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…