The power of video in PR

These days anyone can make a video. It can be produced and presented to an audience quickly, easily and with very little spend involved.

As the owner of video production company and owner of a PR company, that might seem like an odd thing to say. But it’s true.

There are, however, one or two important caveats to consider when examining this fact.

I was recently invited by PRCA MENA to speak about the role of video in today’s communications landscape and its use in social media and PR campaigns.

Rather than extol the virtues of moving images on a screen and their impact versus print or social media it was important to explain that, without a strong story at its core, most video content can easily end up being unfit for purpose.

As a former journalist, I understand the power of a story, how it can carry a message to a wide audience and elicit a response. People are hard-wired to remember stories – our belief systems are based around stories; they unite us, inspire us, create movements, influence behavior and build cultures.

Stories are at the heart of everything. They are used to cement power and start revolutions.

The principals of what makes a great story apply to any format, be it written or video. A story must engage, inform, entertain, and relate to its audience.

Because of the way people consume video content nowadays, these principals are even more important.

There’s endless data out there to show what type of videos are watched by certain kinds of people, at a particular time of day and in specific countries.

But the underlying fact is unless you’re producing a quality product, all you’re doing is adding to the hundreds of thousands of hours of forgettable content that already exists.

If your story is strong enough, it will achieve the greatest results. It will get your message across and it will meet the needs of your client.

For your message to have the desired impact, you need to ‘humanize’ it. People’s interest will always be piqued by other people – by what they are doing and feeling and how they are acting.

No one wants to be TOLD how a brand or movement is relevant to them, they want to be SHOWN in an engaging, informative, entertaining and relatable way.

From a PR perspective, the market for great video content continues to grow and grow.

People often talk about the shrinking media landscape, but it is expanding with new online platforms appearing all the time – and video gives you incredible access to these new publishing opportunities.

As traditional media outlets come to terms with reduced editorial and broadcast budgets, they are eager to use supplied video content that meets their standards. Be this bespoke social media or web content, B-roll for events or on-camera interviews, it is all in demand.

There are tangible results to this – a great story in partnership with great media relations can deliver a powerful message.

However, video, like print before it, is also a slave to people’s reduced attention spans. With viewers willing to spend less time watching a video, the content needs to not only be strong but also tailored to the platform that best engages with your desired audience.

How it’s presented has a huge impact on how it is received.

From using the correct format for the platform, editing size and running time for social media, to something as simple as adding subtitles, this all plays a role in how your message is consumed.

At its very essence, making effective video content is straightforward.

Create the strongest possible idea. Decide on the process and agree on the desired result. Be original and cut through the clutter. Catch people’s attention and tell a truly great story. 

If all these ingredients are present, you’ll have the recipe for success.

Watch Gregg’s presentation to the PRCA at: https://vimeo.com/342918793

PR at 30,000 feet

PR at 30,000 feet
By Gregg Fray, Co-Owner

People often talk about ‘work-life balance’. The notion of working hard from 9-5 then switching off completely is appealing in theory, but – as a hands-on owner of the region’s biggest independent PR agency and a busy video production studio – in practice it’s all but impossible.

In order to service clients, manage 85 staff and keep producing cutting-edge media content in a 24/7 news environment, I’ve opted for the alternative approach of ‘work-life integration’. So I’m writing this somewhere in the sky over Iraq on a flight to the UK I boarded at 7am at Dubai Airport.

I find it much easier to accept that my work is an intrinsic part of my waking hours, no matter where in the world I am. Through my iPhone – pretty much my single tool of the trade – I’m able to stay connected, make decisions, review content and execute on the fly. I only have an out of office auto reply on my emails to make clear I’m not in the UAE for meetings; for calls, What’s App messages, emails and social media I’m pretty much always available.

People argue it’s not healthy to never switch off, but I find it’s comforting to know I’m always on top of things … or better still, a few steps ahead.

Working on a plane allows head space to think with no other distractions (in the last couple of hours I’ve been through a PR strategy, contributed to a new business proposal, given feedback on two pieces of video content and started writing a speech I’ll be delivering at an event two weeks from now), but even upon landing I’ll be responsive.

Those who know me will know I travel a lot for business and family reasons. And by always being connected, my mind is settled in the knowledge that I don’t have work piling up behind me while I travel. Of course, it helps to enjoy your work if you employ this lifestyle choice. It also helps to have great department heads and staff you trust to deliver.

But luckily for me, being at the helm of Seven Media and Seven Studios is something I’m more than happy to build in to my routine even when I’m not in the office.

Abu Dhabi’s famous landmarks light up red for the Special Olympics 50th anniversary

Seven Media - Abu Dhabi's famous landmark lights up red

This is a project very close to our hearts and we are so proud to see Abu Dhabi’s major landmarks such as Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Capital Gate come together with 225 landmarks worldwide lit up red to mark the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics.

The event also marked the ‘inclusion evolution’, a mission led by the Special Olympics to end discrimination against People of Determination with intellectual disabilities and to create inclusive communities worldwide.

The Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi is one of our most prestigious integrated PR Abu Dhabi clients.