Creating a News Story With Video: Q&A with Wochit’s Drew Berkowitz

Wochit Video Creation Platform

Screenshot from www.wochit.com

Whether you’re a major news publication or blogger, you need to know how to tell an engaging story. More frequently, that means using video and other dynamic visuals.

Drew Berkowitz, SVP of partnerships for video creation platform Wochit, helps publishers tell these types of stories quickly and efficiently.

“Forrester Research released a statistic that 1.8 million words is equal to one minute of video. That’s incredibly powerful, but until now not scalable,” says Berkowitz. “The time and expense of creating video prohibited journalists from truly taking advantage of the new digital/mobile medium.”

Using a combination of automation and human touch, Wochit enables publishers, brands, bloggers, journalists and creators of any kind to bring their story to life in 15 minutes.

Our ProfNet team sat down with Berkowitz to discuss video storytelling, its benefits, and how Wochit can help.

How can video storytelling benefit a news organization? 

There is no end to the amount of research showing how video increases time spent and engagement with a page/article, or in driving traffic and awareness, whether that’s on desktop or mobile.

Partners are using our platform in various ways to take advantage of these statistics, by promoting on social networks with a quick video teaser, including a short form video within the article, building out new YouTube channels, enhancing their native advertising with video, and even creating their own shows. In the end for most it’s about increased awareness, and of course, increased revenue.

What type of different emotions does a video elicit vs. someone reading text? 

I’m not sure if it’s different, but rather elevated. Visual storytelling greatly enhances a human’s connection, involvement and attitude with a story.

As a perfect recent example, all we have to do is look at the latest incident involving Ray Rice and the emotions that were created when we read about the incident and the elevated emotions after we all saw the video footage.

How does your video platform work? 

Wochit lets any storyteller create a video in about 10-15 minutes. It uses a combination of automation (that quickly sources licensed video and still image content from AP, Reuters, Getty and others, adds in maps, info-graphics, social media feeds and more) and human touch (the ability to upload your own assets, enable quick, creative editing, and the chance to provide human voice over).

What type of organizations can use Wochit? 

Anyone who wants to enhance, promote or create a story with video. That can be big publishers, independent or student journalists, bloggers, brands who are engaged in content marketing — any creator.

Can any story be told using Wochit?  

Yes.  Breaking, topical and trending stories have a distinct advantage because of the speed in which we deliver licensed content, but our quick and simple editing platform and the ability to upload your own assets makes any story possible.

What kind of graphics do you recommend an organization use to tell a story? 

Wochit’s system provides most everything a creator needs for a compelling video story; video actuality, foreground sound, natural sound, the ability to select your thumbnail, add a creative title, zoom in on quotes, and add human voice. These are all elements that make Wochit’s video more compelling.

What are the benefits to adding a human voiceover to a video? 

Humans add inflection, emotion, and personality that connect us to a story.

Once the video is complete, how does an organization disseminate it to their audience?   

We work with partners to fit into their content management systems, video players, etc., and offer any type of ability for a creator to distribute the video.

Users have an embed code and through whatever player they use can run across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others.

Wochit also has distribution partnerships with AOL, Yahoo, NDN and others to help creators get their video in front of an audience.

Are you able to track the number of shares and views to your video? 

Yes, we work with our partners and through their players to monitor shares and views, and for individual creators we can help with those statistics as well.

How do creators sign up for Wochit? 

You can contact us through wochit.com. You can also reach out to me at drew.berkowitz@wochit.com. I’m always happy to connect.

Working on a story and need an expert source for your video? ProfNet has thousands of folks available to help you with your deadlines or blog posts. Send a query, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email — all for free! Email profnet@profnet.com if you’d like help getting started.

Polina Opelbaum is a community services specialist with ProfNet. To read more from Polina, check out her blog on ProfNet Connect.

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