How to Create & Distribute a Video News Release (VNR)
A video news release, or VNR, is a company announcement distributed to the press in video format. To create a VNR, first choose what type best suits your business and story. Then, produce your video and upload it to a video hosting platform. Once it’s uploaded, send your video press release to journalists and media outlets on your own, or for max coverage, use a press release distribution service.
1. Choose a Type of Video News Release
Just as there are several types of press releases overall, video news releases can also take many forms. For example, an interview-style video could be produced in conjunction with a new hire press release. On the other hand, a company profile video could be the best type of VNR when launching a new business.
Click on the drop-downs below to learn more about the most commonly used types of video news releases:
VNR interviews depict a person, usually a company spokesperson, answering questions that are informative and beneficial to the viewer. Interviews are best for making major announcements that affect many people, like C-suite new hires, mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, or crisis communications. Interviews put a face to the company and are great for communicating important information in a straightforward way.
Product tours or demos address a problem your target customers usually face and then show how your product or service provides the solution. These often accompany product launches or updates. They are particularly helpful for discussing complex products like marketing or accounting software that would be complicated to explain in written text alone. Product tours are also an excellent avenue to help your business appear credible and approachable.
Testimonials feature a customer who has used your business’ product or service speaking about their experience with your company’s offerings. Like interviews, testimonials also feature a person speaking toward the camera. The difference is that testimonials offer a customer’s objective perspective of your company and speak to what potential customers would likely experience if they purchase from your business.
Sneak Peeks are behind-the-scenes videos that create buzz by showcasing glimpses of new products or upcoming events, among others, from your company. These are usually positive in tone and are meant to build excitement about your company’s upcoming plans for your customers—the same way a teaser trailer for a movie would—before leading up to your big reveal.
Company Profile VNRs provide essential information about your company, such as those usually found in your company website’s boilerplate. This can include your company’s mission statement, time in business, and an overview of your products or services. Company Profiles are informative and usually include ways that audiences can learn more about your business, such as your website URL or social media pages.
For a more cutting-edge option, interactive VNRs offered by some distribution companies like Business Wire are also a possibility. These can come as static images or videos that prompt interactions for viewers to learn more about your content. Ideal for product launches and updates, as well as event announcements, interactive VNRs also have the benefit of tracking your viewers’ interactions, giving you valuable insight for future marketing campaigns.
Pro tip: Video news releases are effective on their own, but if you choose to include yours as part of a written press release, your video should complement your written information while not repeating it verbatim. You can easily create a written media kit to send with your video using our free press kit template.
2. Produce Your Video Press Release
There are different avenues you can take to produce a video press release. For example, you can create your own videos with production equipment or a mobile device, or hire a press release service or local videographer to produce a video professionally.
Creating a video news release on your own is the cheapest option, but might not be the best way to present your brand. Alternatively, professional video production services cost more, but can also pay off in far more brand awareness and positive publicity. The best option for your story comes down to your ability to write a compelling script and technically produce and edit a video, as well as your budget.
Depending on the type of release, the production process could be simple and quick or complex and time-consuming. However, regardless of length, the drop-down items below detail the basic process for producing a video press release:
After you’ve decided which type of VNR to produce, you’ll need to write a script. This is usually referred to as the “pre-production” stage and is fundamental to ensuring the quality of the final video output. Scripts are essential to guide the direction and vision of your video and vary depending on the type of VNR you’re producing.
For interviews and testimonials, a script usually only consists of an introduction, conclusion, and a list of questions to ask the interviewee. Meanwhile, product tours, company profiles, and interactive videos need more comprehensive scripts with a shot list, a voice-over narration script, and visual direction in each shot.
If you need help crafting a script, hire a freelance scriptwriter via Fiverr. You’ll find there are options for professional media scripts for a variety of purposes, including experienced business, sales, and marketing scriptwriters, with pricing starting as low as $5 to $15 and up.
