They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Going off this statement, a tweet has to be worth double to triple that. So if these simple things are worth so much, how much could a video be worth?
Videos, in my opinion, are currently the cutting edge of PR technology. A tweet or a feature story can only go so far. But apps like Periscope and Beam that show real, live video are what people find intriguing. People no longer simply want to be told a story, they want to be apart of the story.
With all of this being said, creating a video is a lot harder than people realize (unless you have a real talent, in which case props to you). Personally, I never really considered video-making part of my forte. At the end of the day, I will always consider myself a writer over the visual aspect of things. However, if I want to be on the cutting edge of the PR sphere, I cannot neglect what is staring me right in the face. This is why I’m thankful I had to produce a video for my advanced PR course.
As I said, creating a video is hard, a lot harder than I ever realized. So since I love lists and I love learning, here some lessons I learned from created my first video:
1. Prepare. Procrastinating on things will only make things worse. (Naturally, this applies to all things in life, not just video-making)
2. Have a script. There’s nothing worse than having someone just wing what they are supposed to say. I’m all for improv and having a person make something their own, but without guidelines it will be difficult to find materials you actually want to use.
3. Volume. Being able to hear the person you’re videoing is of the upmost importance. After all, what you’re trying to produce is more than just something to put on YouTube for people to watch. Videos are supposed to tell a story. You will never be able to tell your story if no one can be heard.
4. Find your lighting. Like volume, proper lighting plays more into producing videos than people realize. Glares and darkness both hurt the eyes. Beyond that, they are also distracting.
5. Watch for excess space. I never realized how important a background was to a visual until I created my first video. In so many instances, the background contributes as much to the story as the centerpiece does. Because of this, you never want any excess space to distract the audience from the focal point.
6. Branding. The whole point of a video, especially a video for PR, is to drive home your brand. Stating the name of the company (at least three times), websites, phone numbers, contact information, you name it, it should be in the video. You want the audience to remember why you made the video in the first place.
7. Have a call to action. Like any other promotional material, you have to remember what you are trying to get your audience to do. Whether it’s making a donation, visiting a website, contacting for further information, etc. Whatever it is, there has to be something clear for the audience to remember. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how important a call to action is to promotional materials.
These are all things I know I need to adjust in the video I created for PR. However, as I have learned, everyone has to start somewhere. The things I have learned I plan to implement into my next video projects. I’m just thankful my professor gave me the constructive criticism I needed to succeed in my future. After all, I love to share the moments I experience with others and videos are a perfect way to do it.