Congratulations to everyone involved in Heritage Week, in particular the local volunteers, enthusiasts and Heritage Officers who help bring this great national event to life every year.
As someone who has produced audio Heritage Trails, and even led a group on a heritage walk, I know the excitement of having people interested in coming along to your event and hearing your insights and passion for your subject.
Now that you have your event in the planning phase, it’s also time to think about telling everyone about it.
As we all know, making a video is one of the best ways to reach your audience, especially on social media, and we know from the Heritage Council webinars, a video post brings almost 60% more engagement than a text post, or a post with a photograph.
So where do you start, if you want to make a video, likely on a tight budget, and limited experience?
Having trained dozens of community groups, small businesses and communications teams on mobile video making I know that once someone even with no experience is given the steps to take, that it’s then a matter of just doing it!
So here are my tips for making your Heritage Week video – all without spending a fortune in equipment or time.
- Keep it simple. Using your smartphone, make a video with just one short recorded interview clip, one that only needs to be edited at the beginning and end, an edit that can be done on the phone without even using a separate editing app. Every smartphone these days has a good camera, with a Trim function included.
- Ask one question. An effective video is one 40-60 second clip in which someone talks about their event with energy.. So the question to ask is: “Tell me about the event you are planning for Heritage Week.”
- Prepare and rehearse the answer. I am not advising you to learn off the answer in advance, but the answer to the question could be planned to ensure you get the details into 30- 40 seconds or so, without having to edit it in the middle. Here’s an example: “We’re leading a Heritage Trail walk all around the town with (person leading the trail), to tell you all about the history of our town. It’s on (date here), at (time here), and we meet at (location here). It’s free, everyone can come, and it’s child friendly, and there’s no climbing involved. It’ll take about an hour. Looking forward to seeing you there. You can find out more at (website/Facebook/etc address to find out more).”
- Find someone who likes being in front of the camera! There is no point in pushing a shy person in front of the camera, when what you want is someone enthusiastic and confident in engaging with your audience. There’s always one, and you can help them along using Tip 5.
- Record it a few times. This gives you a choice of the best one to use, that has the best sound, and is the steadiest. Good sound usually can’t be done outside without shelter or an additional microphone on your phone, and steady means you should use a selfie stick or a tripod to mount the phone on. Here’s a blog I wrote about smartphone microphones.
- Use an editing app like InShot (android and iPhones) or iMovie (iPhones only), to add text to the video, if you feel confident you can. Don’t worry if you can’t – you can put more details into the social media post, or press release accompanying the video.
Once you have done those 6 steps, you are ready to tell the world about your event, with this great video. Share it on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and don’t forget Twitter too (using hashtags and tagging local collaborators). If you are sending details of your event to the local press or radio stations, be sure to add a link to your video. The local media all use video on their social media and websites, and they will be happy to share your video for you.
Aileen O’Meara is a Media Consultant and Trainer, and founder of the Rathdown Media Institute.
She has developed the successful Mobile Video Storytelling self-guided and tutor-led online courses available at www.rathdownmediainstitute.ie