Start the press! 3 ways video can support your company’s PR efforts.

Businesses commonly use video for sales and marketing.  On company websites, corporate videos do a great job of showcasing products and services with demo videos, customer testimonials and beautiful location videos.   Corporate image reels can introduce your company leadership and share your mission.  At trade show events, videos create a lasting impression with compelling images and great music.  And in sales meetings, a video inserted into your powerpoint or as a leave behind DVD will make the impact to your potential customer greater and longer lasting.

But what about PR? How can video help to support your public relations efforts? Here are three great strategies:

1. Instead of a traditional press release about a new product, service or news item, why not create a video news release or VNR?  Its important to frame your story in a larger context so that it has real newsworthy appeal, with your product or service stepping in to solve a problem or your expertise filling a particular niche.  It mustn’t in any way feel like an infomercial or it won’t get air time.

2. If your company is sponsoring a special event or supports a non-profit cause, these are fantastic stories to tell with video.  A short 2-3 minute event video, produced by your company, can bring a lot of “shine” back to your organization — and be hosted on the event website as well as your own.  Online newspapers and magazines sometimes feature event and cause video on their sites as well.  Remember to include a soundbite with a spokesperson from your organization saying why your company feels its important to give back in this way.  It reinforces your organizations commitment to the community and makes your business the “hero”.

3. Electronic Press Kit or EPK: Just like a formal press kit, the electronic version includes the story of your product or services, featuring key company personnel.  Instead of a downloadable PDF, however, its told in video form.

For broadcast, you’ll want to include selected soundbites as “stand alone” elements in the EPK, along with raw broll footage.  We always recommend also including a fully produced featurette which frames the story as you want it told.  If you’re lucky, the broadcaster will play your produced piece — but even if they don’t, you’ll have provided the direction and made it easier for them to produce their own story.

Its important to use good quality video and sound. If you can, hire a professional company to produce it for you.  Afterall, this video will represent your company to the world, so you want the impression to be favorable.

And remember, much of the content you gather for PR purposes can also be re-purposed for website, tradeshow and sales.  So ready, set….Start the presses!!