, principal and CEO at Huddle Productions, came to the C. Pharr office to help us brush-up on our video editing skills. Chris made a point to explain that you don't need a camera crew to make a video; all you need is a smartphone with video capability and a little direction. Below are a few tips we learned from Chris to remember when shooting a video.

  • Lighting: Make sure the person you're interviewing is in a well-lit area and they are facing toward the light.
  • Volume: If you are in a crowded or loud area, it is always acceptable to ask the person being interviewed if they will step into a separate room that is more quiet. Chris also recommends using the iRig Mic from Apple, a microphone that plugs into your phone to make sure answers are recorded loud and clear. 
  • Visuals: Make sure the interviewee is standing in front of a background that is not too busy. A plain background or background with a simple visual will do. Make sure to shoot the interviewee from the chest up and hold your camera phone horizontally. Don't forget to shoot b-roll to include in your video, too.
  • Editing: This can be tedious and time-consuming, but with patience and the right tools, the end result will be an attractive, professional looking video, completely shot from a phone! We recommend using WeVideo or Apple's Final Cut Pro X.

If you haven't yet embraced the power of video communication, the time is now. The pace of technology isn’t slowing down, and it’s forcing professionals to get creative and find new ways to convey news and key messages. Video is a great way to engage your target audience, get news out quickly, reinforce your brand, share information and much more. 

This blog was contributed by Kathrine Brody, @Kabrody


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