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PR Pros and the age of video

This year has seen print and digital news organizations continue to embrace video as an alternative to text-based storytelling online. As inVocus previously reported, although news organizations are using video now in a big way, consumers aren’t all on board. But PR professionals are another story. We asked PR pros to weigh in and received primarily positive responses on the benefits of video regarding PR and marketing campaigns.

Matt Griffin, account executive at Pigott & Fox Public Relations

“I imagine other PR companies are hearing similar messages from executives at news organizations in their markets, which is that there is a growing need for video content to supplement stories online. Executives at The Tennessean, for instance, know from Web analytics that readers are heavily consuming videos. I would venture to guess that the time spent on a Web page increases when video content is available, and videos offer another source of online ad revenue for news sites. And, of course, the explosion of smartphones and tablets has made it easier than ever for readers to consumer videos. These factors are driving the need for news organizations to procure video content.

At McNeely Pigott & Fox, it’s not uncommon to produce video content to use in media pitches, but I can’t say that providing video content with pitches increases the chances of getting good coverage. I think the verdict is still out. That being said, if media outlets stress the importance of video and encourage us to include it with news releases and pitches, we’re going to do it because we want any advantage that we can get. Furthermore, as quality video cameras have become more affordable, and as easy-to-use editing software has become commonplace, we typically shoot video for clients at events anyway (press conferences, grand openings, nonprofit functions, government meetings, etc.), so cutting it up for a media pitch isn’t a lot of extra work. If we capture engaging footage, it will only increase the likelihood of favorable news coverage for clients.

I think reporters are taking the brunt of the video trend – especially reporters who aren’t tech savvy or willing to learn – as they’re being asked more and more to shoot and edit video content for the stories they write. It’s adding another level of work in a time when newsrooms are having to do more with less, more than ever before. For that reason, I’m sure they welcome video content from a third party.”

Peter Lyons Hall, president/creative director of WarwickInfo.net

“The demand for video has become so pervasive that I don’t think that I would be in business without it. And with the integration of the latest augmented reality technology, it gives smaller businesses a much stronger voice. Consumers want to be entertained and informed at the same time, and video provides that experience. When integrated into print and digital channels, it becomes a genuinely enriching experience.”

Teana McDonald, founder/president of The InStyle Diva Inc.

“I think that video is KEY to get your client exposure. When a media outlet is interested in someone based on their credentials the next step is, how do they perform when it’s lights, camera, action? That’s what matters! Can this person hold a conversion, think on their feet and are they presentable on TV? In effort to streamline this process YES, I think video is key and helps the media outlet see what they are working with on camera. The goal is to book exciting, thought provoking innovative guests that ultimately command the audience and video is a MUST in making that connection and closing the deal. As PR professionals, we have to understand what to pitch, how to pitch and why our clients would be the best fit for a particular media outlet. If you nail the what, how, why and follow it up with a video – in my eyes, you’re closer to sealing the deal.”

Tina Mosetis founder of MosetisPR

“Expert media relations, strategic planning, branding the increased use of video by newspapers is a positive for PR professionals and their clients as it is another way to get more information out to more people. For example, if a reporter has limited space to cover a political rally, the cameras can capture the actual spirit of the rally and videos online can often tell more of the story. In addition, people clearly differ in how they prefer to get their information so having both resources is great.”

James Pearson, executive vice president of corporate communications at BrightLine 

“Video allows BrightLine to add a deeper element to the exclusivity of a pitch to the media; and a demo video of a solution can become an added value, and inceptive in outlets considering the embargo offer. We have had outlets reverse their decision to include when we provided video. When video is part of demo – or even our live events at CES or ANA’s Masters of Marketing, I believe it has completely changed outreach and product demonstrations, augmenting not only brand awareness, but increased business development as well…You can read a release, but words on a page can’t illustrate the ten years of real data, behind our ‘data fueled design’ that a video, or a live streamed concert video does. I can never remember who the quote is attributed to (or if I am quoting myself) but in getting folks to comprehend BrightLine’s sector influence and trajectory, we believe the edict ‘video makes it real.’”

Vanessa Wade, founder/CEO of Connect the Dots PR

“The future is video. Quick, seamless and effective video and as PR professionals, you have to move with the beat. It is a creative way to sell a story and get people involved. PR-wise it is a plus because it helps us tell our stories in a limited amount of time. The key is making sure the story is clear and has a call to action for clients and that the story is worth sharing. A video can accompany a feel good story that people can now see visually without watching a full news show.”

–Katrina M. Mendolera

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