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What is it?
It’s when you decide to go directly to the audience by recording your own interview and/or message to camera and releasing it yourself.
Why should you use it?
There are a number of reasons that you should use it:
- If you have a large ‘earned media’ on your social channels you should use it.
- If controlling the message is important to you, this is an essential tactic. It is particularly effective if you need to communicate in a negative environment where what you want to say is likely to get drowned out or even edited out.
- Speaking directly to your audience is very powerful, if you do it correctly.
How should you use it?
First things first here are some essential rules to follow:
- Quality sound is essential – watch for wind and gusts. Always use wireless microphones. The microphone on a phone won’t be good enough.
- Frame the video correctly. Don’t cut off body parts, and watch for poor lighting. Daylight can be best for these type of videos.
- Have one person working about the content and one person worrying about the camera, the lights and the sound. It takes an exceptional person to operate both effectively. It’s a bit like tapping your head and rubbing your tummy.
- We’re not a fan of watermarking your brand logo on the coverage. Some organisations love this, but we think that it makes the footage less likely to be shared and used. Broadcasters avoid using this footage at all costs.
- Plan it all out on paper first. Don’t try and make it up as you go along. You should plan and ‘storyboard’ every element of the video before shooting. The challenge is to maintain a natural feel while planning as much as you can.
- Also make sure to plan the social media sharing of the content. Your work is not complete until you have it shared successfully.
When it comes how you execute it there are a number if options:
- Talk to the camera; This is a straight address to the camera. It is essential to get the angle of shooting. A little bit off and you can look a proper weirdo. It’s great when it works and very poor when it doesn’t. It’s worth trying out to see if the people you are working with can execute it to a high quality.
- Be interviewed off camera: You are being interviewed by someone off camera and you are talking to Them. This can work very well if it’s a short clip, but can look odd if you can’t see the person off camera. One trick is to put the questions up on a card and just use the answers. This is a format used on every news bulletin in the world, so it’s popular.
- Produce your own news package. Employ a freelance photographer to do a 3 minute video package to tell your story. It works when you have a media launch event, or a making a speech or an address. and it can look odd. The positives is that you have a professionally produced news piece.
When should you use it?
You should pick an event or a story that there is likely to be significant interest in. This tactic is a great way to generate your own coverage in a professional way. You can capture it, the way you want the story to be told. If you have a large social following going direct is an easier choice. You’d be foolish not to do it.
At MediaHQ, we are passionate about helping people maximise their media coverage. We have the contact details of every journalist, media outlet, producer and editor. If you’d like a demo on how to use the platform, email Gaye Gleeson on [email protected] or request your demo here.