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Video is more and more important in this day and age. Video lets you tell your story effectively and evocatively, meaning it will resonate more fully with those you need to reach, including customers and press.

People also remember something they’ve watched much more than something they have simply read – by about 50%.

What kind of video you should shoot can vary with each project and the type of message you are trying to get out. More and more, unique video companies are carving out very specific niches for themselves. Here are two great unique video companies have really defined themsleves uniquely. And both are very good.

My City Lives helps location-based business and organizations tell great stories about themselves and what they do through video. The place and the context is every bit as important to the storytelling as the people, and they do really interesting beautiful work. They also have a mobile app. Check out their “about us” video at the top of the page.

Epipheo Studios does wonderful Explainer Videos. If you haven’t run across that term before, it’s much as you would expect it to mean given the title. An explainer video is a short, often animated video that is meant to explain a harder concept. Their website is a total work of art in itself. They’re not cheap, but they do great work. Here is an example of one of their videos:

How about you? Have you worked with a videographer who has a unique eye or has a really defined mandate? I’d love to hear about them.

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Joe Waters runs Selfish Giving and helps non-profits and for-profits create win-win scenarios that raise much needed money for causes while helping businesses better position themselves as cariing entitites within their communities.

Want to know how to attract business to your cause or find the right cause to your business? Watch the video and then be sure to check out Selfish Giving.


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Doug Anweiler from Authentic Seacoast Resorts and resort marketing expert talks about the difference between authentic marketing and how to use Social Media to really engage your customers in the experience they can expect from you. He also reminds small business people to not pretend to be bigger than they are. People are looking for real and authentic experiences even in their business dealings, and it’s something smaller businesses can do much more readily than big companies.


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Chuck Hester is a long time PR consultant and a social media authority who believes that Linkedin is the best social networking sites for business out there. But there’s another reason I like Chuck. I like him because he’s a big believer in paying it forward, in other words, helping others who haven’t helped you. He is a public speaker and he  frequently speaks on the subject of paying it forward.

But back to Linkedin! In this two minute interview, Chuck talks about why Linkedin truly is one of the best social networking sites for business and he has a few tips to help you really make Linkedin work for you.  I have more than 10 additional tips for you in this follow up post. Enjoy!

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Making the news gets much easier if you remember to include video into the mix.

Why? Every news outlets needs content for their web, and news outlets love video:

  • All news organizations want to drive people to their websites as well and so many like additional or new content so that people have a reason to both watch and visit the website.
  • Websites with videos perform better than websites without video. People tend to stay longer on websites that have video and that’s important for any site trying to prove its worth to advertisers.
  • Video adds another layer to storytelling, and news people are, at their core, storytellers.

But making the news gets easier if you have thought through the video components for other reasons as well. TV and print rely on visuals. If you are not providing great video with your story (and even if you do, they will likely want to shoot some of their own anyway), you need to think it through from the perspective of how a camera will capture it.

That means:

  • Action – people doing interesting things filled with movement.
  • Locations – somewhere interesting, dynamic and logical to the story.
  • interviews – Interesting people who can offer insightful opinions on camera.

You can do something called a video news release. Essentially, you create a tv news piece as you would like it to be in a perfect world. In the US, some news stations will air them in part or in whole if they are very well done or they really need the content. In Canada, video news releases tend to be used more for background information and as a source for b-roll.

There are essentially two ways to get the word out on something:

  • From the top down – which means that you pitch a media outlet and, if you’ve done a good job, your key messages will come out in the story they tell.
  • From the bottom up – which means that your grass roots efforts reach a critical mass and media come to you.

