Why the Flip Camera Should Be in Your PR Toolkit: Cisco The Platform


Why the Flip Camera Should Be in Your PR Toolkit

I’m biased.  We bought Pure Digital, maker of The Flip, back in March.  So stop reading if you like.  If you are still reading, here are my top reasons why the Flip Video Camera is great for any and all PR professionals.

1. Phenomenally good for media training.  I do a lot of media training and while I give my feedback for why an answer is good or has “opportunities,” the Flip doesn’t lie.  I take it into media training sessions and during the mock interview I record.  When I give feedback, I either go answer by answer on the video or I give oral feedback and then send the video via mail afterwards.  I think it has had a big impact in helping improve our media spokespeople…because, hey, everybody can improve, right?  And, seeing yourself on video gives you great feedback and practice when doing broadcast or company videos.

2.  Great for social media releases, blogs and even bubbletweet.  The beauty of The Flip is that it is VERY easy to use.  And compact.  And, idiot proof (i.e. limited to no training required).  We started using video in PR in earnest about two years ago.  We bought a nice HD camera.  We created a Cisco YouTube channel for our videos.  And we started embedding them in blogs and using them to visually tell our stories.  We love video at Cisco and these videos have been successful.  One drawback, however, was the availability of the camera…and then cameras.  Who has it, I need it, etc.  Now, with the Flip…we all have one.  We can always capture something on the fly or do a more formal, tri-pod assisted video.  It IS a part of our PR teams toolkit.  Further, now that we all have one it is also a part of our yearly objectives to USE it.  We all have to make at least one video a quarter and post it to our blog or otherwise use it in the furtherance of PR.  If you are with the media and you haven’t yet received a pitch from us via Flip video…WATCH YOUR INBOX…it’s gonna happen.

3. The media is using the Flip.  Everybody’s favorite Flip practitioner is, of course, Kara Swisher.  She’s prolific.  She’s funny.  She’s the master.  She’s interviewed everyone from Jonathan Kaplan (CEO of Pure Digital…creator of The Flip) to her son…to her mom…to Survey Monkey’s Dave Goldberg…to Steve Wozniak.  She points the cam at her subject, asks questions off camera and voila she’s got great content and a blog post. 

4. CAUTION: The Flip is MADE for Viral Video.  Okay, you can’t tell what is going to go viral, but having a Flip increases your chances of capturing video that may capture the attention of your audience.  Case in point: our CEO doing his now famous (infamous?) Duck Call.  Literally, I heard the duck call from my desk.  Grabbed my Flip camera and walked into his office and asked him to demonstrate for me.  I taped it.  Uploaded it.  Blogged it.  It now has nearly 18,000 views and was written about by Forbes, BusinessWeek, AllThingsD and more.  Was it a great leadership video?  No.  Was it a great video to show that we are a big company but can still be a bit goofy and have some fun?  Mission accomplished.

5. It teaches you to think VISUALLY.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?  Telling a story with pictures is not the easiest.  We didn’t all grow up in the television production business.  Utilizing the Flip enables you to THINK video.  What will look good?  What will be visually compelling?  Is the lighting good?  Is the sound good?  All these things are components of telling a good story.  Now that we all have Flips in our pockets we are learning more and more how to think about good visual stories.  And, while time will tell if this gets us more interest or more broadcast opportunities…this past quarter, we had much more broadcast than we’ve had in quite a while.  Could it be that we were added to the Dow?  Likely.  Could it be that we are learning to tell visual stories better?  Maybe.

And, finally, but certainly not completely:

6.  It is the BEST note taker in the world.  Ever have a conversation with someone and take notes on something you thought was a great idea and eloquently stated?  You then look at your notes and realize that either you transcribed them wrong or you can’t read your own writing.  That whiff of brilliance may have been lost.  Not with the Flip.  I ask to record the brilliant moment so that I can capture it for that point-in-time, brilliant talking point, message or whatever.  Works every time.

Enjoy your Flip.

Posted by John Earnhardt at 02:13PM PST

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Agreed. The Flip is a great device – the point about thinking visually is spot on.

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