As PR departments take on many social media responsibilities, they are becoming more actively involved in the creation and deployment of social video content.
Viral videos, branded entertainment, Web series videos and video-game trailers top the list along with original, entertaining product launch videos. This new breed of video content, rather than simply supplementing the efforts of PR teams, is often spearheading them.
Here’s a list of 10 key ways that video is being used by PR professionals to help brands, businesses, organizations and individuals tell their stories.
1. Pitches and press releases. Videos make pitches and press releases infinitely more interesting and engaging. Referencing a hot new viral video, the latest video in a Web series, a video announcement from a key corporate player or simply a fun, informative video about a product can make a huge difference in how a pitch is received.
2. Building trust and credibility with targeted groups. Video builds trust. Instead of reading a text quote from a company spokesperson, viewers are able to actually see that spokesperson speaking. There may be some coaching involved, but that’s what MEDIAmobz producers help facilitate.
3. Raising brand awareness/promotions/working with celebrities. Videos that offer something of value—such as cash, prizes or 15 minutes of fame—can spread like crazy and highlight a product’s involvement in a contest or promotion, raising awareness of the product and, by extension, the brand.
4. Product launches. Viral videos and branded entertainment are high-profile ways to announce new products or refresh old ones. Video gives PR teams a visual, entertaining and engaging tool around which to center campaigns.
5. Content development. Company newsletters, blogs, speeches and annual reports are being sprinkled with videos. PR teams don’t need to produce a viral video hit for every newsletter, but they can encourage key employees to create video content at events and parties.
6. Social media marketing. Having a PR message go viral across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other video sites and social outlets creates a new story that can then be pitched to, or organically picked up by, mainstream media outlets—enabling the message to reach TV, radio and print audiences as well.
7. Social and environmental responsibility. For brands, businesses and organizations, being socially and environmentally responsible can be a key way of differentiating themselves from their competitors. Video can bring the faces of individuals and positive actions to the forefront and help move brands closer to new and existing fans and customers (i.e. KONY 2012).
8. Events. Although a single live event reaches only the people attending, social video enables PR teams to share the event with everyone. This increases the exposure of the event and of the brand, product, organization or personality.
9. Political campaigns. Politics is about persuading people to trust a candidate, motivating them to convince others that they should trust the candidate and getting everyone to vote for that candidate.
10. Thought Leadership. If you’re an expert in your field or have access to “thought leaders”, capture interviews providing useful information to your target audience. While at the PRSA International Conference 2012 in San Francisco, we spoke with thought leaders about their digital media predictions in 2013.
Here are a couple examples of great Thought Leadership videos from PRSA 2012:
Looking for additional ways to leverage online video for your business?
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