What is a video news release?

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One example of a news release is a video news release, which can be used by agencies, companies, and anyone that needs to send a media alert out with information. But what are they exactly? When and how do we create them? And what’s the best equipment?

In this article, I discuss the following:

What is a video press release?

A classic example of a news release usually is written and looks something like this:

For immediate release
Contact information

<Body with the details of what’s newsworthy>
<Quote from somebody important>
<Another quote from another important person>
<History of the company involved>

A video news release doesn’t have to be that different. The most significant difference is that it’s a video where you discuss what’s being shared and address the media and public audience in the video.

My 60-second explanation

How to create a video news release?

Generally speaking, there are three ways to create videos of somebody talking:

  • Talk “off the cuff” and then edit afterward
  • Have an outline – editing is still allowed
  • Follow a script and read that – perhaps with the help of a Teleprompter. Of course, you can still edit that too.

Use an eye-contact camera if you want to look at the screen directly. 

Talking “off the cuff” might not be some public relations pros’ preferred method, but remember that these aren’t live. You can edit the spokesperson’s comments after the fact to create a polished video news release – even with a transcript-based editor.

In that model, you might even interview the person sharing the message, and they can answer the questions as detailed and authentic as possible. Then edit the release.

An outline of what to talk about has advantages, and some speakers may prefer to have one. When I record my bonus podcast episodes, which are just me talking for 60 seconds or less, I have an outline and approximate time to discuss each piece of information.

Depending on the content of your video press release, a time limit may be good or bad. For example, for companies announcing new products, it could be good to get to the point if the news release is trying to get people interested. But if many people want to know more already, more content might also be good.

The tech to record a video news release.

In theory, you can record these directly from any computer. So, for example,  Zoom might work. You can also record in software platforms like Restream at full high definition.

Make sure you have a good camera available. Consider the location where you are recording, including a setup that allows you to look at the camera, maybe a more professional backdrop, and good lighting. Having a good mic for good audio is also important.

Read next: Public relations: How to talk to the media

A video release should be published on your news page and distributed to all your regular news outlets through email. In addition, share the video on all your relevant social media channels.

The whole point is to get the message out on whatever you are talking about, so there’s no reason to skimp on channels and distribution methods.

Also, make it easy for TV stations to download the clip to use it on-air. Even newspapers nowadays have podcasts and/or video-based updates and might want to use the clip as audio or video.

Read next: Why social media posts should be first person

You could also consider looping it on social media as a “live stream.”

When is a video news release best?

Sharing updates or news via video can be best when news outlets need video soundbites anyways and when you can tell the story through a video message – which can likely be done in many instances.

So in the pre-video news release days, companies and officials might send a text news release (which still happens today, too, of course). Then a media outlet might call and say, “can we get you talking to us on camera about this topic?”

Even if you send a video news release, they might still ask to interview you on camera anyway, but this is also an easy way to allow more outlets to use your video soundbite on-air – even if you can’t meet with them all or didn’t hold an in-person news conference.

Using AI to turn your video news release into a written one

If you are creating the finalish content for the news release by talking on video, you can also use that content to create a written news release using artificial intelligence. Here’s how:

Video news releases are worth considering when organizations must get a message out to the public and want to alert the media. It can even build audience trust when done well, as video messages are more human than just the written word on a traditional news release.

Finally, if nobody else in your industry does them, it’s another way to stand out positively.

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