The video team delivers two types of videos: scripted and event videos. Event videos are footage from an event that is edited minimally and published. You can see an example event video from Tom Wall's panel at PrezFest.
The key difference between scripted and event videos is that scripted videos include a storyboard or script that is reviewed by the client before any draft of the video is created. Scripted videos are more time intensive, but the final product is more engaging and personalized to the client. Currently, the video team is focusing on three kinds of scripted videos, which are listed below.
A hero video is a silent video that is the first thing people see when they visit a page. It aims to capture the core theme or message of the page.
Interview videos take a deep dive into a specific topic with a Cooper Center employee. They aim to inform and entertain viewers.
Dynamic text videos are aimed towards casual social media viewers. They inform viewers of a topic in a visual way and do not require audio or a voice over.
For our work to have impact, people must be aware of what we do. Videos posted on our websites and social media have significant potential to raise awareness of the Cooper Center's work. By creating informative and engaging videos, we invite others into our content and projects and reinforce our commitment to serve as a resource for public service information.
Videos increase audience size and engagement, particularly among audiences on mobile devices (which is the fastest growing method of viewing websites). This is largely because video is easier to consume and share, especially on social media. Video serves as a good tool to quickly and effectively communicate our work and increase its impact. Strategically, we will employ video content as a supplement to previous modes of communication in order to reach new and broader audiences. We aim to create videos that extend the reach of our websites, increasing awareness of our work and increasing the perceived accessibility of the Cooper Center staff.
When a new publication is released or a new training class is announced, we want to be able to communicate that to as large an audience as possible through the most effective means possible.
We also aim to increase the perceived accessibility of Cooper Center employees by making it easier for audiences to know who we are and feel that they can interact with us and our work. Rather than relying solely on text descriptions of the services we provide, we want to develop videos featuring Cooper Center staff to put a face to the work we do and reach people who may not at first be inclined to read our reports. Through video, we want to drive traffic to the reports, classes, and other assets we put out into the world. With every video, there will be links to the work and research featured. In this way, the video content serves as a quick, accessible overview to the Cooper Center's work and drives interested people to more information.
The video team will work with clients to develop effective content strategy to meet specific needs. Here are the outlines of how we create different kinds of videos.
Interview Video Workflow
All of the videos we create go through a content prioritizing meeting. This is where we take all the video ideas submitted to us and choose which ones we will move forward with for that month. These meetings include Larry, Meredith, Amy, and Miles and are open to other interested directors. To submit a video idea to the Media Team, please use the form at the bottom of this page. The video ideas that get a green light move to the content strategy phase.
For scripted videos we start with a content strategy meeting. The video team sits down with the director of a unit and together we formulate ideas, discuss the medium of presentation, and identify target audiences for the content. The three questions we aim to answer before leaving a content strategy meeting are:
- Who is the audience we want to reach?
- What is the message we want to communicate to that audience?
- What actions can we take to create content that communicates that message effectively?
Moving forward, the video team begins researching necessary information for the videos. Typically, the information comes straight from the work being done at the Weldon Cooper Center's units. Sources such as blog posts, publications, reports and already written releases are used as primary source material to inform the story boarding and script writing. We also start collecting video, photo, and audio assets.
The script writing stage is where the outline of the video comes together. In a Google Doc, we draft up an outline of what specific text we will pair with what visual aids. This outline specifies the general length, the specific text that will appear, and describes or includes all the photos and video proposed for the final video. This script is sent to the units for approval before editing begins. In interview videos, this script writing stage is simply the creation of a list of questions to ask the interviewee. These questions are then sent to the interviewee and the unit director for approval.
After approval from the unit, we move forward with collecting and assembling the assets. This means performing interviews, finding appropriate photos, inserting names and job titles over video, and inserting text. We may have to go out and record video or b-roll to fill out the video. We may also need to interview various people or get shots around the office. For interview videos, this stage is where we actually perform the interviews. The length of the interview can vary, but most interviews last around 30 to 45 minutes.
Once the assets are collected, the video team goes through rounds of editing until we get a product that is ready for review by the client/unit director. These drafts are posted to YouTube as unlisted so that only the clients can view them and suggest final changes.
Finally, before any video is published to the public, it is sent to the directors for a final review. If the video is approved, we start discussing how we want to disseminate the video, which often includes:
- Posting to the Cooper Center YouTube channel
- Posting to the unit website
- Posting to Facebook & Twitter
- Releasing an email newsletter
The video team aims to put out at least three videos a week.
Some videos take much longer than others to make. The easiest to make by far are simple event videos, where we just record and post the event footage. These can be recorded and posted in under a week.
For most other videos the whole process, from content strategy meeting to the final product, takes 1-3 weeks.