Surprisingly, producing a video for the federal government is not all that different from creating a promotional video for a non-profit organization or large corporation. Like private sectors, federal government agencies want to produce high-quality content and make videos that are impactful and compelling for their targeted audience. They require just as much creativity as any other project, but there are a few notable differences.
The Biggest Differences for Government Video Production
They must be accessible and compliant. Informational, training, and awareness videos for the government need to be accessible to all audiences in a variety of ways. From the language spoken in the video to including open and closed-captioning, a federal government video production company must adhere to 508 Compliancy Guidelines. Under Section 508, this could mean having your video formatted with captioning and audio descriptors, text and contrast adjustments as well as having it available in different languages that the federal agency may require.
The timelines can be longer. From finding and capturing the federal government business to producing and completing the video, sometimes the agencies aren’t on as a quick turnaround time as the private sector. A lot of times, these videos undergo careful review, and therefore production companies typically have more time to produce.
Whether you want to convey information about a public service program or introduce a new program within the agency or motivate the workforce, the video you produce must present information that is timely, accurate but also understandable to the audience. To achieve this, everyone involved in the production—from the scriptwriters to the editing team—must be aware and all on the same page of what you’re trying to accomplish with your video.
There’s more competition. With government video productions, there seem to be more companies bidding on projects not just locally in your area but also nationally. So, it tends to be more competitive. Not all the time, but a majority of the time, the low bidder seems to win the work. However, once you get in with a federal agency and start producing high-quality content, you are more likely to be rehired in the future.
Tips for Successful Federal Government Video Production
It’s important to have a deep understanding of how the federal government buys your service and if they even have a need for your video services. You can find great information and opportunities about the federal market and individual federal government agencies through a variety of public web sources.
Be clear, but genuine. With government videos, the target audience can be a small and concise market that expects to be addressed in a particular manner with relevant messaging. Regardless of the audience, clear communication is the best practice in any awareness, training, or informational video. But it becomes especially critical when crafting a message that is this is trying to reach a rich and diverse audience such as the federal government workplace.
To create a message that resonates with your audience, think about:
- What you want to communicate
- Who you want your message to reach
- How to best captivate that audience
- Why that particular audience should listen to what you have to say
- The objective of that message – what do you want your audience to do next?
All of this knowledge will allow you to create a video that connects with your audience and inspires them to take action.
Be accurate but understandable. Federal government videos are educative and informational, but they can also be highly technical and contain complex ideas the average person doesn’t encounter in everyday life. To create a government video, you first need to outline the topic or idea. Then, you should strip it down to ensure the message is clear and concise and will stick with the audience you want to target. Moreover, the information presented in the video—be it scientific, statistical or training in nature—it needs to be accurate. There’s nothing more harmful to a video campaign than misleading your target audience.
Stay current. Just as you would find in a regular corporation, much of the government workforce is retiring. A new workforce means your videos and messaging will need to connect to a younger audience. Similarly, when administration changes occur every four years, your mission or message may change drastically. As such, you need a medium that will accurately portray that message. Video is a wonderfully accessible way to do so.
Showcase diversity. All videos, especially those for the government, should showcase diversity. Being intentionally diverse in your video is smart and enables you to connect with and appeal to more audiences. When everybody feels represented in your video, they’ll also feel better about listening to your message.
Don’t forget to brand. Videos are a highly engaging way to speak to your audience, but without proper branding, how can your audience know who is talking to them? You can work vibrant colors, pyrotechnics, and even a celebrity into your video, but without your internal branding, your audience won’t buy into the message they just received.
A good video will have branded imagery and messaging throughout. It should be clear what the mission is and who believes in that mission before it’s ever stated aloud. It’s important to be creative and engaging, but in a way that doesn’t feel forced or overproduced.
Creating a captivating and convincing video for the government sector requires a balance between authenticity, accuracy, and appeal. From bidding for the work to helping you craft the perfect message, getting on and utilizing the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule can help make your sales and opportunities to capture more business in the federal government space a little easier.
If you’re a government agency looking to create a video to spread your latest message, get in touch with us today to see how we can help you!