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April 22, 2011
Why Videos are Changing the Face of Public Relations
You’ve heard the phrase, “Made for TV.” It’s when a person exudes so much Charisma, talent and passion that a third-dimension is needed to accurately project his or her presence.

Every generation comes across one of these politicians with a magnetic personality. He’s the type of politician who forces you to move your chair closer to the TV in hopes of getting a better glimpse of the man in the box.

You’ve experienced the moment. Think Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama: politicians made for the TV era. But we are in a new era—the Internet era—and every local politician now has a chance to use the same powerful medium to persuade even the smallest of constituencies. TV advertising is no longer for the well-funded campaigns.

In the fall of 2010, I was the Communications Director for a Congressional challenger who took on a well-funded incumbent in New York. My candidate had a great story to tell. He served our country with honors in the military. He was handsome, idealistic, passionate and charismatic—or, to borrow the phrase—made for TV.

His narrative could never be told in a three-fold pamphlet because another dimension was needed to accurately showcase his larger-than-life personality. Luckily, this 40-year-old candidate entered politics in the Internet era. I produced web videos for his campaign that showcased his charisma and passion. Today, he is representing his District in Washington, DC.

Surprisingly, few candidates have jumped on the web video bandwagon, which is a shame. A web video is more entertaining and compelling with its natural sound, music, and moving parts than any other form of communication. And with the power of peer groups, there is a statistically higher chance that your video will be forwarded to undecided voters. Video is a way to reach tens of thousands of voters or even millions without the distribution costs.

For those with an actual email-marketing budget, you can measure how many people viewed your video, forwarded it, or even watched it multiple times for less than a penny per video.

This video marketing strategy will only get better in the future. Google is now indexing its video library with keywords, which means voters can see a snapshot of your video on the home page of Google.

Need more data?

Research from Nielson shows us that people are twice as likely to buy a product (also known as vote for a candidate) when video is present on a website. Consumers spend 45 percent more time on a website where video is present. And emails have a greater “click-through” rate when video is embedded into the email, according to a 2010 survey by Implix. Your website is also twice as likely to appear on the first page of Google if it has a video embedded into its code.

So what does this mean for your next campaign?

It means your time to stand out with video is now. It won’t be long before your opponent discovers the benefits of video and starts bombarding email boxes with his message. When that happens, it will be time to reassess strategies.

But then again, political campaigns are not exactly known for being innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial. Perhaps it will be another decade before campaigns catch on to the power of video over the web. You can only hope it’s your opponent who is late to the game.

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Mark Macias is the co-founder of BigBirdFans.com. He produces social media videos for all kinds of clients and consults on publicity campaigns. You can read more at www.MaciasPR.com.

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