Eleven ways to make the most of video in PR

Video is a powerful PR tool - as Bogdan Marinescu, MD and co-founder of online marketing agency Digital Trails, puts it: “If an image speaks a thousand words, a video speaks tens of thousands. If you get it right, using videos in your PR can be a very persuasive tactic which helps get your message across faster and clearer.”

Below are 11 tips to make sure your video gets cut-through and is remembered for all the right reasons.

From Bogdan Marinescu:

1. Have immediate impact

“Like a press release, your video needs to capture your audience immediately. Videos are assessed instantly and they don’t get second chances, especially considering that most will be consumed on social media.”

2. Add captions

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so you have to make your work hyper accessible. Add captions so that people can watch it on the bus without earphones and make sure it’s good quality, so the viewer can watch it without any issues on a smaller device.”

3. Consider your channels

“You have to keep it simple and consider your channels. If the video will be used on Instagram for example - make sure your recordings are vertical, whereas video destined for Vimeo or YouTube is all about landscape and that crisp, 4K quality.” 

From Rebecca Rhodes, head of planning at PR agency Hotwire Global:

4. Focus on the visual

“Alfred Hitchcock famously said: ‘If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a pretty clear idea of what was going on.’ Campaign video or film content engages our senses and is the sure-fire way to convey the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.”

5. Entertain

“If you are in the business of making truly effective campaign video, then the same level of creative accountability should apply. Remember no one goes looking for an ad; they want work that entertains. An endlessly creative medium makes video and film the most exciting tool in the marketing box to work with.”

6. Build an emotional connection

“Make video that resonates, building an emotional connection so that potential customers remember you. After watching a great video, you feel something - good or bad.”

7. Tell a story

“Tell a story that your target audience can relate to, care about, and leave them wanting more.”

8. Use music

“Just like a movie, give thought to the music/soundtrack which creates energy and atmosphere. For example, the This Girl Can advert by Sport England using Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Your Freak On’ creates energy really well. Like a Wes Anderson epic movie, think about your colour palette and use a director who has experience in entertainment as well as with brands.”

 From Gavin Finney, head of content at agency Aduro Communications:

9. Focus on the purpose

“As with everything - video must have a reason to exist. What’s the content actually adding beyond text and imagery? Telling richer stories that inform, educate and entertain through film takes as much craft as any other medium, and needs expert practitioners that understand how and why that is.” 

10. Match the audience’s appetite

“Thinking of your audience’s need states can help too. When are they looking for a six-second visual bite versus a 30-second snack or even a several-minute-long full meal?”

11. Capture real life

“Finally, in the current liminal state between the full return of physical events and the legacy of virtual events, video is essential to capture the real-life experience of the few and share it with the online many.”

 Moving image increases shares and recall, so if you can have the option of including quality video in your content, then include it!