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Your guide to using video in PR

Heather Baker, CEO TopLine Comms, wrote a very instructive blog on how to use video as part of your PR efforts. From news distribution to pitching a journalist or live-streamed event, learn how video can enhance your PR campaigns.

With more than half of all adults watching online video every day, and video proven to be more engaging than text, it’s no surprise that over three-quarters of marketing professionals use video. But video is not just for social posts and landing pages – when it comes to PR, there are loads of creative ways to incorporate video into your PR strategy.  

Video-first PR campaigns

Particularly when it comes to PR stunts, a video can often be the core piece of media used to amplify or promote your campaign. A classic example (and one that I love) is Plastic Oceans UK’s battered plastic campaign. To highlight the damage being done to our oceans by plastic, the charity teamed up with a fish and chip shop to serve battered plastic to some of its customers – and captured their reactions on camera. The videos went everywhere, published by the Huffington Post and News24 among others. 

Using video in media relations

Remember that video increases engagement with the target audience. And when the media is your target audience, why not use video to engage them? This could mean: 

  • Offering b-roll to the broadcast media to make it easier for them to turn your campaign into a TV news story.
  • Pitching video editors, production editors and online editors as well as your usual news or industry reporters and specialists.
  • Offering to film your event for them – giving them the opportunity to request specific shots and angles and potentially allowing them exclusive access to the footage. 

Pitching journalists with video

It’s harder than ever to catch a journalist’s attention these days. Could you turn your pitch into a video to make it stand out? It’s pretty easy to do this at scale with personalised video technology, and it’s still a new enough concept to be memorable and eye-catching. 

Event live streaming

Journalists are busier than ever. And with the increase in flexible working and the gig economy, it’s very likely that the journalist you are targeting doesn’t work from the outlet’s offices. This means that getting journalists to attend your events (which, let’s face it, was always tricky) is now even harder than ever before. 

Thank goodness for live streaming – a journalist can happily attend your event from the comfort of their own home. No more excuses!

Speaker pitches

If you’re trying to nab a speaking slot at an industry event, you will likely be up against some stiff competition. But think about what the organisers might be looking for in a speaker. It’s likely:

  • A subject matter expert
  • With something interesting to say
  • And an engaging public speaking style

The best way to demonstrate that your speaker ticks these boxes if with a video showing them delivering an amazing speech. 

Video for distribution and amplification

Video does very well on social media, which means adding a video to your campaign can increase the reach and dramatically impact the results. This is especially true now that interactive video has become more mainstream – include your forms and CTAs in the video player to maximise engagement.

But remember, when creating videos for social, you need to consider things like size and aspect ratio (different networks have different guidelines) and sound (is it likely that the video will be viewed without sound? If so, make sure it still makes sense. 


Then there’s YouTube, the internet’s second-largest search engine, and an excellent place to build a community of adoring fans. Building a successful YouTube channel takes time and effort but, particularly for consumer businesses, this is one owned channel that is worth investing in. 

By Heather Baker

Heather Baker is CEO of TopLine Film and TopLine Comms.

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