Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Briefings 3.0 – A Video Is Worth a Billion Words

This post originally appeared on prSPEAK, a blog by PAN Communications.

It’s true, I’ve only been a full-time PR pro for little more than a year, though I’ve diligently followed the field for years. Still, I can see the progress that is happening so rapidly in this growing field. In many ways, public relations is circular, and we’ll continue to apply best traditional PR practices. But PR is also very linear, as we constantly use the tools at our hands for progress in the field. Most recently, we’ve been leveraging video to create opportunities for our clients. It’s a hot topic that everyone’s talking about. Dan Schwabel’s Digital Media 3.0 event I attended a few weeks ago with my colleagues reaffirmed that.

Whether it’s bringing video content to mobile devices or the hundreds of tools, apps and services for streaming video to desktops – everyone’s trying to see how they can leverage video for their campaigns, their advertising strategies and PR plans. Why? Because it’s personal and compelling. It reminds us that there are people behind these companies. And no longer do you have to buy ad time during the Super Bowl to tell your story and reach your audience. One of PAN’s clients recently mentioned that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a billion. He’s right, nothing tells a story as vividly to an audience as a video.

This is a great opportunity for PR pros, especially as reporters, too, are trying to ride the video bandwagon to create more compelling content. Sure, there will always be great articles, great written interviews. But to make things more personal, I’ve been seeing a lot more of what I’m deciding to call Briefings 3.0. Rather than connect my clients and reporters through conference lines, I’ve set up three Skype interviews in the past two months.

These briefings 3.0 are a win/win for both the reporters and the clients. Each can gain a better feel for the other’s personality and whose on the other side of the call. Readers are rewarded with more engaging content. Sure, the PR gal in me had a minor heart attack at first, since it’s still not possible to have 3-way recorded Skype call and I wanted to be on the line. But with some good prep on both sides, knowing the opportunity I secured for my clients and trusting my clients - I knew that video would be a hit for both the reporter and our client.

Video isn’t necessarily new, but how often, where and on what device people are watching it has made it a game-changer. We’ve even created video content for our blog as we tell the story of PAN’s growth and move to Boston. And stay tuned, because there’s more exciting video posts to come from prSPEAK. At PAN, we value video and what it can bring to digital and traditional strategies; we’re applying our knowledge of this to our client’s strategies. Those who aren’t realizing the full potential of this medium will be left lagging behind as more realize how powerful a video story can be.