A video news release (VNR) is a video-based press release sent out by companies to media outlets. VNRs are an effective method to share important business announcements in dynamic and creative ways that text and still images can’t match to gain press coverage. Read on to find out more about what are video news releases and how to make one for your business.
Overview of Video News Releases
Video news releases are video versions of a regular press release. Like standard text press releases, VNRs contain important news, announcements, or updates from companies that they want to be published in the press—for example, a new merger, the publication of a new study, or the launching of a new product.
Examples of when a video news release would be better than a written press statement are:
- Launching a new product with a video product demo
- To show off a new location via a video tour
- A crisis response; for example, via a video interview with a company spokesperson
- Recapping an event by showing off an events highlights reel
- If your product is a software; for example, a video game or an online business tool that would be better explained via video
- A company rebranding, like showing the transformation of an old to new logo and explaining the “why” behind the change
While they have the same function and objective as text press releases, video news releases offer a more creative and dynamic way of sharing information that can appeal to audiences’ senses and emotions and help build your brand presence. They also come in many formats, from expert interviews to product demos, depending on the objective of your VNR.
Click the tab below to see which elements are commonly included in a VNR.
Because the opportunities with video are nearly limitless, VNRs are very diverse. Some feature a formal interview, while others are location tours or product demos, and even others are a combination of several types. Nevertheless, the essential parts of a news release are similar: they contain an intro, the news content, and the outro with a call to action (CTA). Learn more about the essential components of a press release video below:
- Intro: Intros for VNRs can vary—they can be a formal introduction spoken by a host or voice-over or a simple text onscreen. Either way, the intro is what first announces the brand to viewers and, naturally, appears at the start of the video.
- News content: The news content is the proper news story of your release. For VNRs, this is spoken by the onscreen host or read as a voice-over narration.
- Proof: Proof refers to the images or footage to support your news story—it’s what you want to show off to your viewers in the video. This can take the form of product demos, video tours, an interview with a prominent figure, and so on.
- Outro: At the end of your video release, you’ll need to cap everything off with a final line about your news story and, most importantly, your brand logo as the final shot for better brand recall.
- Call to action: While not applicable to all video press releases, calls to action are usually present in PRs advertising a product or service and are often part of the video’s outro. Unlike straightforward ad campaigns, however, the call to action in VNRs is more subtle and not directly addressed to the viewers (e.g., “the new cafe opens for customers starting Wednesday…” as opposed to “You can visit our new cafe on Wednesday…”).
How to Create & Distribute a Video News Release
While VNRs allow for more creativity and content formats, they’re also more complicated to create than a regular text press release. Naturally, you’ll need to produce the actual video—but that’s just one part of the process. To create your video press release, you’ll first need to choose a type of VNR. Then, produce your video, upload it to a hosting platform, and send it to media outlets. Read more about each step in detail below.
1. Choose a Type of Video News Release
Just as there are several types of press releases overall, VNRs 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.
Here are different types of announcements that work well with video press releases:
- Interviews: Public relations video interviews are self-explanatory: they depict a person, usually a company spokesperson, answering questions in front of a camera. Interviews are best for major announcements that affect many people, like C-suite new hires, mergers, 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: 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 and are particularly helpful for discussing complex products like software. Product tours are also an excellent avenue to help your business appear credible and approachable.
- Testimonials: Testimonials feature a customer speaking about their experience with your company’s offerings. While they also feature a person speaking to a camera, the difference is that they 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: 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: Company profile VNRs provide essential information about your company, such as 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.
- Interactive videos: A more cutting-edge option, interactive videos are 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 without 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
There are different avenues 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.
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 is the essential equipment you’ll need for video production.
- 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. Always use music you have the copyright 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.
- Editing software: Editing software can be anywhere from basic to advanced. The sophisticated video editing tools with advanced editing software require a learning curve. A reliable option is Adobe Premiere Pro. However, alternatives like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Camtasia, Screencastify, and ScreenFlow are great for simpler edits, and many offer free versions.
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.
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.
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.
If you need help crafting a script or producing your video, hire a freelance professional via Fiverr. You’ll find there are options for professional media scriptwriters, videographers, video editors, and more, with pricing starting as low as $5 to $15 and up.
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.
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 of journalists and influencers. Because each offers its own strengths, we recommend using both.
Sending a Press Release Manually
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 will likely be interested in covering your story.
Our article on how to send a press release takes you through the process step by step.
Using a Press Release Distribution Service
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 get mass distribution of your story.
When comparing providers, here are the top things to keep in mind:
- 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.
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.
Video Press Release Examples
Checking out video news release examples is a great place to get inspiration for your own video news story. Below are three examples of news releases on video and why they work:
Product Launch Video News Release Example
This video news release example uses an onscreen host to introduce the launch of a new book. But it’s made more impactful by having the author herself as the video host, who first introduces herself and then explains details about her book and why it’s relevant, followed by images of the book’s contents as proof as her narration turns into voice-over. It’s a straightforward yet personal way of announcing a product launch and can easily be repurposed into social media content.
Industry Study Video Press Release Example
This Mayo Clinic and PN Medical’s research announcement is an example of video news releases using interview formats for credibility. In their video, a doctor is interviewed to share results from a study on PN Medical’s Breather Fit device. The interview 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
VNRs are also effective for showcasing corporate social responsibility. This example from SC Johnson is short and direct, but still engaging. The company’s CEO presents a social problem, 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.
Event Recap Video Press Release Example
Event recaps are one of the best ways to utilize a video press release, as with the above example of GD Today’s video recapping their recent product launch event in Rome. The video highlights moments in the event that would not have been adequately explained through text alone, and effectively illustrates not only the products the brand is advertising, but also the overall tone and feeling of the event, where it took place, the number of people, and more.
Video News Release Best Practices
For best results with video press releases, 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:
- Make the newsworthy angle clear: Your video press release should clearly reflect a newsworthy angle that’s relevant to the target audience (your audience, as well as the audience of the journalists you hope to interest in covering your story).
- Tell a story that matters (to your target audience): Your video press release should explain how it impacts the audience. Present a problem that matters to your audience, support it with facts, and then explain the relevance of your announcement. Make your target audience take an interest by discussing issues they care about.
- Make sure the video feels ad-free: The goal is to attract coverage from journalists looking for a story to publish as news, not customers looking to buy products or services. So create it like any news story, and don’t blatantly promote your business. Craft a script based on facts—the who, what, why, when, where, and how. 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. 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—so all the assets they need are ready to roll.
- Film several takes of each scene: To make your brand look credible, 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 after a few seconds of viewing.
- Embed your video in a published press release: When publishing a press release on a newswire or your website, embed the VNR using the video embed code. This way, people don’t have to click outside your press release to view your video.
- Track your VNR’s performance: Once you’ve sent out your VNR, track your performance to measure your effectiveness and better strategize future video news releases. 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, video view count, engagements, viewing time, and traffic sources.
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, 63% 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: 90% of marketers found videos effective for generating leads. In terms of sales, 87% 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 65%.
- Better performance tracking: Adding a video to your press release allows 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.
- 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.
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. Plus, VNRs are 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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.
You can send your VNR to the media by 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.
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. What’s more, they can be made and distributed affordably, even on a small business-size budget. The bottom line is not only are video news releases raking in numbers, but they’re also versatile marketing assets that you can use for nearly any purpose.
Now that you know what a video news release is and how to make one, consider EIN Presswire for distribution. 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.