- Albert has made slides available covering some of the following points
- over past six months, Bradford Council have had good reach posting video directly on to Facebook
- Facebook’s algorithm has opened wide to favour direct video posts, reach is reduced if you post a link to a video hosted on YouTube though
- a video of Victorian tunnels underneath Bradford which was posted direct to Facebook garnered 1,000 likes, reached 53,000 people and had 20,000 views – helped by Facebook’s autoplay function
- the same video posted to YouTube reached 9,000 Twitter accounts and had 1,500 views
- captions on Facebook videos will display on the mobile app and help when people have the sound turned off when they are at work or in public
- rough and ready good content will always work better than carefully crafted dullsville – there isn’t always a need to storyboard and spend hours sweating over the perfect edit. Public sector videos that are too glossy may attract negative feeling too, even if you’ve made it on a shoestring
- don’t have great skills or video gear? You don’t need more than a smartphone these days, just make sure what you’re shooting is in focus and get recording – story is key, not Spielbergesque skills
- short footage of an event in progress can be much more compelling than something staged – a Christmas market video for one council was hugely successful simply because it was timed well
- how long should your videos be? The feeling in the room was that one minute or less was good, with three minutes the upper limit the average audience would watch for. Mixing up shots to include cutaways or stills with soundtrack overlaid for example helps to liven things up a bit and keep people’s attention – talking heads straight to camera could be offputting if they go on for too long
- don’t just make and distribute a video for the sake of it, what are you trying to achieve – what do you want people to know, do, change? What’s your call to action? Have you made it clear or just got caught up in the video excitement, and anyway, is video really the best way to reach your target audience?
- if you’re getting video from people on the ground WeTransfer, Dropbox and Google Drive were all mentioned as ways to transfer files, although all are only as quick as your internet connection will allow
- Vine which produces six second looping videos was mentioned as a good way to get short messages across, trail longer videos, take a snapshot of an event or even take timelapse videos over time, there are some examples in Albert’s slides
- if you’re taking photos of people in a public place they have no image rights, but ask for permission if you’re going to focus in specifically on them. If asking permission, a release form can be useful, and care must be taken for under 18s with parental/guardian permission secured. Makes sure your permission covers different uses such as print and social media
- beware copyright infringement – photos, logos and music must not simply be lifted from the internet or ripped from your own collection. Creative commons open licensed photos and media are your friend as Andy Mabbet tweeted during CommsCamp
- as well as being able to search for creative commons on Flickr other sites mentioned included FreeStockMusic and Pond5 plus YouTube has creative commons footage and music available when you create videos on the channel
- need help with skills you don’t have like animation, graphics or voiceovers? Websites like Fiverr and People Per Hour can help you find experienced freelancers, the whiteboard animation app Videoscribe was mentioned and there are many others available for techniques like stop motion
- consider making your video/s and image/s open licence, so that other people can use or adapt them too
- remember that video can be a two-way communication tool – don’t just broadcast. Ask questions of your audience, what other videos they might like you to make and reply to comments. Making videos that no-one wants to see is a waste of time, energy and resources
- don’t forget to evaluate whether your video has met its objectives
- Steph Gray tweeted a link to a handy Department for International Development video guide
- having problems with the first you hear of a video being made is when a 15 minute cut of talking heads emerges?
- sell yourself and your knowledge, showing colleagues and decision-makers how you can make things better, working with people to do something great
- create a best practice guide for use across your organisation, crowdsourcing good techniques and giving easy to follow dos and don’ts – this will also help with keeping tone and key branding similar
- is there a place for digital ambassadors? Who in your organisation has skills and interests in this area – none of us is as smart as all of us
- be helpful, not a blocker.
Earlier this week Ed Campbell, a BBC journalist, blogged about how footage he shot on a smartphone at Heathrow Airport was used for the lead story on the News at Ten. His post outlined how training and a proprietary app had helped him easily film and upload his video.
From one perspective, the story was interesting because it shows just how far smartphone video and uploading technology has come. What interested me as well though, is the issue of filming permits. Heathrow Airport media centre has a section for applying for a ‘breaking news’ among other filming permits, and the airport states that anyone found filming without a permit will be asked to leave.
In his post, Campbell states: “What we were clearly lacking was stuff from inside the terminal … The desk had asked permission to film and been knocked back. Fortunately two of us were kitted out with iPhones fitted with PNG [the BBC’s filming app]“
“Once or twice I sensed I was being clocked by the terminal staff and moved on. But the sheer ubiquity of iPhones meant that for all they knew I was just another frazzled would-be passenger updating his Facebook status.”
“I’d covered the basics, and grabbed and sent a few more ‘nice to haves’ before heading back to joining my colleagues. One of them had brought an ENG camera to Terminal 2 and gathered more material that way, but was quickly spotted and thrown out by the terminal staff.”
“When you are filming on a phone as opposed to a camcorder or DSLR, you can just blend in and melt away, as easy as that. No-one bothers you, or asks what you’re up to, because, well, everyone has a smartphone, right?”
He’s absolutely right. How can you police filming when so many people have their own camera in their pocket? In the comments section of the blog, Campbell points out that members of the public were taking pictures and uploading them to media.
The ubiquity of smartphones, and the emergence of live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope, mean that film permits for breaking news are a throwback to the days when the press office was an all-powerful gatekeeper. And however much it may be railed against, technology continues to open those gates wider and wider.