Live Action

Savvy ideas to boost sales.

If your direct-mail or publicity efforts could use a little juice, consider the power of video. Changes in the industry are prompting video producers to go after the corporate market more aggressively than ever. The upshot for entrepreneurs: lower prices and better service.

What makes video desirable? "Videos have a much higher perceived value [than printed materials]," says Sharron Ames of Technicolor, a Camarillo, California, packaged media company. "Videos are intriguing. They're able to convey information clearly. And we're such an entertainment-based culture that video simply does a better job of reaching people."

Adds media and business communications expert Douglas Simon, president of D S Simon Productions in New York City, "Another compelling reason to use video is to get TV exposure." A well-crafted video news release can win you widespread coverage on TV stations around the country at a starting cost of less than $20,000 for filming and distribution. "That's not wildly expensive compared to the cost of a television ad campaign," says Simon.

To save money, shop around for promotional offers; many companies offer introductory packages designed to encourage new clients to give video a try. Also, look for ways to reuse your material. Footage from the same shoots can be used for direct mail, sales training, video news releases, sales presentations, trade shows and in-store events.

Gayle Sato Stodder covers entrepreneurship for various publications. She lives and works in Redondo Beach, California.

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This article was originally published in the December 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Live Action.

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