Picking the best format for a VNR or corporate video, the benefits of infographics, and more
With so many video formats in the marketplace, which format should I use for my next VNR or corporate video?
Because of its superior quality, it would seem logical that all video for television should be shot in high-definition very soon, says John Gordon of Gordon Productions. "However, that's not going to happen for several more years because the Senate recently voted to extend the deadline to 2009 for US television stations to switch to digital broadcasts," he adds.
This means that standard-definition (SD) video will
be used for at least a few more years. Gordon notes that you can still use crews that have Betacam and newer formats like DVC Pro for most corporate videos and VNRs. DVC Pro is an advance over Betacam because of its digital format and higher-quality picture, and many video crews around the country that used Betacam equipment are now migrating to DVC Pro.
To assure that the format you use is the correct one
for your needs, it's best to have some dialogue with the video crew before you shoot, Gordon says.
"Be specific with the videographer about how you will be utilizing the video and whether you want widescreen or full-screen format," he adds. "These pre-production steps can help you a great deal when you edit and distribute your video program."
How can infographics help us in crisis communications?
Infographics summarize information with graphics and text and are useful to organizations seeking a succinct crisis communication plan, says Lori Wilson of Funnel Inc.
"Visualizing your organizational chart and creating a blueprint of potential scenarios, sequential actions, and procedures can condense many pages of text into one portable visual that can easily be e-mailed, laminated, tacked to the war-room wall, or sent to the media," she adds.
This approach not only builds internal consensus, but it can also be a calming strategic tool to consult in the midst of an emergency, says Wilson. Visual instructions leave nothing to interpretation.
An external communication plan utilizing infographics also helps restore confidence and credibility with the public quickly and efficiently. Stories covering mechanical failures, natural disasters, or medical emergencies frequently include infographics to make the crisis easier to understand.
"Control the story by providing your own infographics that assert the most salient points of the problem and present the facts accurately," she says.
How can we ensure that a client's radio interview will air?
While some monitoring firms attempt to track radio interviews, their success is not as strong as with TV monitoring, and stations that promise air-checks often times don't come through, says Sean Amore of Strauss Radio Strategies. "There are a number of steps, however, that can help ensure that a radio interview, once conducted, gets on the air."
The first step is to set up live radio interviews whenever possible. "While forgoing the 'control' aspect many clients crave, live interviews ensure the interview will air," Amore says.
It's also wise to target the best and highest-rated stations in a given market, instead of small news/talk stations on the edge of a market. "The better outlets rarely take the time to do interviews for stories they do not intend to air," he says.
How can we be sure we're picking the right celebrity for our PR campaign?
The first thing to do is identify a budget and what tier celebrity you can afford, says Tom Cestaro of Celebrities Plus. "You then must assess the talent's appeal in relation to the campaign's targeted demographic," he adds.
If you pick a star that has a movie about to be released, you want to be careful that the film's PR agenda does not get in the way of your efforts. "Before you hire any celebrity, always ask what they are working on, if they are involved with any other campaigns, or if they are booked on any national media," he advises. "Also remember that you have to work around your talent's schedule."