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The Strategy Room

Embrace Your Inner Producer to Maximize Video Interviews

By: Ashley Durkin-Rixey

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In Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s 2013 essay on the language of film for the New York Review of Books, he said, “The image in the mind’s eye … For me it’s where the obsession began.” My experience producing video content for clients starts with a similar image—a vision of a single shot or line of dialogue.

However, public relations professionals can’t always script the perfect shoot for a client. There are budgets, logistics and time to consider when approaching video content and it may require you to change your approach to producing content. Interviews, unlike a commercial shoot, are unpredictable. But if you embrace the unpredictable nature, you may end up with more than you set out to shoot.

How can you maximize your video shoots? Here are a few tips.

Think Big Picture

At Stanton Communications, we regularly produce video content for a client campaign, often interviewing professionals to showcase opportunities with a field. As our video profiles became more popular, our strategy shifted from producing each video individually to finding opportunities to get as many interviews as we can to create our storylines from the content itself. It can be time (and budget) consuming to conceptualize a storyline, find individuals for interviews and track down crews in their locations. We worked with our client to identify an opportunity get several interviews done at once to use the footage in videos throughout the year.

Produce on the Fly

When you have less structured storylines, flexibility is key. We researched and contacted professionals we knew could convey the right messages in their interviews. In addition to brainstorming general questions for each interview, we also developed individual questions related to each person’s area of expertise. Once we began the shoot, we would produce on the fly, shifting questions to solicit more specific answers or adding new ones from our dialogue. We took notes on every shoot and within a few hours began to see themes emerging from the information we gathered.

Take Your Audience Behind the Scenes

For most people, a peak behind the scenes of a shoot is mysterious and exciting. We took photos and small video clips during our interviews to share on our social media channels. Our brief video clips featured questions we didn’t ask in our formal interviews, giving social followers exclusive content. This tactic helps build anticipation for the final videos and what more the interviewees may have to say. Experiment with teaser content, and don’t be afraid to draw back the curtain a bit on your next video shoot.

Video: A Medium that Resonates

Video content gets high engagement rates, and there is a seemingly endless array of channels to use to share it. Keeping in mind your broader goals for video, maximizing your time and breaking outside of the typical promotions will take your mind’s eye image onto the big or small screen.




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