Friday, August 15, 2014

Video News Releases: Are they worth it?

In getting your clients’ names out there, there are many creative tactics and strategies that PR professionals can employ to reach additional targeted audiences. In order to catch the eyes of a broader audience, the PR professional has a range of platforms to pick from, and with ever-changing technologies, the traditional written press release isn’t always going to do the trick in informing the general public about a new or unfamiliar business.

As the use of certain technologies becomes engrained in our lives, a recent article on suggests that current audiences lack the attention spans of even five minutes, which is sometimes less than the time it takes to read through the standard one-page written release. Luckily for us and for our quick-paced consumers, the video news release was created, and it has evolved to work to our advantage in some cases.

Stemming from the use of PR professionals in the 1980s, the video news release is just what it sounds like—a press release on film. Including a news hook coupled with footage and client information, it seems that these videos are just now booming due to the free social platforms that are widely used. With 1.07 billion mobile monthly active users on Facebook and 271 million monthly active users on Twitter, it is now easier than ever to reach the world through these social sites, as opposed to generalized SEO engines or even through press release distribution sites.

Not only are these releases important to Internet platforms, but they are also helpful to broadcast professionals looking for filler, b-roll and a news story with a good hook. Similarly to the standard press release, the PR professional has the ability to distribute a video news release to hundreds of broadcast outlets nationally or even internationally through file transfer, but now they can use additional channels such as YouTube, which has the potential to create viral content.

While it may seem that this idea is cutting edge, and you may feel the need to begin on a video news release upon reading this blog, video news releases are not always necessary for your client. Foremost, you should ask yourself if you have a national or relevant news hook that involves your client before creating the release. You need to decide who your target demographics are, and if they are very narrow and specific, a video news release may not be for you.

Additionally, not all of your clients have the ability to release information in the form of a video. Many business to business operations do not have consumer appeal that can easily be translated through a video, and in this case, the standard press release is more beneficial. Also, you need to think about what channels your audience is more likely to be partial to. If your target outlets are mostly print, a video release is not the best option for your client.

So before jumping to conclusions and assuming that a video news release is a quick fix, take the time to analyze your client, research your target demographic and determine how news-worthy your hook is. Weigh your options and think about all of the possible ways you can spread your information before you decide to take the plunge. If you do decide that a video news release is the best option for your client, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope it goes viral. Happy filming!

(Screenshot of video press release from Groupie phone application)

This post was contributed by Emily Chandler @Emily_PharrPR


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