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5 reasons you should be producing video content

5 reasons you should be producing video contentOnline video is now an integral part of any public relations strategy. PR professionals who are not producing videos—or are leaving it up to their marketing departments to come up with the creative audiovisual ideas—will be left behind in less time than it takes to click “Skip advertisement.”

2012 was a record year for online video consumption. People watched 456.6 million content videos last year, and 182 million users streamed videos online. We now live in a world where 56 percent of consumer web traffic is video, showing a distinctly fresh age of sending and receiving messages.

Let’s face it—people aren’t reading as much as they used to, and online content is often shortened to appeal to the on-the-go audience. Video has the ability to be ubiquitous while appealing to this new generation of viewers, who would rather click ‘play’ than sit long enough to finish one full-written story.

So what does this mean for PR professionals? It means the potential to generate measurable and meaningful results for your clients and your organization by leveraging one of the most powerful (and farthest reaching) ways of engaging your key publics.

If you still think video isn’t worth writing home about, let me give you my top 5 reasons why it is essential for your success as a PR professional:

1. Stortelling: Video appeals to the emotions of your viewer in a more direct way than print, thereby lighting a bigger fire beneath your audience, urging them to take action quickly. It is also the ideal promotional tool for your website and blog. Your videos can also serve as your demo reel, cataloguing a visual history your work. Vlogs, or video blogs, are becoming increasingly popular, and they bring a special connection between “vlogger” and viewer.

2. Video News Releases: Usually running between 60 and 90 seconds, these segments are distributed to television newsrooms. To earn airtime, videos must be newsworthy, broadcast quality, evergreen and deprived of ostentatious graphics. When used to reinforce a press release, a video can be an influential tool, as it will show up preeminently on search engines, and website hits can be traced back to this source.

3. Social Media: Video is also a wonderful engagement tool, so share and exchange video links with your fans and followers. There are several platforms you can use to do this, but YouTube continues to be one of the best for hosting your organization’s official videos.

4. Pitches: Reporters receive about 70 legitimate email pitches a day and only read a third of them. If your pitch has a video link, the chances of it getting picked up increase exponentially. Don’t be afraid to utilize this strategy.

 5. Events and Presentations: Video is the new currency; be creative and use it for your events and presentations. Animation can make them even more dynamic. While PowerPoint is still a relevant tool, executives want something that speaks to them directly, and video has the qualities to accomplish just that. Even better, video no longer has to be expensive; an iPhone can take the place of a production company if you know how to use it well.

Keep in mind that the most popular videos are the short ones. In fact, the average length of online videos watched in 2012 was 6.5 minutes, and this is projected to decrease in the future, along with attention spans. It is important to know your objectives and audience before producing a video. Do some research, and determine your parameters of success in order to accurately measure your results. Most importantly, have fun with it!

5 reasons you should be producing video contentFabiana Salgado-Lowe is the public relations and media manager at Shriners International Headquarters and is responsible for most national level PR efforts and activities including media relations, media measurement and distribution among other areas. She is also responsible for most audio/visual projects from idea to completion including PSAs, radio spots, presentations, corporate videos and other projects of similar nature. Prior to joining Shriners International Headquarters in 2008, Fabiana worked for a political organization as media coordinator and liaison; she also worked as a reporter/translator for a local newspaper (Tampa Tribune’s Hispanic publication.) Born in Peru, Fabiana graduated from the University of San Martin de Porres in Lima, Peru, with a Bachelor of Science in Communications with concentration in Broadcast. Fabiana is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Communications Management at Syracuse University.

photo credit: Scott Kinmartin via photopin cc

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