Commentary

Common PR Video Blunders

Video first is the big trend of 2018, says Brian Pittman, a Ragan Communications consultant, and is now the public’s preferred method to consume information. It also means competition for eyeballs is greater than ever.

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Pittman presents reasons why your videos might not be enjoying as many viewers in today’s content glut, and how to win back your audience:

1. “Too many people just grab a phone and start shooting,” says Drew Keller, a video producer at StoryGuide and content developer at Microsoftk, but the only way to create a truly moving story with your video is to write it out first and shoot second.”

That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to write a script or storyboard. Just create a plan that tells you what to shoot,” says Keller.

Answer these questions before shooting, says Keller:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with your story?
  • Whom are you trying to reach?
  • What is the simplest idea at the core idea of your story?
  • What concrete details and images can you include?
  • What gives credibility to your story?
  • What about your story would evoke an emotional response?
  • In a short paragraph, write your story .

2. Erring with audio. “… ad audio is a leading reason viewers stop watching.”

  • Good audio is especially critical if you’re interviewing someone,” says Charlene Sarmiento, manager of marketing at Goodwill Industries International. “… we use a lavalier mic for video interviews.

3. Skimping on editing. “Editing is the biggest time sinkhole,” says Drew Keller, a video producer at StoryGuide, “but it’s critical, because it can save a so-so shoot if you have the right tools… options:

  • “Adobe Premiere Elements and Sony Vegas Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, DavinciResolve and Avid Media Composer are more expensive professional options…”
  • The team at Goodwill uses “iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere; saves time and stretches our video budget …Advises against working with student video editors or interns just to save money.…”

4. Not checking the gate. “Checking the gate” traditionally meant clearing potential obstructions from an aperture before the film cycled through the camera. Today, it means ensuring your shot is free of distractions,” says the report.

  • “Get in close to the viewfinder, and double-check your focus,” says Malone Media videographer Brian Malone. “Otherwise, you could zoom in on your footage in the editing stream and discover it was slightly out of focus. That’s hard to fix…”
  • Also be aware of everything that’s in the frame. “A calendar or clock in the background can cause plenty of problems later…” Malone says. “That’s why you see videos where it looks like a minute hand is bouncing around in the background. The video was edited, and it’s distracting.”

 

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