July 15, 2010

Video Testimonials: The Power of Real People

At the beginning of my TV news career, I was sent to cover a Monday night city council meeting in Joplin, Missouri. Council meetings in Joplin were short and sweet. The mayor was a huge Monday Night Football fan. Most of the real work was done behind closed doors before the meeting. The only point of interest at this meeting was a formal vote to buy some homes in order to expand a busy road. No one spoke against it. I did a short interview with the mayor and figured I had the standard city council story.

After the meeting ended, I decided to get reaction from the homeowners. I knocked on the door of one house and this nice older woman answered the door. She was sad to be losing her longtime home. I’ll never forget her words, “Come out back, I want to show you something.” In her backyard she grew the only Concord grapes for miles around. She pointed out the stakes the city put down to mark the new road, which would run right through her award winning grapes. I had literally stumbled onto a special story with a real person.

When it comes to creating a video, many companies struggle with what to include in their story. Instead of putting all of the focus on your company, sometimes it is better to think about the people you help. The best stories often come from your best customers. And you never know when they will tell you about the grapes growing in their backyard.

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