On camera interviews are everywhere these days. They are often referred to as talking heads. However, if an interview ends up just as a person talking on a single camera shot for 60 seconds or worse several minutes, it can be the most dis-engaging use of a video camera and a real wasted opportunity. So how can you make your PR video really stand out and have the impact you need it to?
Firstly, put your super ruthless editing cap on! What do the viewer absolutely want to know? What parts are repetitive? And then edit the interview right back to its absolute best bits. Sometimes this can even mean using the beginning of one answer with the very end of another one. Obviously to do this you need to have visual shots or varied angles to cover up the splices and jump cuts. If you have used a professional video team they should have filmed plenty of these visuals and angles to use.
You will always end up with a more engaging end video if you can edit with more than one person. The variety makes for a more dynamic end video, and means you have another way of ensuring the energy of the person on camera is strong. It also is another way of getting the comments shorter and punchier as you get a result that is clearly meant to be a blend.
The key step a lot of productions seem to miss is the opportunity for lots of good shots that help tell the story visually as well as seeing the person talking on camera. A good crew will ideally either know what messages they will be capturing on camera and therefore set up lots of visual scenes to go with it, or do the shot creation following the interview on camera with the knowledge of what was said in the interview informing ideas for shots and visuals that compliment the story.
The other thing that can be massively overlooked with respect interview based case-study stories is the preparation a good interviewer does for an
on-camera interview. We always start knowing what we want from a person on camera and then work backwards to questions that help generate the sort of comments we are looking for. Of course open questions are critical to this. The other key skill is listening carefully to the type of answers you are getting. It is amazing how the pressure does get to some people on camera as they try to say what they think is a perfect sound-bite but in fact muddle up some of their words and phrases. A good interviewer for a PR story spots this and carefully puts it right by simply repeating the question or asking it in another way to help get the comment needed without embarrassing the person on camera. This is a skill that only comes with practice and is why the quality of on-camera interviewing can vary so much.
The other really important factor in good PR stories is that they are generally not about detail. They are about important headlines that hopefully have either wide appeal or niche appeal in a high value market opportunity. The headlines need to be sold. It needs to have a positive energy and be about success and progress and excitement – even if it is a widget business, there will be some people who care about the latest widget or latest development in widgets, and so they need to find the end video, engaging and useful. We believe this is about getting the headlines clear, punchy and passionate and backing them up with as many visual sequences that can be generated to compliment the story. This way you then have a communications asset worth watching, sharing and even referring back to as the story develops.
Store Openings, developments, new services and expert insights can readily be shared through short and highly visual storytelling, through quality video production.
Often these productions can be highly cost-effective as they can be filmed in one filming day and an experienced team will be able to edit it readily and quickly, often making it available for you to share hours later, making it really current and up to date and great for social media and online PR.
See some good examples of videos we have produced for internal PR teams here…
Filming a live event can be a challenging service to successfully procure and with a whole range of offerings out there, it can be tough to know what to focus on to ensure you get the best deal but with high quality results! After all a live event cannot be done again. Once it’s happened, it’s happened so getting it right first time is essential!
Wedding videographers are often looked down on by the corporate and broadcast industry as being a lesser service, but I have a lot of respect for people who film weddings well. As much as we don’t do weddings, we understand and respect the level of skill required to capture a live, emotionally charged, one-off event of a lifetime! You can’t ask the bride to come in and walk down the aisle again. You only get one chance. And the same goes for any other event. We have filmed business events, sporting events, music festival, theatrical shows, comedy shows, political events and most things in between and the same principals apply;
Be on the ball
Be quick and be good!
However if the camera director is experienced then it is like any practised skill; simple and just what they do! The majority of live event filming require capturing a range of action shots and some interview sound-bites. There is sometimes the need to capture live presentations, speeches or performances. In these situations prior knowledge and planning is critical; where are people going to be on stage, how many people are there, how much interaction, what are the audio arrangements, can we get a feed from the sound desk, and dozens of other questions that we know to ask to ensure we capture what happens as it happens and at best quality.
