9 tips for using video to supercharge your communications

Handheld cameras worked for ‘Captain America.’ They can work for you, says strategist Mike McDougall.

One might think a production with a big Hollywood budget would use fancy-looking cameras that cost more than the national debt of some tropical fiefdoms.

If going small works for a motion picture, it can work for you, says Mike McDougall, principal of McDougall Communications.

Often you can do it yourself with an iPhone 4 or a Kodak or Samsung video camera, avoiding draining your budget by contracting to bring in a pricey film crew.

“You can shoot in the rain,” he says. “You can mount it to the side of your car. Am I going to do that with a $4,500 rig? Absolutely not. If I need that, I’m going to pay somebody to come do it, and then they’re going to charge me $15,000.”

McDougall will be speaking at Ragan’s Best Practices in PR Conference, and he has some suggestions for making video another quick tool at your disposal.

He was formerly vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Bausch + Lomb, and he has worked in senior communications roles with Eastman Kodak.

Here are some of his tips:

1. Embrace the trend.

Even with a camera, a microphone, lighting, and a PC for the editing, you can get started for as little as $800, McDougall says.

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