Once you’ve finished writing your script, you can start filming the actual video, either by creating one with your own equipment or by outsourcing services, depending on your budget. This is known as the “production” stage of the process. Here’s a deeper look:
Professional production equipment can be costly, but there are intermediate equipment options that can keep costs within a range of about $2,000 and still produce quality videos. To create a high-quality video, you’ll need a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) video recorder, microphones, a lighting kit, a tripod, and editing software.
Here are the basics of what you need to know about each:
- Video camera: Opt for a DSLR camera if possible. DSLRs offer top-notch visual quality that gives your output a professional feel while being simple enough to navigate for beginner videographers.
- Microphone(s): To keep the audio focused on your content (and minimize disruptive background noises), you’ll need a high-quality microphone. Two types of microphones are useful for press release videos: a condenser microphone for recording general sound and voice-overs, and a lapel microphone for clipping onto on-camera speakers.
- Lighting: Good lighting sets the visual quality of your VNR. While effective and cost-friendly, natural lighting isn’t always consistent, so investing in artificial lighting is a good idea.
- Tripod: A tripod allows you to set the camera on a base from which to film, eliminating shakiness that can cause your video to look unprofessional.
- Background music (optional): Background music can be used for transitions in your video or for setting the right mood for your message. Be careful to always use music you either have the copyrights to or that is royalty-free or belongs to the public domain. You can download unlimited music tracks (and even video templates) with proper licensing from Envato Elements with a $16.50 month-to-month subscription.
- Teleprompter (optional): If you need a guide for saying your lines on camera, teleprompters can be helpful, especially when making speeches or announcements without breaking eye contact with the camera. In lieu of a teleprompter, you can use software you already have, like Microsoft PowerPoint, to create a teleprompter-like script to follow. Here are the steps for using PowerPoint as a teleprompter. If you use Google Workspace, you can add the ScriptSlide app to use Google Slides as a teleprompter.
- Editing software: Editing software can be anywhere from basic to very advanced. The sophisticated video editing tools with advanced editing software require a learning curve. A reliable option is Adobe Premiere Pro, which offers individual licenses starting at $20.99 per month. Alternatively, software providers like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Camtasia, Screencastify, and ScreenFlow are great for simpler edits, and many offer free versions.
Some press release production and distribution services offer video production and editing assistance for targeted audiences, then distribute your press release for you. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,800 for this type of service.
For example, with plans starting at $1,275, 30 Second Video Marketing is primarily a video press release production and distribution company. They first produce a high-quality HD video featuring your logo and message, then distribute it to over 300,000 journalists across newspaper, TV, radio, and social media websites. They can also write a press release to accompany your video news release for a set fee ($150).
If you’re on a super-tight budget, you may find a local videographer who offers a more affordable way to shoot your VNR. Likewise, you could hire a professional freelance videographer on Fiverr to professionally edit your video for around $20 to $100.
While using official equipment produces the best results for your video, they aren’t always the most accessible option, particularly for small businesses on a tight budget. However, the quality of modern smartphones has made recording videos easier than ever, especially with the right practices.
Here are some tips on how to make the best out of your mobile devices and at-home equipment to create a professional-looking VNR.
- Always use a tripod: Using a tripod will ensure your video is steady. This makes your video look more professional and will increase your chances of getting picked up by reputable media organizations. Without a tripod, get creative with what you have—prop your mobile device on some books or gently clip two large binder clips on one side of your smartphone when shooting in landscape mode.
- Film in landscape mode: Film your video in horizontal (landscape) mode, so it adjusts to the screen size of viewers. Because your VNR will likely be viewed on a computer or TV screen, filming it in landscape instead of portrait mode is a safer bet to fill the aspect ratio.
- Ensure adequate lighting: Use lots of lighting to create a clear viewing experience. If you can’t use natural light, set up lighting around the room you are filming in. Any light source is better than nothing at all—open your windows and set up additional lamps around your filming area.
- Test your equipment: Before recording your video, test your audio options if you don’t have a professional microphone. In some cases, wired or Bluetooth earphones can work as a microphone when connected to your mobile device and placed near the person speaking (but be sure to keep it outside the camera frame). In other cases, your mobile device’s built-in microphone might produce better sound.
