Why Lawyers Need a Multimedia Producer (on retainer)

Your job is to protect people’s rights.  Can we agree on that? It’s impossible to expect lawyers to wear all the hats they they’re already supposed to wear, and then somehow jump on the Web 2.0 wagon and become a marketing director/photographer/videographer/graphic designer overnight.

So this has been our experience: clients will come to us and tell us they want a marketing video for their practice or organization. Pretty photos of the whole team, footage of people in action, music that “really makes you think”, and a script that is so well written you’ll question your career path. Your taste is impeccable, I might add.  We get it.

THEN… we shoot, edit, polish and produce 5 different types of media to your precise specifications. It’s shown for input to everyone in the organization. We go through 17 revisions because Molly doesn’t like the cardigan she wore during the shoot. It ends up on your YouTube channel. It gets published in all external (and internal while you’re at it) communications.

It only has 6 huge problems that you probably won’t admit to yourself (no one’s mother thought they were an ugly baby).

  1. It contains too much information, and so the message is obscured.
  2. It doesn’t have ‘flow’ because 4 different people were in on the editing process.
  3. You’ve completely broken every rule of cinematography (only because you were unaware of them, in your defense.)
  4. People don’t remember it because there was no story – just information.
  5. You’re out of budget to produce anything additional.
  6. It’s stale – already.

Am I right? Of course I am… on at least 3 out of 6. So here’s how to fix that.

Your video contains too much information, and so the message is obscured. Get to the point, and go for the jugular. No one cares that you defended 68 clients in the month of June last year. That might sound sound awful, but it’s true. Just pick ONE of those people and tell us something amazing about them. This makes for a more memorable story altogether.

It doesn’t have ‘flow’ because 4 different people were in on the editing process. Trust the person writing the script. I don’t care if its you or me, but ideally it should be someone that other people have told they could write.

You’ve completely broken every rule of cinematography. Trust your producer. If you don’t know the difference between a trucking shot and a tracking shot, or if you don’t immediately listen for acoustics when you enter a room – trust someone else who does.

People don’t remember it because there was no story – just information. Stop trying to win the Olympics with your video. That’s what websites are for. And if you use more than one adjective per sentence, you sound like a lunatic.

You’re out of budget to produce anything additional. Think of your relationship with your multimedia producer as a long term boyfriend/girlfriend, not an intense one-night stand where someone inevitably does a walk of shame (assuming you both have some). This doesn’t mean tripling your “budget.” It means getting lots of bang per buck and telling as many different stories in as many mediums as possible. This can help you succeed online. Massacre those birds with fewer stones!

It’s stale – already. Don’t be a one-act show. Use your multimedia producer like a bicycle. Ride him ’til the wheels fall off. There are 50 weeks in a year, so think of 50 short video ideas that could turn into fantastic blog posts/Facebook links/Tweets/podcasts…

People want to know the great stuff your organization is doing, so tell them on a platform where they can digest and share easily. How many times have you lent a book to someone only to ask 6 months later what they though about it? They didn’t read it (sorry, but they lied if they told you they did. They’re not bad friends, they just have other stuff going on). But how many of your friends watched that 3-minute YouTube clip about the guy with the piglet that jumps on the trampoline… They all did (and the ones that didn’t have no soul – just guessing).

Let us help you tell great stories.

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