Monday, June 21, 2010

Recording Video Interviews: Three Non-Obvious Practical Tips That Make a Difference

In the YouTube age it's not just media pros who are recording TV interviews -- people in company PR, HR and training departments often find that they have to do it, too, and without any help.

If you are in this position you probably discovered already that you can Google tutorials about how to use the equipment and also find plenty of lists of Important Things to Remember. What is missing is the kind of knowhow you normally learn the unpleasant way through experience.

Here are some of these things for people who need to record a video interview: Three Non-Obvious Practical Tips That Make a Difference:

1. Always warm up the interviewee before you start the interview to make them relaxed and comfortable about talking in front of the camera. You can start by reassuring them you can re-record anything that doesn't work but more importantly ask a few other warm up questions before you start the real ones.

2. Keep your own mouth shut as far as possible. Don't comment during answers and after the end of each answer wait a second before you ask the next. If you need to show interest just nod your head. If you overlap your voice with the interviewee then editing the recording will be much harder.

3. And before you do the first two always start the camcorder recording and just leave it recording until you are done. You can delete the warm-up segment later. Don't keep stopping and starting it because this is distracting for both of you and, worse still, there is a risk that you will forget and just when you think you have captured a perfect interview you discover that the camcorder is still on STANDBY.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

10 Things That Companies Do With Their Twitter Accounts but Maybe Shouldn't.

In the last post I gave seven reasons why companies should have a well managed Twitter account. Now I am going to explain what I meant by well-managed by listing 10 Things That Companies Do With Their Twitter Accounts but Maybe Shouldn't.

Just to be clear, these are the things that you should NOT do:

1. Use the account only to retweet articles from other sources that they find interesting without adding anything about their own news and activities. You can do this with your private account but not for a company.

2. Tweet special offers and other routine trivia during a crisis. Yes, people have done this.

3. Tweet nothing for a month then send 20 tweets in 20 seconds. You would be amazed how many otherwise sensible companies do this.

4. Tweet just links to other pages without any content in the tweets. This is annoying and unfriendly.

5. Tweet replies to customers to contact them through other channels. If you have an account then use it.

6. Let someone else register the twittername corresponding to your brands. Again you would be surprised how many respected companies made this mistake.

7. Have an account but leave it idle for months or years. Or if you have to please tweet a note that it is just reserved for future use.

8. Fail to answer DMs and @s sent to account. This is the equivalent of letting the phone ring all day.

9. Ask an intern to take care of Twitter and Facebook because nobody else knows what they are. Sure they know what Twitter is but they do not have the experience to speak on behalf of the company.

10. Tweet inspirational quotes. We have seen them all already and we know where to find them.

As I said before, if you have a company you really need to have a Twitter account but at the same time it is something that must be managed by someone who knows what they are doing. If you don't have anyone on the team then it's time to either hire one or have some social media savvy person train your staff.


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