Would You Rather Watch a 1 Hour Public Works Video OR a 3 Minute Tribute?

You’re at a meeting discussing how to reach out to the community to talk about a new capital project or describe the services of your organization. It’s inevitable someone will mention using video. Problem solved: bring in the videographer or take out your smart phone. Done.

Wait! What?

Did we miss something? Some things to ask yourself:

  • Who is my audience (usually everyone, right?)
  • What’s the message?
  • Do we have the capacity?

Time and time again, I stress that your audience most likely won’t get past the first two minutes of the video regardless of their age. In fact, 20% of your viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or fewer and 1/3 of your viewers by 30 seconds.

While they may notice the video was shot with a shaky hand and poor audio, they won’t notice the movie-quality feature that was professionally shot.

It’s important to bring in someone with at least some video knowledge to help with the storyboard, shooting, editing and sound. It’s not important to break the bank on a video that may get 30 views.

So here’s some middle-ground solutions:

Higher quality for marketing purposes:

Preceding the launch of the MAX BRT, the City Fort Collins transit system, Transfort, needed a nicely shot commercial that added a little levity to an alternative transit system that was new to the City of Fort Collins.

Of reasonable quality and time:

Poudre Heritage Alliance wanted to honor the Northern Arapaho Tribe through a series of pieces celebrating the Native Americans who once lived on the land around the Cache La Poudre River.

Quick and dirty:

The City of Castle Pines celebrated a long weekend with a wine tasting, party in a public park, and a running race. The goal was to produce a quick video to share via Facebook and other social media. It was shot with a go-pro and quickly edited.

As a local governments, we have a lot to say. The key is to make our communication interesting and brief and video is a great way to do that. Just remember to evaluate your audience, capacity, and ROI.


Want to see how Slate does video for local government?

Ryan BurkeComment