- Make a teleprompter: If you don’t have a teleprompter per se, you can use any laptop with presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint. This is especially helpful for flashing discussion points for speeches. For best results, set up your laptop at eye level in a space close to your recording camera to maintain consistent eye contact.
3. Upload Your VNR to a Video Hosting Platform
The top two video hosting platforms today are YouTube and Vimeo. Each has its strengths and weaknesses as well as unique price points. When hosting via YouTube, you get a huge audience on the second-biggest search engine in the world. In contrast, Vimeo offers a smaller but more professional audience and viewer experience.
Learn more about which video hosting platform to use in the drop-down sections below:
YouTube is a great option for hosting your press release video simply because it is the second-most visited site after Google, meaning it’s great for video exposure and searchability. Hosting on YouTube is free, and you can easily optimize your video to be found by your target audience. However, having a larger audience also means it’s a more competitive scene, which can make it trickier to get your video noticed.
Uploading a video to YouTube is as simple as creating an account with YouTube Studio, then clicking the “Create” button and selecting your video. Here is a brief video by Google (YouTube’s parent company) showing the process:
To optimize your video for free during the uploading process, rename your video file to include a keyword your audience is likely to use to find similar content. To learn more about optimizing your video, read HubSpot’s guide on YouTube optimization.
Second to YouTube as the largest video hosting platform, Vimeo offers a cleaner, more professional video hosting experience than YouTube. They also offer tools to create a custom video for your brands with your logo, message, and call to action for a fee, and have no ads. While you get a more professional audience and presentation on Vimeo, the drawback is that its audience is much smaller. While YouTube offers you an audience of 1.7 billion unique visitors per month, Vimeo’s community tops at 260 million users in total.
You can upload your video by clicking “New Video,” then “Upload” from the top right-hand corner of their homepage. You can watch a video of the process from the Vimeo team here:
4. Distribute Your Video News Release
You can send your video press release manually via email, through an automated distribution service, or both. Manually emailing your press release lets you hand-pick and personalize pitches to journalists, while a press release distribution service allows mass targeting to journalists and influencers. Because each offers its own strengths, we recommend using both.
Sending your press release manually means sending emails directly to journalists with a link to your VNR along with some context about your story, why it’s valuable to their audience, and your contact information. Distributing manually allows you to pitch to specific journalists you already have a relationship with or who you know would likely be interested in covering your story.
Our article on how to send a press release takes you through the process step-by-step.
Sending your press release via a distribution service is easy and can cost as little as $99 with EIN Presswire, which tops our list of the best press release distribution services. With most distribution services, your story will be sent to all the major newswires as well as to journalists and editors. It’s the best way to have mass distribution of your story.
Two of the top press release distribution services we recommend are EIN Presswire and Newswire. EIN Presswire includes media embedding with all plan tiers, making it a great option for video news releases. Newswire is also a great option, especially if you want to distribute your story worldwide. Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget, see our list of free press release distribution options that might work for you.
As you consider your options, here are some tips when using an automated service to distribute press releases with video:
- Video attachment and embedding: Many distribution services allow you to either attach or embed a video with your release. However, if you want to distribute your video release across broadcast media, attach your video to be sent to newsrooms instead of embedding it in your written text so broadcasters can easily play it.
- Added costs: Some press release distribution services only offer free video attachments or embedding in their most expensive plans. Some also charge a separate fee for video embedding or attachments (up to $300 per asset) regardless of the plan you choose.
- Video performance tracking availability: Ensure that the press release distribution service you choose offers in-depth reporting post-distribution. Specifically, choose a service that includes metrics related to video consumption and engagement, such as video downloads, plays, views, and view times.
Pro tip: Most press release distribution services offer samples of performance tracking reports to help you assess your video’s effectiveness. A service like Newswire lets you easily see your metrics across media channels and provides you with a PDF report with comprehensive details.
Why Use Video News Releases?
