The secret to powerful videos? Create an emotional connection

Drop the corporate jargon, get personal and get creative. It worked for these organizations.

As a communicator, it’s your job to keep your content from flatlining. No magic recipe will garner tons of engagement for your brand. Building an authentic, beneficial connection to your target audience should do the trick.

How can you do it? Emotional, sharable content with a personal element is powerful. Video can result in media coverage and tons of social shares. Check out these examples from PR Daily’s 2016 Video Awards to it done right:

“The Dance,” from Tidelands Health

Be warned: You may end up crying at your desk while watching this video. Tidelands Health’s neurological rehabilitation center produced this emotional patient recovery story. Matt was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s encephalitis, which causes brain swelling and issues with mobility and memory. Matt worked with Tidelands Health’s physical therapists to regain mobility, strength, endurance and balance. They went the extra mile and helped him choreograph a dance for his oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding. He went from being in a wheelchair to putting on a show in front of friends and family on his daughter’s big day. This earned Tidelands the Grand Prize in the 2016 Video Awards, proving that the hardest stories to tell are often the most rewarding.

“#SpreadtheCheer,” from AT&T

For an internal communications holiday campaign, AT&T asked employees what they would do with some extra money to make someone else’s day a little brighter. Employees sent in suggestions, one of which was to bring a soldier home for the holidays. The team at AT&T made arrangements to bring Petty Officer Jonelle Eliason home to her family in Pennsylvania. Interviews with the family in their living room accompany the footage of Eliason heading home, but the surprise at the end makes for a heartwarming and shareable moment.

“Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men,” from Palladian Partners for National Institute of Justice

Sharing the results of a study in a powerful and meaningful way can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of data. The National Institute of Justice found a way to do it beautifully. With the help of Palladian Partners, the NIJ brought its infographic to life in an animated video, sharing the results of a study that revealed the prevalence of physical and psychological violence in the American Indian and Alaskan Native community. The scale of the issue is heartbreaking, and likely wouldn’t have had the same impact in a blog post or longer video.

“Pokémon Go at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital,” from the University of Michigan Health System

The University of Michigan Health System’s short video had a huge impact. The team of child life specialists at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital used a fun and innovative technique to raise patient morale. Using Pokémon Go, they encouraged children to get active around the hospital, partaking in physical therapy and familiarizing themselves with parts of the hospital they previously viewed as scary. The PR team saw a big opportunity to produce a story. It published blog posts targeted to social media and pitched the story to traditional news media with the video serving as b-roll. The video itself is just over a minute long, but it takes the sterile, frightening experience out of a hospital stay. What parents wouldn’t want to see their child having fun in spite of an illness or injury?

Think your videos stack up to these impressive examples? Enter PR Daily’s 2017 Video & Visual Awards.

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