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Video a driving force in PR campaigns & pitches

Glossy media buttonVideo continues to be a driving force behind media initiatives on the web, whether it’s a newspaper, magazine, television news site or powerful online hub like Buzzfeed, which recently was reported as growing its video audience to 400 million monthly views. As video increasingly becomes a dominant part of the overall news media consumption, PR pros are also embracing video. Here, several professionals within the PR field speak on their experience using video during campaigns and in pitches.

Daniel Fuoco, interactive marketing manager at Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

As PR Pros, we have to remember that the most viewed videos are those under three minutes. A three-minute video will typically have some size to it (KBs, MBs) and depending on different organization email size restrictions, your video may not even have a chance at being seen. This has led many PR Pros to using Cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox to house their videos and make them available for download. This is great because we can track the amount of downloads and see who is interested.

Another very important consideration when creating campaigns is the idea of creating a video to tie different aspects together. We have a set amount of space to explain the campaign in a print ad, however, if we incorporate a print ad, digital ads/social media, and a video, we now have the ability to share a story and invite our audience into an experience.

Jeanne C. Zepp, director of PR Strategies at DPR Group Inc.

Every PR professional is abundantly aware of one simple fact: whether you are issuing a press release, creating a campaign, or doing a product launch, video is a key device for capturing reader attention and interest. One need only look to YouTube’s success to see the power video holds over people.

Today’s PR professional knows that video is an essential element of every campaign and that media professionals will always choose the pitch that includes video over those that do not. Video has the power to make even the mundane more interesting.

At my agency, we look for video skills as a required competency in new hires. We’ve purchased advanced video cameras and dedicated computers replete with editing software, increased memory and other video-related prerequisites. And, when designing campaigns, we specifically look for creative ways to incorporate video to tell the story in the most powerful way possible. It used to be that a picture was worth a thousand words. Today, video elevates that truism to new levels.

Shakira M. Brown, founder and principal of SMB Strategic Media LLC

Video is by far the best friend a PR pro can have in a normal pitching situation. I have seen great success with pitching an APP to an industry trade publication which in turn was developed into a compelling video by the reporter. They made the APP, which was a game, look fun because they not only did a video report on it for their website, but they also poked fun at one of the publication staffers by showing the staffer in the video obsessively playing it because it was addictive & fun. This video was produced just on them receiving a press release—they downloaded the app and ran with it.

Video gives print publications more range on their websites and more power to all other mediums- which results in more placements for PR pros. The FLIP SIDE of this is that video tells the story better than anything else – good or bad. If you represent a celebrity in trouble and video surfaces which shows your client in an incriminating situation—a la the Ray Rice video that TMZ obtained—it is hard to stand behind your client’s innocence if you have taken that stance. Video is here to stay and as PR pros we have to take the good with the bad.

Tracey Bhangu, publicity manager for Self-Counsel Press

There are a few ways video can be beneficial from a PR standpoint. I’m the publicity manager for a book publisher in North Vancouver, Canada, and the strategy I implement for my authors is to set them up as thought-leaders and experts. Video helps achieve this goal in a few different ways. In an email pitch, I can hyperlink to an online video interview to present the author as camera-confident and experienced. The platform offers additional opportunity for promotion, there is overall a better chance for getting a pitch picked up when there is an additional platform at play you can angle towards.

Video skews young, so if your market is the millennial set who are mobile, digital savvy and optic-natured they would be more likely to watch something on their phone than to pick up a newspaper. Video is easily shareable via SM so an interview can become an additional content asset we can offer our communities that displays thought, perspective and knowledge leadership. A video can also act like a podcast—you can watch it on the bus, and also listen to it while walking down the street which gives people an additional option on how they consume their news, stretching your reach.

Vanessa DeBruijn account supervisor with Karwoski and Courage

To be seen as an indispensable resource for media professionals, those in the PR world have to think about how we can deliver timely, relevant content in the format that’s most compelling to readers or viewers. Video is in demand, and by building this type of content into our plans, we are providing ready to consume snippets that reporters or writers can instantly upload to their news website or post to social media. Their world moves extremely quickly, and if we can anticipate their needs, they’ll see us as a resource rather than a burden.YouTube is the number two search engine in the world, and we must consider video content to be a vital part of any product launch or client initiative. In an age where consumers expect more than just words on paper, we have to accept that a simple news release won’t be as effective as a multi-media experience. With the current media landscape, we have so many more tools to tell stories in dynamic ways. By pitching without multi-media or video content, we’re selling our clients short and limiting opportunities to effectively reach consumers.

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