See Me, Feel Me
His eyes can hear ... His ears can see."
"Tommy," The Who
Roger and the boys had it right. Now, major news sites offer proof that it's high time public relations pros counsel clients to dive into the online video age.
"Web sites such as CNN.com and ESPN.com are discovering that readers ... are a lot more likely to want to interact with their content when video clips are a significant part of the overall package ... The trend suggests a new wrinkle in the way people want to experience online news and information." The New York Times (Nov. 11, 2009)
New wrinkle, come on! Brands need to open their eyes to the reality of the communications process. Astute visual marketing strategists like Toniq's Cheryl Swanson have long advocated what neuroscientists have proven -- 70% of human stimuli arrives via our eyes, a meager 15% enters the ears. So if you want to successfully communicate your brand story ... go to the video.
In a death struggle, major media are moving video front and center on their websites, through syndication and video streaming sites, to attract eyeballs wherever they are. As The Times correctly stated, "The attention to video mirrors changes in how consumers are experiencing news (add all mediated reality). Major events -- be it the presidential election or the death of Michael Jackson -- bring a surge in video stream viewings by new users ..." Well, duh ...
It's high time the PR industry takes the lead, gets out of its blog and pods and moves into the spotlight. To do so, PR pros need to overcome two client hurdles: fear of expense and fear of transparency. Transparency is an issue that corporations simply cannot back-burner any longer as consumers continue to take the high ground through social networks and mobile apps. Another myth -- "the TV/movie look video is beyond my budget." Not true.
Visual identity designer Limore Shur of Eyeball puts it succinctly, "The closer your eyes to the screen, the more you are willing to accept lower image quality in favor of gained intimacy." In other words, people aren't willing to watch YouTube videos on 50+ inch home theatres, but they are perfectly acceptable on iPhone screens six inches from their eyes.
Enter the FlipVideo. This cheap, ridiculously simple-to-use HD camera literally puts the power of video in every PR (under age 30 anyway) pro's pocket. Included is software to create and upload videocasts and, voila, that plant tour and interview can become an instant video feed.
New companies like Pixability will send you a Flip video camera to shoot whatever you wish -- an interview, testimonial, product-in-use segment, etc. Send the camera back and they will shoot you back a professional-quality video with music, titles and company logo ready to embed in client news releases, websites, promos, events, e-newsletter, sales presentations, blog, Facebook pages, and marketing plans.
So what are we waiting for? Maybe it's time to download that "Tommy" video.