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10 Effective Ways to use Video in PR

By Catherine & Andrew Goddard

Things have changed in the world of PR since my days as a worker bee in consumer agencies for eight years until 2005. In my early days, press releases were stuffed into envelopes and sent by post and photography was sent on ‘trannies’ rather than by email. Technology is keeping PRs on their toes – trannies are long gone and PR agencies have set their sights on video. My husband, an expert in video production, has collaborated with me to write a few pointers on how video is taking the PR world by storm…

10 ways to use video in PR:

1. Bolstering an online press release
Assuming a press release is genuinely newsworthy; adding video to the package increases its impact and widens opportunities for exposure. Here’s how:

  • Video that’s clearly aligned to the story of the press release can reinforce core messages in an engaging way
  • Video is easy to share – blogs, micro-blogs, forums and viral emails spread information and create a buzz about a story
  • Video attracts attention from search engines, especially when supported by a keyword-rich title and a paragraph about its content

2. Creating a VNR — video news release

A Video News Release is a press release in video format. Usually running 90-seconds, it’s distributed to television stations for airing in news programs. Quality content, striking footage and strong interviews are a must. A VNR is worthwhile if you have a launch, event or new research findings to publicize. The key is that the story must be newsworthy – programme editors sniff out publicity stunts a mile off, so there must be a strong ‘hook’ that passes the “So What?” test.

3. A promotional tool on your website or blog
Alert clients & business prospects to new video content on your website or blog. There are myriad ways in which it can be used to showcase the credentials of an effective, creative PR business; or to create a likeable personality for the company:

  • Upload a show reel of recent, impressive campaigns
  • Conduct short interviews to introduce key personnel
  • Create a video tour of your company office
  • Post video testimonials from existing clients
  • Create “how to…” videos that demonstrate your expertise

4. Creating jaw-dropping moments at events
Want a powerful opener to a conference? A dramatic montage for awards ceremonies? An eye-popping attraction at a road show or launch? Video brings an extra dimension to events; creating instant kudos for a brand, product or service, presenting information & emotion in a cinematic package. The video can be transformed into other life forms afterwards — such as a DVD show reel or webcast.

5. Go guerrilla with marketing video
YouTube is chock full of guerrilla marketing ads, the best of which attract attention from newspapers and TV news, as well as enhancing the page ranking of featured brands’ websites. Making a video and uploading it to YouTube is relatively cheap, but the exposure for a client’s product or message can be amazing.

6. A pitch tool to wow potential clients
With technology advancing every day, PowerPoint doesn’t look that ‘powerful’ anymore. Agencies that want to show a forward-thinking approach need to invest in smarter ways to present to clients. Video can create the necessary ‘wow factor’. A package might include Vox Pops, talking-head interviews, montages of news coverage, ‘mood reels’ and client testimonials. And, instead of tables to present data, motion graphics bring facts & figures to life.

7. Evaluating campaigns
A video presentation that demonstrates business benefits achieved by a campaign could be the key to building an ongoing relationship with a client. Presenting the brief given, strategy developed, tactics used and the results achieved, an exciting video presentation leaves clients wanting more. A journalist endorsement captured on film, or a street Vox Pop demonstrating a shift in public opinion, delivers rock solid proof that PR is working.

8. Show reels
The plasma screen in the office reception can be an advert for a PR agency. Instead of playing daytime TV, blast out a show reel highlighting the agency’s best work.

9. Team building & client bonding

Create a video of an office away day, or a hospitality event for clients. Play the film at the end of the day, or send it on a DVD after the event. The entertainment value will be a boost to the bonding experience between colleagues and/or clients.

10. A lasting record of a launch
Capture the vibe at a glamorous launch. Video offers a who’s who of attendees and conveys the atmosphere of the occasion. The PR team responsible can utilize the film as a promotional tool to secure similar projects, while clients can use it to big up their brand to retailers or attract sponsors for future events.

Catherine Goddard, a former PR, now works as a journalist and commercial writer. Find out more about her background and work at Andrew Goddard is a director of Cherry Corporate Video Production, a corporate video production company based in London. He has a decade of video editing experience having worked on scores of advertising campaigns, corporate presentations, DVD extras and movie commercials. Visit the Cherry Website for examples of their work including corporate video production, advertising, motion graphics and more.

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12 Responses to “10 Effective Ways to use Video in PR”

  1. Iulian Baciu Says:

    Great article!
    Thanks Catherine & Andrew Goddard :)

  2. Michele Nix Says:

    Catherine and Andrew — These are all great points. I’m a particular fan of point #4. Videos are a great alternative to PowerPoints. Save those bulleted slides, if you must, for your leave behind, but make your speech a winner by holding the audience’s attention. A short, fast-paced video wisely placed within your remarks will up the energy level in the room and distinguish both message and messenger from the rest of the crowd. As you point out, that video has a long shelf life. So consider using the DVD as your leave behind, use the video for sales pitches, post it on your website. Video is a valuable PR tool — thanks for the post.

  3. Promotional Products Says:

    Great article, the advances of technology have greatly helped PR and marketing. I agree that having a video to open up a presentation can be a great attention grabber and get the attendee focused on what your message is.

  4. Susan Hallam Says:

    A very useful list indeed, thanks very much. In particular, I think a number of these techniques are appropriate for small businesses.

    I think it would also be mentioning how useful it would be to incorporate your video into the News section of your website. Rather than just a boring static list of printed press releases, your “social media” newsroom could incoporate your video content.

  5. PowerPoint Templates Says:

    Video is the newest frontier on the Internet there is money and opportunity in abundance in this market. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Event Video Services Says:

    Great article which iterates all the points I have been trying to get across for a while now. At networking events I used to try and explain to people how they could use video to help explain their products and services etc but now I just show them a video – that gets the message across much quicker and more effectively!!

    Video can communicate a lot of points quickly and in a more interesting way that just text alone. It’s a shame that businesses in Scotland are still a bit behind the times in taking up this opportunity!

  7. Using video for your site « Media of Birmingham Says:

    [...] 10 Effective Ways to use Video in PR [...]

  8. Garden Gazebo Says:

    Using video as a medium in promoting site is good because video can discuss and disseminate information. It is a multimedia presentation that will definitely appeal readers and viewers.

  9. Stewart Scherma Says:

    Wow man, I never new this, much appreciated.

  10. Cherilynn Stone Says:

    i enjoyed your blog, thanks for posting.

  11. Herve Says:

    I realise the post is a few months old but we are looking at doing a video release and any good example to get inspiration from out there would be greatly appreciated!

  12. web development mumbai Says:

    Videos are also helpful in introducing new products and demonstrating procedures.There are many ways video can help your business grow. Not only can it help you with marketing, but it can also help make your business operations more efficient and cost-effective, especially with internal communications and dealing with customers. It can lead to better business opportunities and help build up more is a great article thanks for sharing it………………

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