Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Jun 11

“How to Implement Online Video in Your PR Campaigns” Part One: Video POVs

With tech publications and online media warming to the idea of vendor generated content, the opportunity to garner coverage and increase the visibility of your brand, products and services through channels such as videos, infographics, slideshows and podcasts are on the rise. Although many of these outlets will accept content in the form of bylined articles, guest columns, and white papers, they require significant time commitments from our clients, which can oftentimes be a challenge.  Video is quick, easy and requires a relatively low investment in time and resources, all while providing yet another medium for showcasing thought leadership.

Video has seen enormous growth online over the past few years, which can be attributed to increased broadband adoption and the proliferation of video sharing sites such as YouTube, Blip.TV and Yahoo! Video. With these sites attracting hundreds of millions of eyeballs per month, and with tech media and bloggers scrambling for content, the opportunity to broadcast your company’s message can seem just about endless.

So where to start? One thing that we have done at Ogilvy PR is what we have dubbed the “Expert Video POV”—one to two minute, unscripted, unmanufactured, marketing-free video clips with company executives and subject matter experts, discussing thought leadership topics of relevance to their targeted audiences. The video segments take on a Q&A format and can be shot using a simple digital camcorder, Flip cam, or HD camera for easy uploading to video sharing sites, corporate blogs, corporate web sites and distribution to online media.

PR practitioners are now donning their journalist, broadcaster, and editor hats to navigate clients through the changing media landscape. Here are some tips, for when you decide to shoot your first video:

Expert Video POV Tips:

  • Interview questions should draw out a specific point of view from the SME/thought leader. Marketing hype will not generate coverage.
  • Focus questions on trends in the news media where the SME will have a specific POV. It’s easy to get bogged down in questions that tout the client’s products or services, but you need to stay away from that. Show how the broader trend relates to the client.
  • Make sure the client gets the questions well in advance of the video shoot and prepares thoughtful responses to the questions. You don’t want the interview to seem too rehearsed, but you also don’t want to waste three hours of the client’s time because the client doesn’t know what they are going to say.
  • Here’s an example of one of our SMEs discussing a recent news topic:

Setting the Stage:

  • Make sure that there is plenty of light in the room. If possible, try to control the shoot location and provide the client with potential settings in advance. Make sure the setting fits the culture and personality of your client, and is somewhere that they feel comfortable. You don’t want distractions, but you also don’t want a boring gray background.
  • Here’s an example of how we set the stage—note the placement of the client video conferencing endpoint in the background:

During the Interview:

  • Ensure that the spokesperson is camera ready—this video will potentially be seen by millions of people; you want them to reflect well on the company.
  • Ask the interviewee to speak slowly, clearly, and a bit louder than they normally would, as the camera may not pick up all the sound.
  • Energy, Energy, Energy.
  • If possible, have the SME repeat your question before going into their response. Also, have them pause for two seconds before launching into their response—this will help when you sit down to edit the clip.

After the Interview:

  • Whether you are using an outside vendor, or are editing in-house, you’ll want to turn around the final video as quickly as possible, especially if the topic of the POV is a current news trend.
  • If you are doing the editing yourself, I recommend using iMovie if you are a Mac user, and Windows Movie Maker if you are using a PC.
  • If you decide to distribute to online media and bloggers, send the embedded link and not the actual video file, as most of the time, the files will be too large to send.

As traditional media space continues to shrink and the challenge of pitching and placing stories grows, PR practitioners must continue to adapt and bring new and innovative ideas and methods to our clients. The explosion of online video has presented an immense opportunity to increase visibility and promote the thought leadership of our clients. As Luca Penati wrote, “’an image is worth 1,000 words.’ Now a video is worth even more.

Keep an eye out for Part Two in this series, which will discuss how to promote your videos online…

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide