Moving PictuRes

      42 Comments on Moving PictuRes
Edeleman's Arun Mahtani

Edelman’s Arun Mahtani

In an Edelman PR blog a year ago, Arun Mahtani wrote about how video has emerged as a profoundly important tool for public relations professionals. “In public relations, we’ve always put storytelling front and center. It’s been key to winning media coverage for our clients.”

“In the world of YouTube,” he continued, “it’s real stories about real people that reign supreme. The site is flooded with users documenting their lives and thoughts. Brands and companies have leveraged this trend… In this new reality, our talents as public relations professionals are in demand.  We just need to understand how video has changed.  And be bolder about our abilities.”

It used to be that video was something someone else produced for the purpose of promotion, usually to advertise a product.  PR practitioners would only flirt with video production, occasionally working on public service announcements for nonprofits, or sometimes producing a video news release.  Today, according to a number of sources, using video in blogs, on websites, and on YouTube channels boosts search engine optimization (SEO) so much so that a client is 50 times more likely to appear on page one of a Google search.

What does this mean for public relations professionals?  It means we all better get more comfortable and knowledgeable about video production, and learn basic scripting, lighting, shooting, and editing.

The good news is it has become relatively easy to produce good video; in fact. some of my students’ PSA projects are shot with an Iphone and edited in Imovie, and come out looking nearly professional. Video, desktop publishing, photography and other tools have become such a part of PR that we’re thinking about developing an advance course in public relations tools, building on the fundamental tools class we require of Hofstra’s PR majors.

“Authenticity is another factor that plays to our skill-set,” wrote Mahtani. “Like journalists, we are experts in showing people the way the world is, rather than constructing an alternate reality.”  Which means we all better get good at using video to tell our stories.  Your thoughts?


42 thoughts on “Moving PictuRes

  1. Colin Sullivan

    The new availability of software for video creation opens this resources for companies who could not previously afford to embark on such endeavors. Many brands and organizations have self produced content on social media accounts, with professional level editing and production value. The availability of production software and ease in now hosting content publicly introduces a threat to many companies simultaneously. Allowing those with basic skills of video to control the story boarding, content gathering, layout, and editing of a video can create a package that has high production value but drives no messaging forward. Video production now being streamlined and accessible on user friendly software is not only a added ability to PR professionals, but a necessary call to get informed and comfortable with all aspects of video production.

  2. tatayanayomary

    I would have to agree with this article. As society develops and social media becoming a requirement I feel that video plays an important role in how we perceive a story and how it is told. If you look on any website videos are a part of how they reach their consumers. With YouTube being one of the biggest social media sites its safe to say that video is becoming an integral part of how we communicate and will continue to communicate.

  3. jmcpha1

    In a world where milllenials are increasingly wary of traditional advertising, marketing, and PR, it is essential that promotional efforts seem seamless and natural. Using video, especially user-generated video to promote a product goes a long way in doing that. Therefore, it’s essential that a PR professional also has working knowledge of video shooting and editing tools to be able to show their product/executive/company in the best light possible.

  4. Kelly Farrington

    I think it would be really beneficial to teach in depth video recording as well as desktop publishing. As a last semester senior I am regretting that I didn’t take additional classes to learn these skills. I think it’s important for PR students to try and learn some of these skills on their own if they are not offered at school.

  5. Christine W.

    Over the years, video has become more an essential part of any promotion. Video use to be controlled productions but now anyone can shot a video and upload it for millions to see. This can be a good thing or bad thing for companies. Often now, when I want to learn more about a product I find myself on YouTube or Google looking up reviews about them. Companies now have the power to allow regular people to voice their opinions about their products and company through video. Positive or negative I am glad video has become a more important part of campaigns.

  6. Avalon Bohunicky

    People like visuals. It is crucial for PR practitioners to be very familiar with video production. I plan on pursuing a career in the business side of television, but I am taking video production courses at Hofstra so that I can be fully aware of how a show is developed and filmed. Producing videos has become very simple due to the creation of several computer programs and cell phone applications. Video is a great way for a PR practitioner to tell a story or convey a message.

  7. Olga Varnavskaya

    I absolutely agree, that PR professionals should be knowledgeable about video production. It’s not only because young generation now prefers video to reading (which is quite sad), but it’s also a matter of convenience. Nowadays people tend to use more cell phones than desk computers, notebooks and tablets for the internet access. Obviously, it’s not convenient to read information on such small screens. It’s much easier and faster just to watch some video material. Thus, ability to make video will inevitably become a major skill of PR professionals.

  8. Nina Vasiljevic

    I agree with everything said. People are visual beings, myself included. When I’m looking for a tutorial or a how-to online, I always try to find a short and simple step-by-step video, instead of reading a lengthy tutorial. It’s not like I hate to read or dislike heavily detailed tutorials, but I would rather see a video, because I memorize things visually and it also saves my time.

    With emergence of YouTube and photo-sharing media platforms, we are as professionals forced to acquire skills we never thought we would need. I guess we just have to embrace this change and follow the flock. Keep calm and keep learning.

  9. stephleal

    Almost every single news story read online has a video to accompany the story. This is a clear indication of where the future is going, I couldn’t agree more as PR professional we should at least know the basics of video editing, lighting and script. Doing my radio and video PSA has been a learning yet enjoyable experience. I have been able to let my creative side come out with this project I can’t wait to see my final product.

  10. afitting

    Integrating video into B2B and B2C PR strategies has been a hot topic lately. It’s understandable that publicists are interested in integrating video in their client’s publicity plans especially because PR objectives often include influencing publics’ engagement.

    For instance, including live video in the communication mix creates a more intimate and engaging experience. Audiences not only view the news or announcement live, but they actually see the spokesperson in person, rather than just reading a static quote on paper. When the PR plan also includes a social media campaign, the audience has a chance to feel an even greater connection to the client’s brand if the spokesperson answers questions tweeted during a live webcast.

    In general, videos make events, press releases, announcements, etc. more engaging for the audience. It creates a visual live experience that easily captivates the target audience. Learning how to integrate video into publicity plans is a necessary skill for PR professionals.

  11. Samantha

    Almost every website has video content. Akin to social media this would definitely be the next frontier for PR professionals. Personally I really do prefer written content. However, I recognize the fact that pr is a profession where one has to keep up with a myriad of communication trends, video and social media included.

  12. Alexandria Alicea

    This semester I am taking a history of media course and we tend to focus a lot on how our developments today will really affect the media of our future. The class actually had a large debate on whether or not visual media will eventually take the place of print media. For my generation, we couldn’t really understand having a visual aid without the back up of print form, but video is becoming such a prominent part of reporting and advertising that eventually future generations won’t be bothered to look for the print source.

  13. yannaloren89

    I agree with this post. Personally, I’m glad the millennial generation are technology savvy. We are able to create and post genuine videos in minutes. I think the millennial generation would rather watch videos than read. I don’t believe its because we lack imagination, i think videos are able to trigger an emotion faster than reading words. Videos are fun and are easy to post which is why it’s understandable today to be knowledgeable about video production.

  14. Geena Pandolfi

    I agree, video has become so important for public relations. People have short attention spans as it is, they don’t want to read long articles, we are more visual. A video is a great way to speak directly to your audience and get your message out. Every PR person should have video skills as well as basic editing skills because it is a tool that will be vital now and in the future.

  15. jhasten1

    I agree with this whole-heartedly. Video is a great way to spread a message and, if done well, doesn’t take much effort from the receiving end. For example, when Obama wanted to promote his healthcare plan to the youth of American Society, he went on the Funny Or Die. People these days are far too busy to read everything that is out there, but to watch a three-minute YouTube video can be accommodated during their break.

  16. Francesco Vivacqua

    As the world becomes more technologically advanced, PR has to keep up with the times. Thanks to, video has becomes a tool to access knowledge. People are moving away from print, because video is more compelling and may convey a point in a very small amount of time. This is the direction that journalism is moving towards too, because more people in society rather see and listen then read. It is important that Journalist and PR people become familiar with editing, because it is becoming a skill that is needed to flourish in these fields.

  17. russellrothenberg

    I agree, video is a very important tool. I always thought that a PR professional has to do a lot of writing. While that is true, I did not expect that we would have to be involved in making videos. Video is a great way to tell a story, promote a client or product, or to just spread the word. I noticed that a lot of companies want their videos to become viral which would stir up a lot of conversations between other people on the internet. I’m already learning how to create my own video and while it is a lot of work, its easier than I thought it would be.

  18. Zachary Kizer

    I believe that any modern profession should have some understanding of how to create and produce a video. Our society is increasingly becoming visually based, and the public relations field should adapt to that. In terms of being able to create a visual product, it is important for public relations individuals to be comfortable with the equipment so they don’t have to outsource that type of project.

  19. Anthony Lucero

    The importance of the massive shift to a society who prefers being visually stimulated over engaging in reading must be understood by public relations specialists. YouTube is at the epicenter of this shift as more an more use the site as a search engine. With a massive community, not only YouTube users but all video providing websites, as public relation specialists we must use these free resources to our advantage. A growing a changing field video knowledge in PR is a valued tool. Given this it would be in the best interest for PR specialists to sharping those video taking and editing skills and adapt to digital age.