Video is essential to both approaches for a variety of reasons:

  • People remember what they have seen more than they have simply read or only listened to. It’s one of the reasons that even if a television station has a smaller audience than a newspaper does, the television hit is often considered to be more valuable because a television appearance usually resonates more than a print story.
  • Video provokes a deeper response when it’s well done or thought provoking. We want to share that which has moved us and video is very shareable.
  • Once a movement hits a critical mass (a large number of signatures on a petition, for example or lot’s of people blogging or micro tweeting about it), the news will pick up on it. And video can be a very powerful force in creating a movement.
  • Video is something that more and more people are doing on their own as a way of expressing their own opinions and allegiances. People want to be involved with brands they love and organizations they care about. Given a chance, some of them will even create great content for you that may even help you in your making the news efforts. An unpaid supporter created these campaign videos for to help them in their grass roots efforts to fight a bill they felt was unjust.

Speaking of YouTube, it is the second largest search engine in the world and is also owned by Google. Ensuring that your videos are also keyworded properly both in the title and in the tags right in YouTube is very important.

When you upload your video to YouTube, you will need to choose a category (it might fit into “people,” “how to” or anyone of a number of other possible categories) and then you should add keywords. People search YouTube (did I mention it’s the second largest search engine in the world?) the same way they search Google. So if you’ve chosen keywords that people are looking for, you will come up in their returns.

You can watch this video with videotips for beginners featuring Marla Schulman for additional tips, but here are some additional shooting tips that will help you use video in your making the news with video efforts:

  1. Ironically, sound quality is more important than picture quality in video. People will put up with poor pictures but not poor audio.
  2. You probably have a better side. Look at the difference when I am shot from my left side versus when I am shot from my right side. These two videos were one day apart.
  3. Use natural light wherever possible.
  4. Keep a camera with you at all times. Pocket cameras like the Kodak Zi10, similar to what Marla Schulman is holding in this video with video tips for beginners. I rarely go anywhere without my Flip camera, and am so sad they have discontinued the model. And of course, you can always use your iPhone if you have one.
  5. If you’re interviewing someone, remember it’s about them. Make them look good, even if it means shooting you on your bad side so they can be on their good side (see point 2).
  6. Look for interesting angles when you’re shooting. Unless you’re doing a Skype video interview, it’s rare to put someone in the middle of the frame – usually if they’re alone, they’re off to one side or the other.
  7. To look at the camera or not?
  • The old rule used to be never. But that’s changed. If you’ve noticed in my interviews, I always look at the camera at various points of an interview, because I think of these interviews as a three way conversation between the interview subject, myself or whomever is doing the interviews, and you the person watching at home.
  • Increasingly even in television interviews, you will see those being interviewed look at the anchor and the camera. The same goes for hosts. While interviewing people, Dr. Oz looks at the camera as if to indicate this is a three way conversation.

Making the news gets harder with every passing moment. There is a lot of competition and an increasingly squeezed newsroom has very little time to entertain pitches that haven’t been thought out from all angles.

Invest the time thinking through video, both what you can gather and what news will need to be able to gather to make it particularly newsworthy. And if you have not yet started playing with video on your own, remember this: the best time to plan a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now.

Get planting.



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It’s hard to believe that YouTube has only been around since 2005. For a long time, it was lumped in with social media but, really, what is YouTube? As Ric Dragon talks about, it’s really more of a search engine than any kind of community building platform, except that it allows comments. But what a search engine it is. It is the 2nd most searched engine in the world eclipsed only by Google. Because of that, even organizations that would prefer a more polished and professional look of another video service like Vimeo feel it’s important to have a YouTube channel. Brands should build out their YouTube channels and make sure that all of their videos are tagged and optimized with keywords.

The average user can upload videos up to fifteen minutes in length, although preferred users in good standing can upload longer videos. Supported formats include .AVI, .MKV, .MOV, .MP4, DivX, .FLV, and .ogg and .ogv which include video formats like MPEG-4, MPEG, VOB, and .WMV. YouTube also supports 3GP, meaning videos can be uploaded from mobile phones.

YouTube videos are generally easy to embed on other sites and blogs. YouTube claims that 4 billion videos are streamed on its site daily and that 60 hours of content gets uploaded every minute.

YouTube has a rather insipid FAQ that really only lists the most basic of information and in generalities.

Check out other Online PR, Public Relations, Journalism, Social Media and Marketing terms.



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