Man records on video camera

How to Use Video for Public Relations

Video may have killed the radio star, but nothing is knocking video off its perch anytime soon. The medium is more prominent than ever. For example, Facebook Watch receives 1.25 billion visits every month, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and according to research by Statista, TikTok users view 167 million hours of videos in a single minute.

If that wasn’t enough, it’s estimated that video will account for 82% of all website traffic this year.

These eye-watering stats are just a handful of (very good) reasons to use video for PR.

Not convinced? You will be by the time you’ve finished reading this post, where we look at:

  • What PR video is
  • Why video marketing is important for public relations
  • How you can use video in your PR campaigns
  • Examples of good video public relations

What is Video PR?

Video camera records man playing guitar

Video PR is a form of public relations activity performed through the medium of video. It can take many forms, from advertisements and video explainers, to interviews with staff and video case studies, which as Spiel Creative (a video PR agency in London) say, ‘can really help skyrocket your sales by giving you that much needed extra edge.’

Considering how popular the format is, it’s worth embracing it as part of your marketing mix and PR output.

If you can’t do it yourself due to a lack of time or resources, hire yourself a video PR agency. It’ll be worth it.

Why? Let’s take a deep dive and find out.

Why is Video Marketing Important for Public Relations?

Let’s start with some statistics. Did you know that around 90% of the information absorbed by our brains is visual? Or that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text?

That’s a win for videos and photos right there. But video PR trumps images, because as highlighted by InVideo:

  • Tweets with video receive 10x more engagement than those without
  • LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video than any other form of content
  • Videos receive twice as much engagement as any other type of post on Instagram

If you only take one thing from these stats, it’s that video is a public relations necessity. But the question remains: How can you best use video for your PR campaigns?

Using Video in Your PR Campaigns

1. Use video to demo your product

Black and white still from PR video of man floating wearing Apple AirPods

You’ve just launched a fantastic new product that will solve a common consumer problem. You want to show off the benefits in the most engaging way possible to prove that your product is THE product of choice. Video is a great way to do that. So why not film a product demo video?

A professional film explaining how your product works and how it will benefit consumers is a great way to showcase your personality, passion, and create a personal connection with viewers.

It’s a great asset to put on your website and socials, play on loop at trade shows/conferences, and send to journalists in a press release.

If you get it right, you’ll see a surge in website hits and sales.

Best Video for PR re: Product Demonstrations

Want an example of a sleek, effective product demonstration? Apple AirPods promo film. As with all Apple videos, it’s high-quality, slick and simple. It’s also unique. Rather than reel off a list of technical specs, the video introduces the product by conveying an emotion. No words are used to describe the product. Music, combined with impressive choreography and visual effects present the audience with a sense of freedom, (the proposed benefit of wireless AirPods).

It’s an effective way to showcase the product.

PR Takeaway

You can shout about how great your product is until the cows come home. But your product has to walk the walk if you want consumers to come back next time.

Demonstrating the capabilities of your product with a high-quality, attention-grabbing promotional video gives people the chance to see it working and how they might use it themselves.

2. Case studies and testimonials in motion

Still from PR Video for Hootsuite showing logo on trees background

According to data collected by digital marketing software provider Vendasta, 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. And 72% say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

This tells us that word of mouth is invaluable. So, when your clients rave about your products and customer service, you want to encourage them to share their experience with others.

Trustpilot, Facebook and Yelp are great places to post glowing feedback, but testimonials are the holy grail.

However, written testimonials have been done to death. Try video instead. A moving, talking case study beats text any day of the week.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling socks, laptops, or flights to Manchester. Where humans are involved, there are emotions at play. Video will speak to those feelings better than any other form of media.

Best Video for PR re: Testimonials

Video testimonials can be extremely powerful, but they can also be dull to watch. If you want to hold your audience’s attention, be creative with them.

Look at this Hootsuite video testimonial. Rather than a traditional talking head style film, it mixes imagery, text, and music with footage of the client to create an experience that keeps the viewer engaged for 2 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s quite a feat.

PR Takeaway

A shining review on camera is going to garner much more interest than a paragraph of text on your website, particularly if it’s interesting to watch.

Also, every testimonial you capture on film is free PR – the best kind. So, if you haven’t got a bank of glowing reviews, it’s time to get started.

3. Take advantage of live stream video

Clarks Live Streaming ad

Live streaming is huge. Almost every social media platform provides live video streaming functionality: Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Twitch are just a few of the networks you can use to stream footage live.

The live online streaming industry grew 99% between 2019 and 2020, and as Influencer Marketing Hub states, live video is expected to make up 17% of all internet traffic this year.

What’s more, research shows that 67% of audiences who watched a live stream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time it occurred.