  20. Katherine Hammer

    I completely agree that using visuals in public relations, especially video, is a crucial part in society today. We live in a society where everyone is grasped so quickly by something that we see, not what we read. It’s the first capture of the photograph or video that makes us want to learn more about the product or campaign. I think it is very important for public relations professionals to get comfortable in the video making world, because that is what everyone is paying attention to and the field will only keep growing.

  21. Mike Iadevaia

    I couldn’t agree more about video production. Although PR professionals are not trained to be experts in video production, they can certainly still be creative enough to create an informative and persuasive video for a product or client. I’m the PR Chair for the Hofstra Quidditch team and I created videos for various reasons such as recruitment and fundraising.

  22. Chris Swenson

    I completely agree with you on the importance of video, and I find the statistics about how much it boosts SEO. However, one thing that I find interesting is a trend I’ve noticed on sites like Buzzfeed, where once in a while people will reject videos. On Buzzfeed videos that don’t specifically indicate that they are videos in their headline/link, I’ve noticed a trend of people commenting disapproving of this. I think that overall, videos are great and embraced, but there are times when it’s important to offer text expressing the message of the video, with images or gifs from it as well.

  23. Devon Hambrecht

    It’s interesting to see the progression in the importance of videography in the PR world, it is just a huge part that needs to be learned and taught. I have personally not experienced having to do anything videos in my previous internships thus far, so it definitely matters about what PR field you are heading into. It would be useful for anybody to learn basic video recording and editing skills encase any situation may arise where you need them, but using iMovie is such an easy program to navigate that anybody can pick up these skills quickly. I will continue to further my skills in movie making/photography to ensure that i can accomplish any tasks i may need to.

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  25. Amanda Torres

    I am taking a multivideo journalism course, and I have to write a blog post about why reporters should learn how to shoot and edit videos… This post explains it perfectly! It’s so important for reporters, public relation practitioners, etc. to be able to shoot and edit their own videos. It helps remain relevant, current, multi-skilled, a priority, and so much more. It’s especially important to keep up with the “millennial/technology age”.

  26. taylorpaige

    I would have to agree with Mahtani. Video has become on of the most effective ways to tell a story these days. With quick access to cell-phones, I-pads and even computers themselves, video has definitely become one of the most important tools to become familiar with. Being in the communication field requires a lot of hands on work. Now as film evolves it will require more work and more familiarity to certain programs. I feel that it is important for us students to keep up with all of the important technological changes that occur so that we are where we need to be when it comes to getting jobs in that field.

  27. Kim Gray

    I absolutely agree with you. YouTube is still one of the most visited social media websites. By uploading videos on this platform, online viewers can watch what is shared. In addition, uploading videos on an organization’s latest charitable works or just general promotion will inspire others to care and know more about the organization. Videos and video sharing websites have allowed all these organizations to share their stories and put a human face to the company. It is essential for PR practitioners to utilize this medium to influence the public.

  28. Sydney Myers

    I like the fact that video is a new medium that society is gathering their information from. Video can used best to get a specific message out loud and clear, so why not take advantage of it. Along with YouTube, video has been making its way all over social media (for example Facebook, Instagram videos, Vine, even Snapchat videos.) I think using video is a wonderful way to tell a story, and public relations professionals should be taking full advantage.

  29. Shayla Ridore

    Today’s world, especially the online world, is constantly changing and it is very much becoming a culture of “keep up or get left behind.” I firmly believe that as PR professionals we need to be proficient not only in producing videos but in every medium of communication of today and two steps ahead of the communication of tomorrow. The technology train will wait for no one, the world is changing and those who do not change with it, will surely wish that they had.

  30. Candace Brown

    I completely agree. I think that the new generation of PR professionals (a group I hope to be a part of) will make this transition so seamlessly that it won’t even appear to be a change. Growing up with YouTube and video sharing across the internet, it’s almost more common to receive news or information in a video format than print. I know personally when I go to click on stories on sites they typically take me to the video version of the information before even showing the written article. With Vine becoming as popular as Instagram and BuzzFeed’s viral videos taking over Facebook news feeds, it seems only logical that as PR pre-professionals and paid information-sharers we be equipped with the skills and know-how to most effectively pass information about our respective clients, organizations, and companies,

  31. Yejide Collman

    I agree with this post. Video is being integrated into all new forms of media. It has been a power move for social media app such as Instagram and Snapchat to incorporate video to create more excitement for users to use these applications. Video seems to give a stronger sense of validity. Video have the ability to penetrate another layer of intimate interaction with any target audience. I think learning how to use all emerging PR tools creatively will be the skill that separate exceptional PR undergraduates for hire in the career pool. I am considering taking more advance desktop publishing and video editing class upon my graduation in May.

