Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is your association using video news releases within its video platform?

Last Saturday night I was watching the 10 pm news and caught two “filler stories.”

One was about the value of using single ingredient medicines rather than multiple ingredient pills. The other was on personal exercise.

A friend was watching with me and I said “Those stories both appear to be video news releases.” He asked, “What do you mean?

Well, a video news release is a company or an association produced “news story” provided to TV stations in hopes of informing consumers and benefitting the organization.

I told him that narrator was not seen on camera (thus not a local news person); the “experts” answering questions had small logos or other evidence of a company and in the exercise story two blatant references to Curves (a company sign and a closing quote from the Curves company president).”

As I explained this to my friend, I realized it had been a long time since I’ve thought of video news releases as a tool for associations. 

Videos & VNRs: Great Tools for Associations

When done well – as these two pieces were – a video news release is a great tool for associations and their overall content marketing strategies.

Then, as I was drafting this blog, I saw a Content Marketing Institute post titled “Branded Content Broadcasting: Examples from Brand Media Moguls” from Clare McDermott.

The article focuses on Sears brands’ Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience, a recording and production studio for capturing live, streaming branded video content, hosting DIY radio shows, and capturing building and cooking demos.

The company approached Barry Krause for advice. At the time, Krause was wrestling with how brands behave in a digital social world. 

He felt the Kenmore line offered a unique opportunity to serve up fresh, hip content in a live studio format. The appliances would take a supporting role to the star: high-quality branded content. 

Explains Krause, “We all know advertising and marketing are no longer about interrupting people. It’s about being what people are interested in.”

Krause says that when he began this journey into live branded content, he was experimenting — like every other advertiser and marketer — trying to understand the difference between good-but-forgettable content and the great content users want to share with friends

Consider this example of what on-demand video can look like: Craftsman asked its Twitter followers what they would like the team to build in the studio. A customer tweeted back, “A picnic table with a beer caddy built in.” Within 48 hours, the video demo was complete and published on YouTube. Voila! On-demand video content.

Just this morning, USA Today's Snapshots showed that CEOs are increasingly appearing on company YouTube videos:

Key Points for Associations

  1. Find multiple ways to produce and distribute video content
  2. Rather than promoting your association, focus on issues important to your audiences (members, prospects, consumers, etc.)
  3. Keep it short 
  4. Provide “b” roll for TV stations
  5. Use a professional narrator
  6. Lighting and sound quality are important
When you create video, don’t just distribute it to the TV media. Be sure to post it on your website, email it to your members and put it on YouTube channel.

Is your association producing video news releases? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

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