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3 min read

3 Ways a Video Producer Can Help You

At its best, producing videos for your business or organization can be fun and creative. It's an outlet that gives your communications or marketing team a place to share their art and the end product with the world. At its worst, it's frustrating, tedious, and time-consuming. Producing a high-impact video requires careful thought and planning to ensure messaging and overall tone are appropriate for the target audience. Most challenging of all, video production often requires managing expectations and timelines to make sure the video is done on time, on budget, and on point. This is why most organizations need a video producer.

Video producers are professionals. Finding someone who can point a camera and press record is easy. Finding someone who understands business objectives, knows how to distill key messages, and makes sure the project is filmed and edited on time and on budget? This person is not as easy to find. Here are things a video producer does that your internal team may not be equipped to do:

Sharpen Your Message

Leaders have no problem telling you what their business does. They have a harder time figuring out the key messages that need to be communicated. A producer is a neutral third party who often knows about as much as your prospective customers. The producer is able to ask questions and challenge the answers that leaders present when trying to understand the business's key messages. Oftentimes, the internal communications team does their best to synthesize information and polish up scripts, but video production can fall outside their area of expertise.

To illustrate this challenge, a few years ago a client wanted to produce a video about their business, and they said, "We want to show our personality and let people know we have fun and that we're really funny." They felt their sense of humor and approachability would be important to people who would be vetting their business. Without a producer, an internal communications team member might have just produced this "funny" video wanting to appease the leadership. A third-party producer asks the question, "Is your sense of humor the reason why people hire your company? Or is it your expertise in your industry and ability to create custom solutions?" Once the business leader saw where this was going, they agreed. "That's fine, but we want our personality to show through."

This is where the producer comes into play. Balancing the key messaging of expertise and custom solutions while showing off the personality of the leaders and the team. Is this rocket science? No, but an experienced video producer understands how to do this effectively, and ultimately, saves the client from embarrassment.

Project Management

The project manager is at the heart of a successful video experience for most communications leaders. Think of building a house or even a kitchen remodel. The person who manages the project, coordinates the contractors, sets the deadlines, and holds people accountable is the one who gets the house built on time. Your producer is your project manager–your point of contact, your connection to the project, and the person who will advise you to make the right decisions based on your needs. A strong producer/project manager will help you decide where to spend more or less money based on the vision of the project.

In many cases, producing a company video may fall on a communications coordinator, an internal videographer, or a marketing support person. While these people may have the technical skills to produce a video (they know their way around a camera), they often lack the capacity in their workday, the experience in navigating leadership teams, and/or juggling video production crews and the subsequent timelines. This is not to say that your communications coordinator cannot produce a company video. However, without experience producing video content, the odds are that the end product may lack the professional quality or attention to detail you expect.

On Location Directing and Interviewing Skills

Anyone can ask interview questions to be used for a company video. On the surface, it's straightforward and easy to do. However, there is a reason talk show hosts have their job and there's a reason the greatest journalists in history have become the greatest–they know how to interview people to get the best responses.

For starters, video producers with extensive experience interviewing people know what soundbites they would like from each person before they even show up to film the interviews. Secondly, they know how to phrase questions to get the answer, or soundbite, they want. Sometimes, it's asking the same question from multiple angles, and sometimes it's creating context for a question to lead the subject to where you want them to go. It's also understanding the right follow-up questions to ask to go deeper into areas that may be worth exploring in the piece.

However, to say the video producer is only responsible for interviewing would be to understate their true contribution to the project. In most cases, the video producer is also the person directing the videographer before and/or after the interview. When it comes to determining the best location for the interview, identifying the most compelling backdrop, and capturing b-roll needed for the piece, this is the producer's job. This requires attention to detail, focus throughout the entire day of filming, and making sure the videographer gets what is needed for the piece. Can a videographer figure it out for him or herself? Of course, but any videographer worth his/her salt will tell you a strong field producer can make or break a video project.

There are many considerations to explore when producing a video for your business or organization. If your brand identity and image are important factors, take the extra step and make sure you have a professional crew handle your project. If your video is for internal use and your stakeholders couldn't care less about how your organization is portrayed, let your internal communications person handle the job. Just remember, when your message and image matter, turn the task over to professionals and don't cut corners.

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