With infinite digital space coupled with dwindling consumer attention spans, a PR agency’s greatest task is to cut through the content clutter and help brands attract, capture, and retain consumers by way of the media’s reporting. One of the most succinct and successful ways to do this? Video. Here are some best practices to leverage the power of video to help catch a reporter’s eye and land that coveted story.
A PR Agency’s Brand Video Fundamentals
While video may have killed the radio star, the content medium reigns supreme today and will only continue its meteoric rise amidst the gilded age of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. In fact, Pew Research Center reports that a quarter of U.S. adults under 30 now regularly get news from TikTok. What does this mean for brands and public relations? Video as a communications tool can swiftly and deftly capture attention faster than words when used correctly. To start, here are a few fundamentals to always consider:
- Know Your Audience – be authentic and make sure your video content matches and complements your brand’s overall tone, voice, and aesthetic. Consumers are savvy and are able to tell when a brand is creating a video for the sake of jumping on the video trend bandwagon.
- Create a Video with Purpose – don’t invest valuable time, energy, and resources to make a video for the sole reason to just make a video. Use videos to announce a new product, category entrance, exciting collaboration, or company milestone. When in doubt ask yourself, ‘Why would a reporter be compelled to cover this?’ as an internal gut check. If you’re left feeling stumped, it’s likely that the video is great to share on your brand’s social channels, but may not warrant earned media coverage.
- Find Inspiration Everywhere – on the note of authenticity, unexpected and unique video content is highly attractive to the media. A good pressure test when evaluating if your video concept is compelling enough for coverage is to see if a competitor or another brand could easily be swapped into the video as an alternative. If the answer is yes, it’s time to reconsider if your video truly lets your brand values and unique differentiators shine through. Levity, humor, irreverence, and nostalgia are great ways for brands to make a bold statement if it’s true to your brand identity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, humanizing videos and real-life testimonials that tug at the heartstrings can be impactful storytelling tools too. It’s all about striking the right balance while maintaining brand integrity.
- Consider Where the Video will Live – with the boundaries of earned media and social media constantly blurring, keep in mind that your video may appear across multiple media platforms like online websites, a publication’s social media channels, and even broadcast (hello late night TV and the 5 o’clock news). It’s always prudent to create different versions of your video to best suit each media platform in terms of length, text layover or voiceover for social media, and even such nuanced, granular details like video file sizing and dimensions.
- Always End with a Clear Call to Action – whether you’re a CPG brand wanting to increase site referrals or a nonprofit organization seeking to rally attendance to your annual fundraiser, video content serves as a visual supplement to your PR agent’s written pitches and media materials. Video viewers should come away knowing exactly what is being asked of them and feel compelled to take action.
Other Considerations a PR Agent Keeps in Mind
- Video content for earned media purposes can’t be overly promotional – it is a reporter’s journalistic duty to provide unbiased, editorial commentary in the earned media space. Video content from a brand that’s overtly promotional or blatantly self-serving veers into advertorial or paid media territory, and is oftentimes the determining factor why a video is passed on being covered by the media.
- The media is sometimes required to shoot their own original video content – in some instances, a journalist will love video content provided by a brand, but their higher ups will nix the story lead during the editorial pitch meeting process. A myriad of variables may factor into this decision including maintaining video cohesiveness by a media entity, what is transpiring across the overall media landscape and during breaking news, and even something as simple as limited staffing bandwidth that’s unable to report on the video in a timely fashion.
A PR Agent’s POV on the Elusive ‘Viral Video’
One of the million-dollar questions we constantly get asked is, ‘How can we get our video to go viral’? The short answer is simply, virality can’t be controlled or forced. By its very nature and definition, virality is unpredictable, spontaneous, and oftentimes does not have any rhyme nor reason (RIP to the infamous dry scooping and laundry pod challenges). Viral videos are PR kismet, and just because a video doesn’t go viral, doesn’t mean your campaign wasn’t widely successful or didn’t resonate with your consumer. It’s essential to level set with your PR agent from the beginning on what your intent, purpose, and goals are with your video and how you and your key stakeholders define its success.
Looking for a forward-thinking PR agency? Konnect with us to learn how we’ve helped other brands utilize the dynamic nature of video to land their dream stories.