Video content gets an average of 1,200% more shares than text-only content. Therefore, a video news release is a great way to boost your chances of getting online engagement and earning coverage from media outlets. Your video can either stand alone as the entire press release or can be included as a multimedia component of a traditional written press release.
VNRs are also viable for media outlets that prioritize video, like TV news stations. By sending out a video press release, you’re providing content a TV station can broadcast just as it is, increasing its chances of getting aired. VNRs are also good for sending out to influencers on social media, where videos get higher engagement. Finally, video releases can also be easily repurposed into soundbites that radio stations and podcasts can use.
Video News Release Best Practices
For best results when producing a video press release, stick to a newsworthy (not advertorial) angle. Your VNR should have an informative, objective tone that promotes a story vs using persuasive language to promote your business. Tell the story using words that resonate with your target audience, and film several takes of each scene so you can edit your video for the best quality and clarity.
Here are more best practices for producing a video press release:
- Provide a newsworthy angle: The aim of a press release should always be to provide a valuable story for journalists to cover. As the creator, you must find a newsworthy angle to your subject that will be relevant to your target audience. To help you get started, watch news stories surrounding your industry. From there, you can see how you can best find a newsworthy angle for your press release story.
- Tell a story that matters (to your target audience): Your video press release should tell a story that matters to your target audience and directly impacts their lives. Present a problem your audience is currently facing, support it with facts, and then tell your product or service’s story in a way that fits in that discourse seamlessly. The objective is to make your target audience take an interest in your company by discussing it alongside issues they already care about.
- Produce a video that feels ad-free: It’s important that your VNR doesn’t blatantly sell your product or service. Instead, create it the same way as any news story. Craft your script based on facts—the who, what, why, when, where, and how. Remember that your press release will be sent out to journalists looking for a story to publish as news, not customers looking to buy products or services. Check out some examples of good press releases to get a better idea.
- Include multimedia assets: Ultimately, the best way to get news coverage for your story is to make it easy for journalists to run it, such as by creating it as a multimedia news release. To do so, include a variety of multimedia (e.g., visual and interactive) assets they can use to showcase your story for their readers, viewers, or listeners. This makes it easy for them to give your release additional coverage, as all the assets they need are ready to roll.
- Film several takes of each scene: To make a quality video, every scene should look professional and give the audience the visuals they need to comprehend your content. As you are filming, take several shots of each scene, so you can choose the best ones in the editing stage. These choices can make the difference between an engaging video and one that is clicked off of after a few seconds of viewing.
- Embed your video in a published press release: If you publish a press release to a news wire or on your website, embed your video into your press release using the video embed code. Doing so means journalists and other readers do not have to click outside your press release to view your video. This extra time spent with your press release could mean the difference between press coverage and no press coverage.
- Track your VNR’s performance: Once you’ve sent out your VNR, it’s also important to track your performance to measure your effectiveness and better strategize future video news releases. While the best measure of success is how many journalists cover your story, other metrics to watch are the number of new leads or sales produced and stats you can measure via your video hosting platform, such as video view count, engagements, viewing time, and traffic sources.
Video Press Release Examples
Checking out examples of video news releases is a great place to get inspiration for your own video news story. Below are three examples of effective video press releases and why they work:
Sharp/NEC Interactive Video News Release Example
Sharp/NEC’s NaViSense AI Solution Drives Better Business Insights and Improves the Customer Experience
Sharp/NEC’s video news release for their new artificial intelligence (AI) solution is an example of a straightforward, informative VNR. To introduce their new software, the video news release presents a rundown of its features along with details on its product that would be relevant to the company’s target audience: decision-makers at airports, restaurants, hotels, and the like. It’s concise, informative, and newsworthy to a particular community—just like a regular news story.
Industry Study Video Press Release Example
Mayo Clinic and PN Medical Publish Study That Shows How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
This Mayo Clinic and PN Medical’s video news release example is done in interview format as one of their doctors shares results from a study on the PN Medical’s Breather Fit device. The interview video regularly switches shots between the interviewer and the doctor as they discuss facts from the study, giving the interview a natural, conversational feel.
