Press Release Tip 62
How to use video in press releases
Adding video to your press releases is one more way to make your releases come alive and let readers see and hear you.
Recording it has never been easier. Use your smartphone or iPad, upload it directly to your YouTube account and use the YouTube URL within the release.
You can do a talking head video, a screen-capture video or a SlideShare video.
Here are examples of things you can record:
- You can demonstrate how to use one of your products or services.
- A clothing store can include a video clip of new fall fashions.
- To promote a food fair, record a video of a chef giving a short cooking demonstration.
- To promote a book signing, read a passage from your new book.
- You can use video as a “note to editors” and tell them about other things you can offer them such as other sources, photos and graphics, etc.
Here are a few guidelines to remember:
- People’s attention spans are waning. Keep videos short, under two minutes if possible.
- If you’re tempted to record a 15-minute video, divide it into five three-minute videos. You can upload those videos to a Playlist on your YouTube channel, then link from the press release to an individual video or the entire Playlist. The advantage of doing this is that with each video, you can use different keywords to pull traffic.
- You don’t have to invest in a lot of expensive, high-tech equipment. Most smartphones deliver excellent sound quality.
- Use a tripod to avoid “shaky video syndrome.”
- Every video you create should include a call to action. What do you want people to do after they watch it? Donate money? Read an article at your blog? Call to buy tickets?
- Make sure the video relates to the topic of the press release and helps readers better understand it or offers something extra.
Screen Capture Video Shortcut
Screen-capture software gives you the ability to record what you see on your screen and turn it into a video: perfect if you do training.
The problem is, fancy programs like Camtasia, which I’ve been using for more than a decade, have a long learning curve because they offer so many options like fade in and fade out transitions between frames and “call-out” messages that appear on top of your video. They’re expensive too. The latest version of Camtasia sells for $249.
If you’re willing to sacrifice the techie bells and whistles so you can crank out rudimentary screen-capture videos fast, and for free, you’ll love Vidyard GoVideo, a lightweight Chrome extension. It’s similar to Jing but without the five-minute limit. Read more about this handy tool in my article “21 Ways to Use a Free, Easy Tool for Screen-capture Video.”
Make videos with an iPhone or iPad
My friend Mike Stewart (no relation) will show you how to make fantastic video on an iPad or an iPhone with a simple app that costs only $5. You shoot it and edit it all in one place, and add fancy Hollywood effects you never thought were possible. This is free training that will encourage you to start cranking out great video without spending a fortune. See “How to Create Great Video with an iPad or iPhone with Mike Stewart,” [affiliate link]hosted by Tom Antion.
Opportunity #62 to write a press release: Public service announcement
If you have a series of public service announcements that will be running on TV or radio to promote a cause, issue, campaign or fundraiser, write a press release about the campaign for even more publicity. You often see nonprofits doing this.
Next: How to create the social media press release.