How to turn your print magazine into a video (and why you should)

In short

  • Video content is now used by 89% of professional membership
  • Not all video is made equal and organisations must invest if they are to improve the effectiveness of their content
  • Our first-ever video cover (on a print magazine) shows what is possible when technology and traditional collide

If video content doesn’t feature in your editorial planning right now, I guarantee it soon will.

And with good reason. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and according to CISCO, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second by 2021.

It’s not just teen vloggers and big retail brands getting in on the act. Take a look at our latest 2017/2018 Re:member research and you will see that video usage is on the rise in professional membership, with 89% of organisations surveyed using them (up from 80% in 2016). And, as the top channel you’re most likely to invest more in over the next year, this shows no sign of slowing down.

Video content is everywhere, draining the data allowance on our phones and clogging up our social feeds. But, not all video content is worth watching – or creating for that matter (yes, I am looking at you if you are contemplating that annual CEO piece to camera).

On a mission to improve the quality of video making its way online every second of every day (head to if you want to appreciate the dizzying amount of clips being viewed), we decided to make video the subject of our big feature in the latest edition of Influence, the official magazine of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR).

The presented us with a problem. How do you communicate the power and excitement of video content on the cover of a traditional paper-based communications channel that doesn’t exactly scream innovation?

By turning the cover into a video, that’s how!

Members unwrapping their magazine over the coming days and weeks will be presented with an eye-catching cover that simply says ‘This is a video’. Thanks to the wonders of augmented reality, an app called Zappar, and the talented and experienced minds at the amazing Plastic Pictures, the coverline springs into action on contact with a mobile and plays a short film to put the spotlight on headline features from inside the magazine. Our look inside the Oxford Union became soundbites from a debate. Our interrogation feature came to life in a dark interview room. And, our commentary on the demise of local news sent a series of cuttings flying across the screen.

A gimmick? Of course. A clever way to demonstrate the value of highly-visual content in a printed publication? Absolutely. Something we think you should all try on your professional member journal? Not exactly (the team created it for us for free to showcase their skills and we recognise that what works for an audience of comms professionals might not necessarily work for lawyers and managers).

One thing we do know, however, is that print publications need to stand out if they are to justify their existence in this digital-first world. By bringing technology and tradition together, we gave members a new reason to rip off the polywrap. When they did, they were treated to insightful and expert guidance from journalist David Howell, former EVCOM CEO Steve Garvey and MD of Plastic Pictures, Sara Cooper and an at-a-glance guide to all the tools and kit required to made video that people actually want to watch.

Now all you need to start planning your next Oscar-winning event preview is CIPR membership, so you can read the feature and all their brilliant advice.

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Lights, camera, action

CIPR has kindly allowed us to circulate the video toolkit from the feature (we can’t give all our secrets away), so please email us to get your hands on a copy. And, if you’d like to read all about the trends in professional membership from our latest Re:member research, get in touch today.

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