In post journalism PR, on line video is an opportunity to be exploited

When the head of the Bloomberg Beijing office told me that he is the sole reporter here, it set me to thinking. As publishers struggle to make TV, there is a great opportunity for companies and their agencies to fill the production vacuum. There is an irony in the fact that tv stations employ fewer and fewer newsgatherers, yet the appetite for online video mushroomed to over 12.7 billion  videos in the USA alone, and in Asia the rise of sites like Youku(claims 150 million video downloads to june 2008)  in China mean that there is a growing body of self published content, and not  all of this is consumer.  Sites like Thenewsmarket are catering to corporate video production distribution, which complement the social networks which host video and the video sites which now offer B2B newsclips. Video content production and distribution is become democratised. Many of our clients are working with video, for example Avnetondemand , which is hosting their own content. Meanwhile traditional media are hosting video’s as if they were broadcasters .e.g. Emmanuel Daniel of the Asian Banker Journal. Producing and hosting video is no longer the preserve of major broadcasters, and as i-reports of cnn has proven, everyone can be creative; well nearly everyone. In a good article written by Jeremiah Owyang of Silicon Valley, he outlines some key points to consider when looking at the ROI for online video production. I have edited some of the points but he deserves credit for his original thought. 1) Time Efficient For many CEOs, committing and writing a blog is not going to happen. This was evident in this video where Michael Dell is asked point blank “ why don’t you blog?” . Video production can take less time of the busy executive, and the content can be repurposed many times. 2) Talk directly to the ‘people’ With online video the executive comes to the ‘edge’ of the company to have a real conversation with the marketplace. It’s real, with real emotion, nuances, and body language that can’t be expressed over text. Remember that 80% of communication is non – verbal, so the video really creates a great way to connect with the audience. 3) Take advantage of the Network Effects The term Network can be interchanged with “Viral”. By placing your video online, it should be put into viral players that encourage bloggers, and other website manager to embed the video and sharing it with others. Google Video, YouTube, Blip, Youku and if you create content with PodTech (the author’s company)  you’ll have the benefits needed to share. 4) Reuse Opportunities These videos can be displayed on your corporate website, the extranet, intranet, embedded or linked to from a press release, email newsletter, sent to investors, and encouraged to spread on other websites. For those in Integrated Marketing, you’ll love this. 5) Speaking in person to the whole world across time Since the web is global  it can be easily found and shared across distances and is saved in the internet for access over time. Some theories suggest that the content over the long term is more effective than big media buys. How many people does your CEO reach by giving a speech? 10? 100? 1000? . On the web it can reach mass audiences.  6) What a Online Video Conversation is:

A) Your Executive having a real life conversation, not scripted, no cue cards B) Your Executive engaged in a real conversation with another human being C) Tough questions and Real Answers, if your Exec doesn’t know, they will earn more respect from the community by saying “I don’t know, but I’ll find out and tell you”

7) What a Online Video Conversation is NOT The type of conversational real life videos I’m talking about are NOT:

A) Your CEO speaking to a bunch of people and simply recording it, unless they are a truely a gifted orator it’s not personal enough nor engaging. B) Your CEO reading a primed script C) Canned questions without improv or authenticity

A great online video conversation is like improvisational jazz, performers building and responding to each other around a given melodic theme. The time and cost of video production depends really on 3 factors: 1. Duration of the video – this dictates the amount of filming (rushes) and the post production time. 2. Quality of the production ie. one camera, two camera, full sound set up, dedicated space, graphics, sound, subtitles etc 3. Use of talent ie. one talking head, a real journalist, actors etc In the post journalism pr world, opportunities abound to create content and self publish. The only thing stopping clients in my experience is the ROI question. I remember back in 1998-99 clients said the same about having a website. The costs of production have come to affordable levels and the ubiquity of the channels has made video a real option. Finally, as we deal with the flat world, we can no longer issue news in isolated markets nor rely on one message being delivered to customers, one to staff and one to suppliers; news is ubitious and on demand. Online video means that the spokesperson doesn’t have to be so too.

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