As with most pieces of video you shoot much more than you actually need. A good events highlights video is generally as short as possible, really capturing the essence and atmosphere of what took place. But the more you shoot the more options you have in the edit and the better end piece you will have with more variety. Gone are the days of expensive film or tape costs and so having to restrict footage (we remember those days!) digital recording means that it as long as you have the space on your drive you can keep shooting, so you don’t miss those ‘magic moments’ Of course the more you shoot the longer it takes to edit. But we generally (being a multi disciplinary team) have our camera director who shoots the event, edits it too, as it saves considerable time because they know what they shot, so they don’t have to spend time getting to know the footage from scratch! We can then pass these savings onto you the client, giving you added value and saving time and money.
In summary, if you are investing time, effort and cost in organising an event then make sure you hire the right people to create the events video for you. Here are a couple of questions to help determine whether you are just getting a cheap price with no guarantees or whether you are getting good value:
After you have received your events video (s) then make sure you use it – get maximum value from it, shout about it, share it, post it! Don’t waste the opportunity. And remember, once its out there it is a representation of your organisation or brand. And it stays out there, so it is important to get it right and have a record of the event that you are proud of.
The term ‘induction videos’ can have a mixed reaction from people at all levels of the business. A lot of people will have had to endure an induction video that was dull, cringe-worthy and about as inspirational as the company paper clip!
The trick is to know how to use the advantages of video in a way that allows you to use video as an induction tool that is powerful, inspirational, informative, engaging and time saving. It ultimately needs to be successful in terms of welcoming new staff to your organisation and engaging them in key information and messages.
Here are some tips that will help you to firstly consider how effective video can be as an induction tool and once you have considered this, ensure that you induction video project is a success and has maximum impact and ROI.
1/ Consider who is the audience and do you have different types of audiences that need engaging in slightly different ways? For example, lower level manual staff will respond to different messages than higher level management staff. The age of your audience is also important to consider when thinking of ways to engage them in your messages. The beauty of video nowadays is that the lower cost and greater flexibility with technology means that you can create different versions targeted at slightly different audiences. We often recommend that a series of short videos is more engaging than one long piece anyway, therefore if you have multiple audience styles to engage, it might be worth tailoring different pieces to each audience. This doesn’t necessarily need to mean much greater cost or more production, as if considered from the outset it can be rolled into the complete production project and done as a whole.
2/ Involve the production company in your concept and ideas from the beginning. A good production company will have enough experience in this field to best advise and consult on your ideas and the best ways of communicating your key messages creatively from the outset. If you simply give a production company your creative ideas set in stone you will be missing out on the expertise and experience that they can bring to this aspect of the project and the project will likely not be executed as successfully as if they are involved from the outset. A good production company are not only technically excellent, but should be experts in helping to convey the messages in the most appropriate way.
3/ Involve your people as much as possible. As much as professional presenters and actors are options for all kinds of video productions, if you are looking to engage new staff and employees in your company brand and messages then using your own people to do this is far more powerful and real. This does not have to just be the standard ‘talking heads’ or CEO comment to camera – there are many, many more creative ways of involving your staff in the piece and engaging your audience as a result.
4/ Think of maximising your end results and using them in as many ways as possible. As well as using them in the standard ways, for new starters, recruits, on your intranet and within new starts training sessions, think about how they might impact current staff too. Have you recently reminded your current staff of the company brands and mission? If current staff have featured in the video they would appreciate seeing the piece and being thanked now doubt. So maybe organise a ‘premiere showing’. Make a big deal of your new video assets and use them as an excuse to get staff together in this way.
5/ Think about making the videos easy to update and develop in the long term; again making the most of the content and filming that has been done. How can they been kept up to date and is there a way that updates can be produced throughout the year, using a similar format / style to the originals.
6/ Work with a company who have a proven track record in producing these types of communication video projects – not just any production company. As in any industry there are various types of production companies with different specialisms. If you choose a production company who don’t necessarily have the experience of internal communication projects then you will potentially waste a lot of time and money in not getting it right. So choose a full service company who can consult and advise on your company communication messages as well as produce your videos technically and creatively. And it goes without saying that in this industry especially you get what you pay for – don’t ask for quotes online and make you decision based on price or it will come back to bite you! Invite potential suppliers in for a meeting, you will gauge if they genuinely have the skills and expertise to help you and make it an easy and enjoyable process for you and your team. A long established company may cost more in the short term but in the long run it will save you masses of time, hassle and long term costs as they will ensure your project runs smoothly and meets (and exceeds) the communication objectives for your business. Ask for examples of previous video production work and qualify they can do what they say they can do…
To talk to us about how we can help with your induction video project or other internal communication video and presentation requirements contact us here….