We need to get better at using video in public relations. As a whole, it seems like we think about print as our first and most viable option. Truth be told, though wide use of video for PR purposes is a relatively new tool, it really is not too expensive to use nor is it all that difficult to get to your target audiences. The incredible expense and problems of reaching who you want to reach are not really that insurmountable anymore.
Streaming video and high, broadcast quality that can be shot with a good smart phone let just about anyone produce and edit video that can really tell a story.
Video taps emotions in an extraordinary way. I dare you to watch this commercial from Dove and not tear up just a little. As I watched, I was immediately transported back to when my own kids were little and then directly to the day I got to dance with my daughter at her wedding.
We really need to change our mindset and think more about incorporating video as a standard tactic in our strategic plans. Home Depot and Lowes have done an incredible job of using video as PR tools. They’ve made it possible, if something breaks around the house, to head for YouTube and watch a short video about how to fix it. It’s all about relationship building and it makes customers happy because they can make one trip to the store for parts instead of three or six.
Not long ago a group of students and I got to attend a PRSA conference in Kansas City featuring master video storyteller Brian Storm of MediaStorm. His presentation was powerful. He showed us how video can tell emotion-packed stories, and he took us through a MediaStorm video showing how Starbucks used its buying power to help a small town suffering during the recession.
We all know that many of our audiences like images more than words. If you want to communicate with millenials, you had better be prepared to use video. This mobile generation is always watching videos on their mobile devices. I often notice students watching a quick video between classes and perhaps sharing it via social media. We should all take note and get ready for our close-ups.
Tom Heapes, APR is a Dad and an associate professor teaching public relations at UCM.