Top tips for government video communications

Top tips for government video communications

Video is universally recognised as an essential tool for government communications, both internal and external. Many government departments in Australia have in-house video production, but there is still a big variation between them in terms of capability and confidence.

I recently attended the Role of Video in Digital Government seminar, hosted in Canberra by Viostream, a provider of video streaming solutions. Events such as this enable the video industry to connect with the public sector, to help fill those gaps in resourcing and expertise and to enable governments to reach their stakeholders directly.

Presenters at the seminar included the Department of Education and Training, Department of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, TEDx Sydney, Viostream, Shootsta and 90Seconds. They explored current issues in online engagement and presented case studies of video production in government.

Video Digital Government

Here are my top takeaways from the day’s many interesting and relevant discussions:

  • Live streaming is an important tool for large departments in connecting with external staff, to allow for interactive engagement and to support change management.

 

  • The secret to compelling content? A powerful idea, authentically delivered. TEDx videos run for 18 minutes, defying the ‘three minutes or less’ convention.

 

  • Measuring views is redundant. Look at engagement throughout the video and see where your audience drops off to identify weak points in your content.

 

  • Using video for internal communications builds a sense of community and can increase participation in work training programs.

 

  • Targeted topics may not get a big number of views, but can still be an effective way to reach a niche audience.

 

  • Not all of your videos will be ‘hero’ content. Allocate time in your publishing calendar for regular ‘hygiene’ content that can be created cheaply.

 

  • Animation doesn’t mean dumbing down your message. But do recognise that video isn’t best for explaining lots of detail; it should be an introduction.

 

  • The ‘gig economy’ is allowing ready access to freelance video professionals outside of the creative agency model.

 

  • Live, interactive streaming with stakeholders can increase the political capital of your message. Showing the public engaging with government is a positive image.

 

It was encouraging to see the amount of knowledge being shared by these various government departments. The video production landscape is changing so rapidly; we all need to be consistently learning and connecting to ensure our communication is as effective as possible.


Ben is a screen industry professional with expertise in television and multimedia production. With more than 20 years’ experience in news and current affairs, Ben has worked as a camera operator and video editor for several Australian TV networks and has covered national and international news based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra. At content group he has filmed and edited video projects for clients such as DFAT and the University of Canberra. He has an Associate Diploma in Art (TV Production) from CSU.

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