Online or Web Video is a Must-Have Tool for PR Professionals Says NYU Prof.
“But one trend that every communicator should be engaging, even as information-only at this juncture, is the growing use online of video, although most PR practitioners seem to be avoiding the subject altogether. At the very least, video should be top-of-mind when you plan client programs, prepare business proposals, and devise strategies and tactics for reaching target audiences.
The biggest reason is we all like it. For example, if we have a choice between video and text when we visit websites, we will look at the video first and the text second (if at all). Advertising professionals understand this. According to recent statistics reported by video blogger and trainer Darren Olander, video will be included in roughly 30 percent of online ads within five years.
When you consider some of video’s key advantages as a communication tool, it becomes clear why PR professionals should begin integrating it more conspicuously in their work:
- Video allows you to inform audiences more immediately and engagingly than text does.
- Video demonstrates that you’re innovative and ahead of the new media curve.
- Video makes websites and events stickier; it attracts more people than text alone and they stay longer to weigh your messages.
- Video is more memorable than text.
- Video permits you to interact more personally with audiences, consumers in particular.
And videos can be live or animated, it doesn’t seem to matter. They have more cachet with viewers than text, regardless of format.
Video is also more naturally viral than text. It gets linked more often, resulting in serendipitous payoffs among important audiences that you may not have considered or could not have otherwise reached with the budget or resources you had to work with. Witness the popularity of YouTube.
According to Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of Vquence and former CSIRO research scientist: “A video is 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results than any other content. It is therefore imperative for every product, brand, and marketing campaign to have a social video element.” Dr. Pfeiffer says information presented as text is recalled by only 8% of viewers, whereas the same information is recalled by a whopping 65% when presented as graphic animation.”
Dr. Bates very clearly lays out the advantage of using online video as part of an integrated PR campaign. Not only is online video an increasingly effective medium, it is also more cost effective to produce and deploy than at any time in the past. The PR professionals who learn about and embrace online video as a viable communications tool, will gain greater credibility with clients and move ahead of their peers. YouTube’s success shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that online video is an important and necessary communications tool that should be leveraged by communications pros.