  32. Brittany Witter

    In today’s society video is everywhere. Anything you do can be videotaped and spread around the internet in a matter of seconds. This is a prime reason in why video is becoming such a major tool in PR. You can inform the public about your client at a low budget and without the help of a journalist. I love how video is emerging in the PR profession today, it is allowing PR professionals to become even more creative.

  33. LaChele Prophet

    Video is a very important tool. People would rather watch a video than read long pieces of information. I know I go to YouTube right away if there is something I need to learn to do or be informed about. I know nothing about video production, but luckily there are many tools out there that make it quite simple for anyone to do. If Hofstra had a class I would definitely consider taking it because there is a lot I do not know about video.

  34. Laura Schioppi

    I agree with this post. I enjoy video production so it is good to see that my dream job and my passion can be combined together in order to promote my future clients. Video production is very simple and easy to use. Many people can use their phones to film and even edit on their phones. Users want to see moving images and explanations through videos. It is vital for PR practitioners to study on video production in order to promote themselves and their clients.

  35. Kayla Marzo

    Today, video is an extremely important tool to use in your content. People have become lazy so video is the fasted easiest thing to watch with content packed into one thing. I do, however, think it is useful because video is very informational. You can add pictures, music, sound, people, words, anything. It is going to become a necessity for pr majors to know about video, I agree with you on that.

  36. Kendall

    … “Video killed the radio star!”

    Video is a great tool that should be used by public relations practitioners. Since public relations is NOT about spinning, video is a great tool that can be utilized to depict a message in a light that the public relations person sees fit, without manipulating it and using it as an advertising tool.

    In this day and age, I feel like we are a culture that is very visually driven. We YouTube things that make us laugh, cry, learn, and so much more. We care about what we look like and judge others based on how they look. We use Instagram and Facebook to capture moments and post them for the world to see. I think that because there seems to be more of trend toward visually stimulating images, video can only be a tool to help reinforce and reach a greater number of people!

  37. Dan Savarino

    Agreed, video has become so important in not just journalism, but PR as well. Even magazines and newspapers have video portion of their website. Stats don’t lie, people are more likely to look at a post when there is a video. I feel many think video establishes more credibility, and establishes the experience more for an audience. Producing and shooting video has gotten so easy that almost any professional should be able to put together a piece.

  38. sfoley62014

    I believe that everything Manhati and you say is correct. The importance of PR is creating a story and with visuals to go along with that story is ideal. With videos it allows the reader or audience to be able to relate more to the subject. There has been an increase in social media platforms which most of them are visual, including snapchat/video, vine, instgram video. In my opinion if I saw a article about breaking news or a video of what is going on, I would perfer to watch the video.

  39. LIhunger

    I couldn’t agree more that video skills and desktop publishing need to be taught more in depth and that an advanced PR tools class would be extremely beneficial. I, personally, know little about video editing and filming and even photography. I am often drawn to videos as opposed to reading long paragraphs explaining. And how-to videos open up a new PR outlet for various brands. I hope to take a course involving filming as well as editing so that I can effectively incorporate video into my PR campaigns.

  40. marissakopech

    I completely agree with what Mahtani wrote. Using video in PR is crucial, especially now because people want to see everything and know everything. Videos give people a better idea of what a company is trying to promote or what the company is trying to give attention to. I would be interested if Hofstra provided a production class for PR students because I enjoy watching YouTube videos and would like to be able to make my own in order to benefit my skills for public relations.

  41. Catherine Benny

    I definitely think video is one of the best ways to tell a story, which is the underlying concept behind the majority of jobs in the communications field. As someone who regularly uses Youtube, both for educational and for entertainment purposes, I think that a lot of people who use the site have a story to tell. I think video is one of the best ways to teach or display new information because there is no room for confusion. Videos and video-sharing sites are useful if used correctly, and there will come a time, if there hasn’t already, when videos and video tutorials will be a daily part of the corporate structure.

  42. alyssaobrien

    I agree with this. Video has become one of the best ways of disseminating information. It seems as though people would rather watch something than read about it. Video is often most appealing to the visual learner because it allows for the seamless combination of many images to communicate a message. YouTube videos, SnapChat stories, and Instagram are also important to include in this discussion. These recent media forms have allowed the communicator to connect more intimately with their audiences. In the case of celebrities, it allows them to connect with their fan bases. This controlled communication with fans has provided celebrities with a more controlled means of communicating with their fans. Social media has allowed celebrities to have more control over how their audiences perceive them. While it makes their lives more public it also allows them to see show their public what they want to show them.


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