How can I use web video effectively for my client?
Web video is a great platform for you and your client to make contact with customers, potential customers, or employees.
"There are basic tools of production that need to be met in order to make your video look professional and get your client's messages across to the viewer effectively," says Amy Goldwert Eskridge, president of AGE Productions.
First, you need to frame the shot well. The subject should be well lit and not have shadows falling on the face, she adds. The background shouldn't be distracting. It should be either generic or something that speaks to the subject's expertise.
Good audio is also essential. "If your goal is to be heard, be sure your subject can be heard clearly and doesn't sound like he or she is speaking into a tin can," Eskridge explains.
Finally, pay attention to message delivery. Does your client look or sound rehearsed, nervous, or insecure? "A good producer is an expert at assisting in getting the best delivery from your client," notes Eskridge.
When should companies dive into the blogosphere?
"Blogging isn't for everyone," acknowledges Sandra Fathi, president of Affect Strategies. Executives who want to blog must ask themselves if they are ready and committed to it, and if the content will make for compelling reading.
The aspects to initially consider are: Do you have something to say? Are people interested in hearing about it? Are you committed to blogging on a regular, long-term basis? Do you need to respond to public opinion, media, employees, or other influencers that are talking or writing about your company? Are you willing to open the proverbial Pandora's Box and have an honest conversation with the public?
"If someone is hesitant or can't answer 'Yes' to all of those questions, it doesn't mean that they cannot blog at all," Fathi says. "However, it may mean that they should start by reading other blogs and actively commenting and engaging in dialogues with bloggers." Participating in other blogs can increase an executive's comfort level with the medium and help them gain credibility if they do launch their own blog.
"Blogging is great 'Google Juice,'" she adds. "It's a way to fast-track your opinion to the top of search results pages, it's a powerful PR tool, and it's a great vehicle to [engage consumers]. Executives [can] benefit from active participation in blogs even if they are not ready to commit to their own."
Local media outreach
When trying to localize a national brand, which media outlets should I target and how?
"Localizing a national brand requires creatively and care-fully infusing the brand with local flavor and targeting local media outlets," says Chris Duval, president and cofounder of McCabe, Duval & Associates.
Duval recommends building a localization strategy around the existing brand and appealing to targets by personalizing the brand using local people, language, and imagery in media pitches and b-roll.
For example, target local print, radio, and TV outlets with a story that connects the brand to a local community event or charity. Use local imagery in the company's b-roll to reinforce connection with a specific geography. Pitch your story using local customers or group as third-party validation. Or partner with a local organization to sponsor an event or campaign.
"The list is endless," says Duval. "You need to do your homework and know your market in order to successfully pitch the local media."
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firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.