picture of camera filming public relations

Opportunities for Public Relations companies have changed platform(s)

Content has changed over the last 10 years. We now receive an abundance of video on demand in addition to scheduled television through services such as YouTube, terrestrial television on-demand players, Netflix, Apple TV to name but a few. The marketing penetration of companies has grown exponentially through the rapid growth of web-connected mobile devices and improvements in network speed.

With the correct approach and targeting, Public Relations companies can reach more people quicker than ever before. This is with the added bonus of exposure through electronic word of mouth via social media sharing of the most exciting marketing content.

Users are now the dictator of what they watch and when where historically this has been the producers of television and film. There is now no form of content not available on demand if you have a connection to the internet, whether that is news, television programmes, blockbuster movies, images, photography or informative articles such as industry reports and yes, blogs (you are choosing this content right now by reading it).

All this freedom of choice is both a risk and opportunity for Public Relations organisations, depending on how you look at the current state of the media. The rise in digital content used and consumed has resulted in a noticeable decline in all forms of printed media. Magazines, newspapers, and publications have all experienced huge reductions in popularity due to digital media being more convenient, cheaper and easier to carry! As printed circulations drop, so do the opportunities for Public Relations companies to print and engage within these circulations.

As the saying goes, ‘when one door closes, another opens’ and the statement is very appropriate for Public Relations strategy in modern times. One of the most emergent strategies in PR is a more extensive use of video through various marketing channels.

Why is video content more important than ever I hear you ask?

Well when it comes to video content, the statistics don’t lie. Globally, internet video traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70% in 2015. Global video traffic will grow threefold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 26%. Internet video traffic will grow fourfold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent. Video campaigns were once the most luxurious and expensive of PR collateral, now it’s simply necessary.

There is now a competition for views and content consumption every day on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In 2015, Facebook saw daily video views double in less than 8 months. That’s four billion to eight billion!

In June of 2016, Snapchat was also documented as outpacing the daily user numbers of social media rival Twitter and is promising investors it can be the ‘next Facebook’ with daily viewing figures exceeding 10 billion per day.

Should I use Video content in my Public Relations Campaign?

The general consensus of PR companies in 2017 is that content strategies should involve both online and offline media channels.

Approximately 90% of the information received by our brains is visual and processed 60,000 times faster than written content. The necessity for PR companies in 2017 going forward is to ensure campaigns are visually engaging.

If a picture tells a thousand words, then a video can speak forever. Video content is now the most efficient way to engage target audiences within media campaigns whilst not interfering with the more traditional Public Relations media channels such as case studies, press releases, informative articles and commentary. It’s worth mentioning that video created for PR is synonymous with other efforts including the strategies of marketing, compliance regulations, and human resources departments looking to attract their own target audiences to an organisation with this same content.

SEO Benefits of Video Content in PR

Using creative video content will surely bolster the ranking on search engines such as Google. Videos independently rank on Google, and web pages with related videos have been proven to rank better in Google’s search results than others that do not share the same creative content.

One great PR bonus of video content is the engagement levels. People watch, comment and often share things they have watched online, especially on social media channels. What this means for your website presence is that web pages with videos embedded into them benefit from the higher levels of brand mentions among other social signals, tremendously improving search engine optimisation capabilities and overall PR performance.

Excellent PR content is capable of being experienced across multiple channels including all of the major social media platforms and news distributors which now have established portions of their own websites dedicated to video playback.

Executed well, video content for PR has been proven to cultivate millions of views, dramatically increasing the status of advertised companies, providing a source of discussion for influencers and target audiences alike. A number of individuals discussing and engaging with your content is a good key performance indicator for the effectiveness of your overall PR strategy, but in order to succeed via video media platforms creativity is essential. This is where the creative experts play their part in adding value to the process.

There is a video content idea for almost all organisations in the marketplace including examples such as cultural awareness, team building activities, client testimonials, video blogs, interviews with experts, webinar sessions, event coverage, product/service tutorials and reviews from customers to name but a few.

So you would like to pursue video content for a PR campaign, now what?

You need to define your video objectives, so make sure to determine exactly what you wish to achieve from a PR video. What do you want the video to say about the company and what do you want the audience to do as a result of viewing it? Does this action fit with the wider media strategy of a PR campaign?

Creating a storyboard is an essential tool in the planning process of sticking to the theme, and more importantly the objectives of the video you are going to organise and distribute. Assuming that you can decide and change up major elements of the video story as you go is a recipe for disaster.

Your PR video content is only as good as the tools and software used to create it, so think reliable recording equipment, believable acting and a stage presence of your performers. Don’t forget the importance of editing – without it, even the most crisply shot scenes will result in looking like the production of amateurs. Besides these, you will have to discover your inner movie director, so lighting, microphone, and audio recording equipment are all essential.

Perfectionism is key when it comes to video content – the minor infringements on perfection that you overlook at the creation stage will be spotted instantly in the subconscious of your target audience. Put simply, if you think a scene needs another take, it probably does. The wrong decision spotted and a scene reshot will always result as cheaper than the indecision of settling for second best quality. Compromising on video production quality will ultimately result in less engagement and further improvements necessary in the future, so it’s best to complete it correctly the first time.

If the right audience does not see your video content, all your efforts are in vain so this is also a must. Consider the way your target audience consumes information and content. Do they prefer a slickly produced, formal approach to branded video content or a sketchier, more realistic tone, as if it’s derived from consumers themselves, perhaps shot on the very mobile devices that people love to share video content on? Ultimately you need video content which will resonate the most intensely with the focused target audience groups on your PR radar.

Lastly how long would you prefer your video content to be?

It’s a question that needs a definitive answer, considering the fact that if you have not engaged your audience by 30 seconds, 33% of your audience has been lost, rising to 45% after 60 seconds.

Working with some of the biggest PR agencies in the world, Fresh01 have an extensive history in working in film and audio for the requirements of PR companies and video content production is the latest step in this ever-changing industry, so contact us for more information on how we can help.

List of references

Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020