Digital content production guidelines - Video
Why video matters
People are visual beings, and video continues to rise in importance as a medium for communication. Viewers retain more of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to when they read it in text, meaning video plays an important role in communicating both policy messages and impact.
Whether human-centred or information-driven, videos should lead with values and emotion first to capture the viewer. Deliver policy messages once the audience is engaged.
- Human-centred: Videos, which tell a human story, follow the basic principles of storytelling. For greatest impact, they should be short, focused and connect with the audience emotionally.
- Information-driven: Video can effectively translate complex or technical information into a visually appealing and engaging format. The script should follow the basic principles for information content, convey the information clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon and unnecessary details.
Planning your production
Regardless of the approach, the first stage of any video production is planning. Script and storyboard your video, and consider what shots and images you will need to tell the story or visualise the information presented. Think about statements and soundbites you might need to deliver your point.
Before starting a video production, consider the following points to ensure a clear and complete briefing for the assignment.
- Assessment of needs and synergies with priorities: Is video the best solution for the communication needs and priorities? Contact INTPA 02 at the earliest stage to discuss the project proposal in detail.
- The purpose of the video: What do you want the audience to do, think or feel after watching the video?
- Audience: Who is the audience and what are their values? What type of content and product will connect with them? Where do they consume video?
- Distribution: How will you reach your audience? What is the paid media strategy? Who are your key partners? Do you need different language versions?
- Key message(s): What do you want the audience to take away? If you have multiple messages, consider more than one video to ensure it maintains focus.
- Type: What type of video – micro-documentary, human story, info-clip etc – will best meet the need the video aims to fulfil
- Cost: What is the return on investment to produce and disseminate the video?
- Length: Shorter video (the maximum length depends on the channel) are more effective than long ones. Adapt the length of the video to your channel and audience.
- Content: Follow the basic pre-production steps: concept – script – storyboard
- Style: Follow the INTPA style from the INTPA Digital Style Guide (PDF - 6MB).
- Format: Landscape for websites, Twitter and YouTube, square 1:1 or portrait 4:5 for Facebook and Instagram
- Sound and Subtitles: In case you use voiceover, all videos should have subtitles burned in. A clean version of the video (without subs) along with the subtitles in .VTT format should be provided along with the delivery to EC Audiovisual library. You have to purchase all rights to any music or sound effects used.
- Timeline: How long will the video take to produce? Is there a hard deadline for completion (event, announcement, international day etc.)?
- Approval: Who is the owner of the production? Who else needs to be involved in the approval process?
- Monitoring and evaluation: What are the KPIs for the video? How will you measure the impact on the target audience?
- Legal aspects: You NEED to have all the necessary intellectual property rights or the licenses of the material. See below “Legal requirements for Video and Photography”
- Source files: Original raw footage to be used in new productions. When delivering your video to EC AV library, flag the possibility to deliver raw footage (B-rolls).
- All material produced by or for the European Commission needs to be compliant with © European Union and meet all the requirements as stated on the EC audio-visual library
- Get the authorisation forms signed by any person featured in the video. In case of a minor, both the subject and legal guardian need to sign: model release forms in 31 languages
- All videos must be published on the EC Audiovisual Library. To publish videos on the EC Audiovisual Library follow the instructions
- You can address all questions about content delivery to INTPA-WEB@ec.europa.eu
- If you are working with an external contractor, always stipulate the legal requirements in your contract
- IMPORTANT: If your material is not in the EC Audiovisual Library we cannot ensure its further use. This will also increase the visibility of your material as all EU services, journalists and interested public have access and can download and share your videos and photos.