The best presentations are those that tell a story and relate to an audience at an emotional level. Often PR practitioners propose solutions or ideas that will ultimately result in positive outcomes. By incorporating unique creativity into a presentation, the audience will not only be engaged but will also have a better understanding of the story. I found a very clever video presentation called, PRWeb in Plain English. This video was created by Common Craft and describes quite simply the benefits of using PRWeb’s newswire service to enhance the visibility of online news releases. This isn’t a conventional visual presentation by any means. It incorporates hand-drawn characters and paper cutouts that tell the story of PRWeb’s services and how they relate to you, the viewer. Occasionally hands appear in the video, shifting the paper cutouts and even gesturing emotions. In some ways, it’s corny, but it’s also very creative and fun to watch. The voiceover flows smoothly over the story, which is illustrated with sketches and cutouts in a clear, simplistic way. This kind of visual presentation might not be appropriate for every professional situation, however the storytelling demonstrated in the video is useful for PR practitioners because it channels creativity and emphasizes clarity and simplicity. These are important things to keep in mind when developing presentations, especially since attention spans don’t last very long. At one point in this video, hand-drawn PR pitches are flowing down a “River of News” while journalists, analysts, consumers and bloggers hold fishing rods along the current waiting to pick information with keywords that interest them. Clarity, appropriateness and storytelling are key components to be mindful of when reaching out to an audience. As PR practitioners it’s important to be aware of not only PRWeb’s services, but to also recognize similar storytelling techniques in this video that might enhance our presentations.
November 11, 2008
October 30, 2008
Mark Rose, of PRBlogNews.com, recently posted about the use of video in the PR profession. He discusses the slow process of changing the tedious tasks PR practitioners do every day into “web-based digital assets.” According to Rose, the process of creating and implementing pitches and news releases is a thing of the past. Digitally enhancing these everyday tasks (for PR professionals, that is) makes them readily available to both clients and the public.
Even those not involved in PR are using video as a new outlet. Rose counts the Wall Street Journal as a video-friendly web site. Presidential debates, interviews and other news stories can be seen on web sites like the Wall Street Journal and other news sites. Videos greatly enhance a news story, as a video can often humanize words.
Rose also states that Business Wire, a global communications company, has partnered with Digital Citizen Media, a digital media production company. This partnership that will establish, manage, track and promote digital media in PR. This business venture will help Business Wire members utilize Digital Citizen Media to better meet the needs of the corporations.
Video can be extremely helpful in visualizing stories and presentations, what do you think about incorporating this method into regular PR tasks such as news releases and pitches? Does it help or inhibit the profession? Does it dehumanize practitioners?
October 18, 2008
The best presentations are those that tell a story and relate to an audience on an emotional level. Often PR practitioners utilize presentations to propose solutions or ideas that will generate positive outcomes. I found a very interesting presentation on TED.org by Mena Trott called, Mena Trott: Building a friendlier world through blogs. Trott is the co-founder of Six Apart, which allows individuals, media, companies and other organizations to create blogs and interactive communities. Her passion for blogging is evident in her speech as she discusses her personal life and the reasons people relate to blogs. As she tells stories about herself, she visually supports each aspect with relevant photos and graphics. Often times these tools add humor to her presentation. As a result, she effectively adds color and meaning to her story. And Trott is no stranger to the human experience since her personal blog covers happenings in her day-to-day life. In fact, she learned to promote herself so effectively through everyday storytelling that she became widely popular online, even receiving a blog award. As PR practitioners, it’s important that we also find ways to appeal to stakeholders and pitch presentations in a manner that relates well to the audience.
During Trott’s presentation she explains the growing influence of blogs in the world. Her PowerPoint slides display articles, magazines and blog sites to keep the flow of her story moving. For example, she cites a blog that posted flaws about Kryptonite locks, which resulted in the company taking action to fix these elements for their consumers. Trott makes the point that blogs can have great influence in today’s society. She skips being highly technical in her presentation and focuses on stories and examples of blogs changing the way people do business. Mena Trott is an engaging, funny speaker and this presentation is a prime example of what good presentations should be like. For PR professionals like us, it’s useful to watch this video for unique insights into blogging as well as Trott’s effective presentation skills.