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Friday, 4 October 2013

Video as a PR strategy

I'm a great fan of video for B2B businesses and professionals like lawyers and accountants who have a 1-2-1 relationship with their clients.  Video allows you to "bottle" individuals' personalities and send them out online to work 24/7/365 (with no extra wages - accountants usually like that bit), provided that they are saying something that is topical and helpful, and not using it to sell in any way. 
That's because this video purpose is to capture just enough of a person to allow other people to have that famous 'first impression'. 
People only take a few seconds to decide whether they like you or not - and in business that translates into whether they want to work with you. Given that quick decision, you'd think one video would do it, but it's a good idea to make a series of helpful videos on different relevant themes, so that your announcements about them get seen at different times by different people, plus different topics will extend the appeal. 
Videos have a lot more weight that text online, and are much more memorable, so they have much greater impact than static text and pictures - plus boost your search positions on keywords. 
Is it really true that people make these sorts of decisions about who to work with from one video? The signals we give off are so subtle that they can be picked up without anything being said.  There was a fascinating study described in a self-help book published 20 years ago: "Families and how to survive them" by psychiatrist Dr Robin Skynner and John Cleese. They took students who had never met and asked them to go into a room and pair up with someone without saying anything. Once paired, they were to remain silent and repeat the task as a pair, to form a foursome. All the people grouped into fours and when they were allowed to speak they found they had a lot in common. The reason for that is that they had successfully all the people in the room with similar family circumstances to themselves. And had managed to find each other without words! 
I believe this means that we can absolve ourselves from any angst about negative selection decisions regarding work. There are forces that are unconscious at work, so it's not really personal at all.
If we try to go against that flow, we will end up pushing water uphill. 
Of course, positive selection is obvious proof of the extraordinary wit, wisdom and intelligence of the person who saw that you and your offering as vastly superior...
There is room for everyone to work productively with like-minded people with common backgrounds and video is a powerful technique for finding more of the sort of business that goes well. That means easier working relationships, better client retention and probably more referrals: these are all powerful and profitable pluses. The chances are, you'll have more fun too.  
Isn't it time you started to put video at the front end of your pipeline to attract more positive business? 
Contact us if you need a hand to get going as we can point you towards cost-effective 1-2-1 DIY training in this area. 

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.


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