Video for Public Relations –
6 Best Practices
Thinking about using video for PR? Here’s everything you need to know about its many benefits as well as how you can optimise your content to reach more people, increase brand value and create content that will really get people talking.
Why should video be a top priority in any PR strategy?
Video can also have a huge impact on pretty much every goal that PR and communications pros look to reach on a daily basis:
- Improve SEO – Video content takes longer to consume than text and photos alone. This means that anyone who visits your (or your client’s) website and watches video(s) will spend more time browsing. And the more time someone browses, the higher your Google search rankings will be since site visitor time is a large part of the SERP equation
- Enhance media pitches – Embedded videos in email media pitches make brands easier to remember and provide an engaging form of storytelling that will help hook recipients. Plus, you can personalise the video to the respective viewer – which shows reporters you care about their specific audience or topical focus enough to put effort into the pitch
- Increase audience engagement – Using video for PR has the potential to grow your paying customer base 49% faster than strategies that rely on other forms of content. That’s because video content is 12 times more likely to get shared across social media and other digital communication platforms than text and photos combined
You can think of video for PR as a multi-tool: audiences love it, it helps your brand get discovered faster and more effectively and it’s great for connecting with other people. But not just any video will do. In order to successfully compete with videos from other, possibly similar brands, PR and communications pros will need to follow these expert recommendations before they get started with video for PR.
Video: 6 best practices for PR & Communications pros
Here are some actionable ways to take your video for PR strategy to the next level along with real-world examples from successful brands as well as pro tips:
#1 – Include quotes
Quotes from testimonials, news outlets and other similar brands help your viewers understand who you’re targeting. In this example from toy company LittleBits, they’re showcasing their best press. Not only does this help lend the product more credibility, but it also makes it easy to see who would enjoy this toy the most.
#2 – Use captions
Speaking of text on video, did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? That’s why captioning is so important – if you really want your audience to understand the main message of your video, you’ll have to add captions that spell everything out just in case they never turn up the volume. In this example from FleishmanHillard’s client the Omidyar Network, you can see how sound adds to the experience but the video still makes complete sense when you watch it on silent – thanks to the captions.
#3 – Summarise key objectives
Another of FleishmanHillard’s clients, the Luminate Group, uses video for PR in order to communicate the brand’s goals for the year. The concise summary is easy to consume and remember. This means audiences can get to know what the brand is all about and where it’s going as well as leave with some long-lasting takeaways about the company’s values all in about one minute.
#4 – Be concise
In this example from BNP Paribas, their video covers the past, present and future of climate change and its effects on biodiversity – quite a complex subject for a minute-long video. You can emulate their approach by limiting text to 1-2 sentences per block, giving users enough time to view each section (10 seconds should do the trick) and choosing your words wisely.
#5 – Highlight brand values
Take law firm Shearman & Sterling’s video for example. Notice how they quickly mention their involvement in Pride NYC before showing clips from heartfelt interviews by event participants. Whether you’re hosting your own event or attending someone else’s, creating a branded highlights reel is a great way to show your audience who or what you support. It’s also worth pointing out just how powerful a mix of brand promotion and the authentic support of a good cause can be.
#6 – Advertise strategic partnerships
Just like events are a great opportunity to showcase your values, partnerships also offer ways to let your audience know what you’re really all about. Here we see Shape magazine’s coverage of the Bloomingdale’s and Everlast breast cancer research fundraiser. By creating this video, Shape is able to associate themselves with two elite retail names (whose audiences not so coincidentally compliment their own) as well as a well-respected charitable foundation.
Video for PR: Main takeaways
The bottom line: using video for PR is one of the most effective ways for PR and communications pros to achieve their objectives. It’s great for both attracting better partnerships and new customers.
But not just any old video will do. Here’s a recap of the tips we covered so you can apply them to your next piece of content:
- Maximise your use of text on video – Because it’s not all about the visuals. Whether your video is seen without sound or you’re repurposing a white paper into something more digestible, your video must include text to be understood. Just remember to limit your word count, give people time to read each sentence and try to include one big idea at a time
- Strategically align your brand with like-minded others – Once viewers see another brand, cause or event in a video you’ve created, they’ll start to associate your company with the ones you featured. This is great for reaching complementary audiences and sharing your values. As long as you get their approval, you can share positive content about other brands as part of your own video marketing
- Keep it short and to the point – Creating video for PR means capturing short attention spans in an incredibly small amount of time. The best way to cut through the digital noise is to make the point of your video known right from the beginning and don’t overstay your welcome. Even if the viewer has never heard of your brand before, they should be able to give someone they know a quick description of your video
About Ubermetrics & Wibbitz
Technology firms Ubermetrics and Wibbitz run a content partnership to provide digital communicators – such as PR and Marketing pros – across the globe with industry news, insights and best practices.