Flip Cam Is New Tool in Communications Tool Box

I’ve got a new tool and I’ve flipped for it. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist the pun. It’s the Flip Video Camera. We’ve been using them for about six months.

I am a newspaper reporter by training. What do I know about video? That’s for TV crews. Well, not anymore. And in the PR worlds, video is becoming king. How many hours do you spend on YouTube or sharing videos? I know – it’s more than you want to admit. But think about it, if you’re doing it, so are thousands of others.

The Flip is so easy to use. When mine arrived at the office, I did what any teen would do. I took it out of the box and started playing with it. I never read the instructions. Still haven’t to this day. And that’s my point. It’s that easy.

It’s basically a point and shoot video camera. Even better, when you want to transfer your video to your computer, a USB connector pops out and you attach the camera directly to your computer. No more worrying about video file transfer.

So why do you need a Flip cam? Because you need video on your Web site. You need video on your intranet. You need video to share with reporters.

We’re getting ready to use it at the NFPW board meeting in New Mexico. We’re going to share through video what your board is doing. It’s all about making NFPW more accessible and transparent.   

At my office, we’ve videotaped our CEO and immediately posted it to the Web. We gave the cameras out as an incentive to staff in our field offices in The Gambia and Zambia. They shot great video for us that we could post to our Web site. It makes our work more authentic. When people can actually see that their contributions are changing lives, that’s powerful stuff.

That’s the power of the Flip camera.  And by the way, I don’t work for the company that makes these cameras and I’m not getting any royalties for this blog. I just think it’s a great tool. So do others since there are even classes and CDs on using the Flip Cam.

 Although they are easy to use, here are a few pointers, all of which I’ve learned the hard way through trial and error –

  • Stand close to the subject when interviewing if you want good sound quality. Avoid noisy backgrounds.
  • Stand close to your subject – very close. Then zoom in for a better shot.
  • Hold the camera steady to avoid jerky movements. Better yet, get a tripod.