Videos can be very effective and rewarding in PR plans and campaigns. But, to achieve optimal results with video news releases (VNRs), we need to know how and when to use them.
“If you’re sending a release to the media about your new product or service,” for example, “you could send a written release and also use the copy as “voice over” in an accompanying 10 – 15 second video that shows how it works,” says Reno Lovison, Reno Lovison Marketing, which specializes in video for the web. “Video not only adds an engaging, informative dimension to your release, but it also significantly increases SEO.”
Where to Send Your Video Releases. You have several media options, and each has unique perspectives. Think of your possibilities.
- Television. When sending a news release to a TV station, include or embed a link to your “voice over” video. Your release should be objective and present newsworthiness. The voice over speaker will say exactly what you wrote in the release as the video illustrates your product or service. Like a photo head shot or video clip, the TV station can use whichever scenes it wants in its broadcast. As Reno reminds us, “Don’t send high-resolution videos in an email. If that’s all you have, post it on your website so people can access it.
- Radio. While radio is “audio,” you still have video opportunities. When you send your news release, including an audio version, you can also send a video release that the radio station can use on its website. Like the TV version, your radio submission can include an expert resource or a case study story illustrating your product or service.
- Traditional and Online Media. We know that newspapers and magazines maintain online sites that are continually updated and looking for content. Your video news release could be used. Although the media will edit it, you will still receive recognition and credit if it’s professionally presented.
How to Send Media/User Friendly Videos. “When you exchange videos with friends, you might be more tolerant of moving and distracting images, background sounds, soft speaker voices or poor lighting, but the media isn’t,” Reno Lovison says. Your video should professionally represent your business. So, he offers important tips.
- Stable camera. This is important whether using voice over (third party reading your release or explaining your product or service), or relying on a featured person in the video to speak: If you are not using an experienced videographer, then put your video camera on a tri-pod to keep it stable. Don’t move any more than you have to.
- No background noises. Sound may be more important than the video because it tells the story. So pay attention to the speaker and surrounding sound quality. When using your video camera, an external microphone is preferable. But if you’re not using one, you do have alternatives. A digital recorder will record the audio separately or become a back-up. Or, you can set up any of several external mic options…from “shot-gun” and wireless lavalier to podium mic. “Remember to use a uni-directional, not an omni 360 degree mic.”
- More room noises. Room noise also includes the P.A. (public address) system, heating or air-conditioning vents, or people talking near your mic. .
- You and speaker. “When using the microphone on your camera, you don’t want to be more than 10 feet away from the featured speaker’s voice. If that’s not possible, then a wireless mic or digital recorder on the stage is valuable.”
Improve Your Webcam Experience. If you are using a webcam as part of your PR strategy or instead of a video camera, then be aware of the same distractions: background, lighting and sound issues that apply to video shoots. Reno also says that “you cannot have enough light.” Make sure your environment is professional. While most people put the webcam clipped on top of the computer screen, “consider repositioning your webcam or yourself for better angles. Use a tripod when necessary for stability and consider using a good external mic or microphone headset.”
Video for PR and Marketing. When you create video news releases for the media, you should be thinking like a journalist and present your information as objectively as possible. When creating a video for marketing purposes, you can talk directly to your consumers and use a different approach. While Reno Lovison does both for clients, he has also just launched a video marketing newsletter. You will find more at: http://app.talkfusion.com/newsletters; www.renoweb.net, or at www.authorsbroadcast.com.