Maximizing Your Law Firm’s Investment in Video
Video can deliver a powerful message to prospective and existing clients, opposing counsel, and any number of other persons or organizations that may be evaluating or researching your law firm. Yet, in many cases a lack of planning and clear direction causes law firms to miss the mark on their video production and utilization. The below post provides questions that should be answered prior to shoot day and is designed to help you make the most out of your video investment and streamline the process of producing exceptional clips that represent your firm well.
Establish Clear Goals:
Where will you use the videos?
- Website home page?
- Website attorney bio pages?
- Other lawyer directories such as Martindale.com, Lawyers.com, Avvo.com?
- Will you run ads?
What topics/messages will you cover?
- Collective experience?
- Commitment to client service and responsiveness?
- Areas of practice?
- Prior results in the form of verdicts, settlements, plea bargains, etc?
- Awards or reputation in the industry/community?
- Geographic coverage?
- Office location and convenience?
- Effective use of technology?
- Personal practice philosophy and approach?
- Will some attorneys talk about others or only themselves?
Raw Footage Planning:
Where will the videos be shot?
- In the office? If yes, what rooms? Are the backgrounds impressive? Clutter-free? Windows washed?
- Outside the office? Is there road noise or other issues that may impact sound quality? What about wind or sunshine?
- At the courthouse?
What equipment is necessary?
- High-quality microphones?
- Professional lighting?
- Multiple cameras? This can be a lifesaver when it comes to editing out unwanted footage.
Who will appear in the videos?
- Clients? If yes, have you prepped them with coverage and goals?
- Groups of attorneys and staff? This can be a benefit for b-roll but a problem when staff leaves the firm.
- What is the dress code for each person?
- How many videos will be produced?
- How long is each one?
- Will they include more than one camera angle?
- Will they include b-roll of either video footage or photos?
- What kind of intro and outro slides will be used and what information will appear on each?
- Will music be included in the final cuts? If yes, what kind, how load, and during what parts?
- What is the timeline for delivery?
- Who will review the initial cuts? Are they reviewing raw footage or edited clips?
- What format will the videos be delivered in? i.e. file types? Who keeps the raw footage for future editing?
- How much is the cost for additional editing?
- Who owns the copyright to the footage?
Marketing the Videos?
- Is the firm’s YouTube page set-up and impressive?
- Who will post the videos and write the descriptions?
- Is someone taking photos of the shoot and posting them to social media?
- Do the videos warrant a press release or other promotion?
- Are portions of the videos being transcribed for use in other ways such as blog posts or quotes?
- Who will review for compliance with Bar rules and regs?
As you can see from the above, it is a mistake to go into your video shoot day without a clear plan for success. And while videographers and their staff are usually good at the nuts and bolts of capturing footage and editing, they lack familiarity with the key points law firms must make to maximize the impact of their video investment.
Last, have fun with your video production. Nothing portrays a law firm better than nice, approachable, and capable attorneys with an interesting story to tell.