Armed with this information, it makes sense to take advantage, right? Of course, it does.

So, start broadcasting key speeches, company events and announcements as they happen, and benefit from real-time customer engagement.

Best Video for PR re: Live Streaming

Brands stream all sorts of things live, but one brand that makes the most from live video is Clarks shoes. Their very first live stream shopping event (hosted by influencer Nià Pettitt) combined live streaming with eCommerce in what Econsultancy calls a social-focused strategy.

Customers could swipe on an Instagram story to be taken to the live stream event, where Nià encouraged viewers to purchase by clicking product pop-ups alongside the stream and in a browsable carousel.

The seamless shopping experience directed users to product pages to add the item to their cart – all without leaving Instagram.

The live stream was a huge success. As a result, Clarks have made live streaming an integral part of their digital-first strategy.

PR Takeaway

Consumers are watching more live video streams than ever before, so your brand will do well to jump on the bandwagon.

Going live doesn’t have to be a technical marathon of lights and sound. You don’t need to have a famous face or add online shopping to your stream.

Keep it simple. Go live at your next company event or share real-time behind the scenes at the office. Give your customers a glimpse of life for you and your employees, and they’re likely to stick around to see more.

For more on how to successfully utilise live video in your PR efforts, read: How to Live Stream Your Way to PR Success.

4. Promote your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts

School children reading as part of Ikea PR video for CSR

Research shows that 64% of consumers prefer to buy from companies with a reputation for purpose as well as profit, and 53% will pay more for brands that take a stand on issues such as public health, the economy and politics.

In other words, being socially and environmentally responsible is a must. And video is an effective medium for sharing your corporate social responsibility efforts. You can use it to share a call to action, raise money, or as a rallying cry for the public to get involved in a worthy cause.

Best Video for PR re: CSR Video

IKEA’s Let’s Play for Change campaign is a great example of CSR in action.

The aim of the campaign was to help children find a safe place to play, away from life’s hardships, and they chose to promote it with this video.

It’s effective as it uses colourful stop-motion and a voiceover to keep the viewer’s interest, along with moving interviews with children who have benefited from the company’s good deed.

It’s impactful stuff.

PR Takeaway

With so much discussion about human rights, the climate crisis and social responsibility in business, it’s crucial that your company promotes its CSR policies and actions.

Also, consumers care about sustainability, waste reduction and net-zero carbon. They care about fairness, equality and diversity – and that means you should too.

Just as IKEA did, put out your best PR video to show people that your company cares, and that you’re taking action, in a creative and emotive manner.

For more information on corporate social responsibility, read: What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

5. Use video to manage your crisis communications

Woman on horseback in river

Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. It’s how we deal with them that matters. That’s as true for big brands as it is for us regular people living our everyday lives.

In the digital age, a video apology is an effective, personable and direct way to say sorry for screwing up. Many YouTube influencers have gone down this route in recent years to redirect a PR crisis – with some being more successful than others.

But the potential reach and result of an apology video is huge, and often more effective than a written press release.

Best Video for PR re: Crisis Comms

If you’re looking for an example of a great apology video, look no further than B2B software company, PDQ, who released this video to say sorry after their networks ran slower than they (and their customers) expected.

Of course, this is not the most epic fail to befall a company, but that makes their response even more spectacular. It’s quite the production, considering a simple ‘sorry our network is running slow, we’re working to fix it as quickly as we can’ would have sufficed.

But that’s great public relations for you. They went above and beyond, and they’ll be remembered fondly for it.

So, whether you’re saying sorry for slow service, or apologising to resolve a much more harmful PR crisis, do it right and do it with video.

PR Takeaway

The importance of a swift and sincere response in a public relations crisis cannot be understated. It’s the difference between a successful future for your brand and fading into obscurity.

While text-based apologies (like social media posts or press releases) are fine, there’s something to be said about doing things differently and standing out from the crowd.

Using video as a platform to say sorry to your customers is a direct and meaningful way to respond.

To understand the importance of communication in a PR crisis, read: Grounded: A Lesson in Crisis Comms from Boeing.

Video PR Services for You

Man hold video camera and film male colleague

In this post, we’ve covered what a PR video is, why you need to include video in your public relations strategy, how you can use video in your PR, and examples of good video PR from big brands. The key points:

  • Video is the preferred content format for consumers
  • Video watch time on social media is growing exponentially
  • The popularity of video content with internet users is not dwindling
  • Video is an effective PR tool
  • Live streaming is good for business
  • The opportunities for video in public relations are many
  • Video content allows for much more creativity in public relations campaigns.

Want to join the PR revolution? Call me now on +44 (0)77604 70309

I get you into the places that matter

The Times
Financial Times
Evening Standard