When filming video for your PR campaign, the primary thought you have to keep in your mind is the finished product. This generally means either B-roll, online video content, a corporate film or social media clips.
Each has their own different requirements, which will go into below, but it’s very feasible to film for all four on one shoot and re-purpose them appropriately in the edit suite – it just needs good planning!
Visuals and branding
When filming video, the priority has got to be visuals. It’s paramount to think about what you can shoot, what the camera can see and anything extra – such as animation or graphics – that you can use to add value to your production.
Key messaging has to be considered as this is the prime reason behind doing the filming. It has to be conveyed effectively, but subtly so as not to jar with the audience. The same goes for branding. It’s a fine line between over-branding, meaning the audience may be put-off by what looks like an advert, and being so subtle the branding is lost.
With those couple of pointers in mind, let’s look at the four categories in more depth.
For those of you who don’t know (feel free to read our separate blogs on it!), B-roll is a package of around 6-8 minutes of roughly edited video footage shot in a news style. It is filmed simply, avoiding too much movement (eg. whips, pans, zooms) and is comprised of set-up shots, cut-away shots and interview clips. B-roll is used as a tool to send to broadcasters to give them additional footage around a story, footage that they themselves may not have or be able to film themselves. For this reason it has to be edited loosely, so journalists can pick and choose shots and edit them up for their own news packages. At Shout! Communications we aim to shoot in a style that is indistinguishable from something broadcasters would have filmed themselves – that way online and TV journalists are much more likely to use it.
Online video content is a complete and edited video package, far more produced than B-roll, and significantly shorter too. Typically an informative video of around 1.15-1.30 minutes; it is in a news style but can be much more refined. In it, the interviewees tell the story, and there is no voice over so interview questions have to be reflected back in the answers. This lends itself to features that can be played with subtitles too, so this has a huge bearing on how you film the original content (make sure to leave room at the bottom of your shot!). You also must consider how people are viewing, across which platform, and which device.
A classic example of online video is the recipe video. To successfully place these online editorially, the production value needs to be high – a glossier finish and potentially more kit, ideally included two cameras. They are traditionally shot with softer lighting, but you need to be mindful of what the viewer can see, such as reflections and branding, and the chef normally has to be on an island in the middle of a kitchen, not up against a stove.
Corporate video is the one exception where branding is not an issue. Normally made for a company or organisation’s website, or for internal use, there is no need to worry about being brand-heavy. Much more can be put in the edit, but try and avoid over-kill. Branding used must be current and consistent throughout. Corporate video tends to be glossier, with higher production value, and can also be longer as you can safely assume that the audience is already (at least) partially interested!
Social media video
With 2.5 billion social media accounts worldwide and 78% of people consuming video online each week, it seems mad to miss out on the potential PR opportunity here. However, on the flipside, there is so much video content out there – you need to make sure yours stands out! Don’t go searching to try and make that viral video. You can try and predict trends and changes in taste, but ultimately there is no single golden rule for what will blow up on social media.
The main thing to consider is what platform you are looking to most target. Platforms dictate what your target audience is: where do you want your video to be seen and by whom?
You also need to consider what devices people will be consuming on, as this can affect the dimensions of the video, or if they are using sound or not. Possibly the most important thing to consider at all time, however, is length! People have short attention spans – 10 seconds is enough for someone to switch off and move on unless you engage them otherwise. Attention grabbing qualities are key for social media videos.