This VNR is effective because it takes a relevant subject—people’s health—and presents new and meaningful information concerning it in a clear, easily understandable way.
Corporate Social Responsibility Video News Release Example
Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, sees firsthand the risks of plastic in the water and its impact on marine life
Another solid video news release example is this one from SC Johnson. It’s short and direct, but still engaging. The company’s CEO presents a social problem: the abundance of plastic waste in the ocean. He then discusses its relevance with different communities, almost as a documentary filmmaker would. While it isn’t too detailed, this VNR example shows how to effectively introduce a newsworthy subject and presents facts to tell a compelling story.
Statistics Show the Benefits of Video News Releases
Whether added to a text-based press release or on their own, video news releases are effective for earning brands a higher engagement rate, increased touchpoints to earn conversions, deeper performance tracking, the ability to earn coverage on a variety of outlets, and more engagement across devices. Here’s how:
- Higher engagement: It’s already been proven that videos create higher engagement rates than other types of media. In fact, 62% of marketers consider video engagement their top success metric, and in 2022, online video platforms accounted for 80% of internet traffic worldwide.
- Increased touchpoints and conversions: Videos also offer more touchpoints for audiences to convert into customers: Eighty-six percent of marketers found videos effective for generating leads. In terms of sales, 81% of marketers also agree that video has a positive impact.
- More earned coverage: Providing a video helps news broadcasters create a well-rounded story they can show, not just reiterate. On social media, video is more popular: four out of six of the top video-consumption channels are social media platforms. Even adding videos to emails increases click rates by 300%.
- Better performance tracking: Adding a video to your press release gives you more ways to track reader interactions and interest in your press release story. Video’s effectiveness isn’t slowing down anytime soon, with 60% of marketers citing video engagement and 53% citing view counts as metrics for success.
- Better accessibility: Videos are versatile across platforms, with more people increasingly watching on mobile or tablet devices—77% of users, to be exact. Also, 69% of consumers say they prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video, compared to 18% who prefer reading text content.
- Effective at generating leads: According to HubSpot, 47% of marketers agree that interactive content is one of the most effective lead generators, and interactive videos are among the top three video types that get the most engagement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long should my video release be?
While there are no strict video lengths for VNRs, it’s a good idea to keep them between one and three minutes long, depending on the type of VNR you’re producing. But more importantly, communicate all the necessary information about your story that journalists will need—nothing more, nothing less. Don’t crowd your video with worthless information, but be sure not to fall short on details that will make your story interesting for journalists either.
How do I send my VNR to the media?
You can send your VNR to the media yourself or through a press release distribution service. To send it manually, build a list with journalists and media outlets’ contact information, then send out a submission email along with your video. Alternatively, you can target journalists and media outlets and get mass distribution with professional press release services like EIN Presswire starting from $99. Learn more in our article on how to send a press release.
What makes a good press release?
A good press release is informative, relevant, straightforward, and interesting to your target audience. Whether a text or video press release, it should answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how, telling a story that matters to your audience without feeling like an advertisement. The best press releases are concise, honest, easily understandable without any industry jargon, and include multimedia, leaving journalists with the right content to publish a story with.
Companies that issue video news releases often enjoy higher engagement, coverage across various outlet types, faster lead-to-conversion times, and the ability to deeply track viewer engagement. This makes them an increasingly popular tool for increasing brand awareness. In addition, they can be made and distributed affordably, even on a small business-size budget.
If you’re ready to distribute your VNR, consider EIN Presswire. Starting at $99.95 per release, you get free video embedding in your written press release, as soon as same-day distribution, press release placement on EIN Presswire and all major newswires, Google indexing, TV and radio distribution, and more.
You Might Also Like…
- Check out our round-up of the best press release examples for more ideas for ways to generate positive publicity for your brand.
- Learn the right press release format when writing a news story about your business.
- See what press release mistakes to avoid to give your story the best chance of landing coverage.