Between ever-cheaper HD cameras and the ease of hosting and embedding video on a news outlet’s website, video interviews have become the easiest and most effective way to communicate your message.
Video was daunting to anyone other than a news crew as recently as the last two or three years, but it seems as though the prominence of YouTube and the price of video cameras are on an inverse scale. Anyone with a website can host original content on YouTube and embed it on their own site. Then, not only is the content viewable through their URL, they can use YouTube to bring in new traffic. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Of course, you’re going to be dealing with the professionals, too – and that means you’ll have big name interviewers to work around. You can subtly put them on your side if you’re unobtrusive about it.
As a result, you are likely to be receiving more and more requests for video interviews. In addition to preparing your executives, your product experts and your engineers for an on-camera experience, you need to make sure your setting is just right – especially at trade shows and events, where you can’t control the atmosphere like you can in a studio.
It’s the basics
Pay attention to the simple things; they’re the ones that will wreak havoc on your interview more than the big problems. Your interviewer may not be especially prepared – he or she might rely on a video editing crew to make things “pretty” after the taping. As a result, it might very well fall on you to set things up just right.
Watch out for background noise. A light wind or a quiet presentation 500 feet away will be heard on the microphone in your executive’s face. Look for a quiet place, like inside of a tent, behind a wall or inside of a vehicle. Don’t assume that a gentle breeze won’t make itself heard!
Be careful with what your interviewee is wearing. A red shirt will blend with a red wall, while a dark color might make an already dark exhibition hall even tougher to film. Not only do you need to think about colors prior to your arrival, you need to be ready to adapt right before the record button is pressed.
Be aware of your flexibility. A prop is a great tool to illustrate your product, but don’t make it awkward. You don’t want your executive grunting and groaning as he contorts himself into a sports car or tries to lift a heavy display item.
You’re in charge
If the interview is taking place outside of a studio, you have control. Take charge and direct the shots, suggesting – in a kind manner – just where you want your interviewee to be placed and what he or she should be talking about.
A video crew and a producer will take kindly to you if you give them suggestions about things they might not be aware of. A certain product might not be newsworthy, so you don’t necessarily want the camera crew focusing on it instead of the new stuff.
Amateurs, who shouldn’t be taken lightly, might not be aware of some technical difficulties that arise over lighting and sound conditions. Conversely, the pros probably know what they are doing – don’t waste their time telling them what they already know!
Playing with the big boys
You should be paying more attention to online media, since they are the ones who will harness the Internet and social media better than TV and print outlets. But that hardly means you should ignore the standbys.
Be aware of the ground rules during breaks for live interviews. Some interviewers may hardly acknowledge your executive, no matter how important he or she is within your company. It doesn’t seem fair, but it’s the compromise you’ll have to take to reach a massive audience that puts faith in its broadcasters.
Others yet will be excited to learn about your product, so don’t be shy about pointing out things they should know before the interview starts. As always, judge your audience closely – even if that audience is a camera and an interviewer!