At one time or another, we have battled the urge to be a procrastinator. People have told us “don’t wait until the last minute.” Despite the warning, some of us naturally wait until the 11th hour to spring into action. I am not that guy, but I have certainly been a poster child for the practice in the past. During this season of my life, prioritization is a necessity for survival. If you wait until the last minute, you’re cheating whatever you’re a part of.
The same is true when it comes to last minute video requests and in general, not allowing enough time for what the project deserves. Creating effective content takes a great effort and by great I mean focused. If you rush the process, chances are that you are overwhelmed by something else at the same time.
Can you give optimal focus in that scenario? Let me answer that for you. Not likely. You’re cheating your team and potentially limiting the possibilities of the content. Here are a few things that can lead to “cheating” the process.
Have Your Information Organized
Easier said than done. Last minute requests happen for a variety of reasons. Some are warranted because of factors outside of your control, but most are a result of disjointed priorities that turn into a lack of think time. If quality video content is important, treat it as such. Make time to map out what you want. Ask a few basic questions. What will it take to execute? Who is the audience? How long is the video? If this request came from the top, be a polite pest and get those individuals involved at each stage of the game.
Urgency is Reciprocal
If you do have a quick turn request and a video agency decides to take it on, respect the timeline. Your urgency is now their urgency. Workflows have been interrupted. The worst thing you can do is not meet deadlines in terms of delivering aggregate feedback. Make sure that your team is aligned and that “ALL” key stakeholders have a voice when it comes to revisions. This will maximize the small window in play. If your comments are late, that can definitely cause the timeline to slide. Accountability is a two-way street.
Respect the Ask
This is a tough one especially if you are new to creating videos. Do your best to understand what you’re asking for especially if the turnaround is tight. It’s one thing to deploy a vendor or partner to capture an event. It’s a totally different ballgame to request a three minute feature that requires trips to three cities and needs edited in two days. Is what you’re asking realistic? Huddle with a trusted and experienced video team. They’ll be able to quickly walk you through multiple scenarios because they’ve been there — done that. Plus a trusted agency always has maximum value top of mind.
Be an Active Participant
This point is relevant to the shoot day especially if you have rushed to get to this moment. Take a breath to thoroughly consider what video(s) you are producing. Do you want shorter cut-downs for social media? Are these pieces general or specific? A common request after the fact is for very “specific” sound to support a very “specific” theme. Hint: If you didn’t ask a direct question that addresses that very “specific” theme — that sound doesn’t exist.
Make sure you bring your “A” game so that you’re an active listener on shoot day while interviews are in progress. If your attention is better served elsewhere, assign a member of your team to this support role.
This is a “do your best” scenario. We all know what busy feels like, but let’s circle back to priorities. Video storytelling isn’t new and you plan all other aspects of your marketing. Video doesn’t live in a separate world. It needs to live in harmony so that it contributes to the impact of the whole. Consult with a video agency and have a brainstorm. Outline the opportunities for the next several months so that you can better prepare and diagnose opportunities.
The goal of everything we do should be to bring value to the people around us and the audience we’re trying to reach. It makes everything better. For the love of video storytelling and the sanity of all-involved, don’t cheat the process.