Latest News - Tips for staff and volunteers on creating video

Tips for staff and volunteers on creating video

You don't need a fancy camera to create interesting videos to share with people online. All you really need is a smartphone.

There is no doubt that use of video can deliver a short story in a powerful and engaging way. We can host videos about Scottish Wildcat Action's activities on Twitter and Facebook. This encourages more people to get involved in wildcat conservation and find out about this beautiful creature. To get you started, here are some top tips...

Short and sweet

Statistics show that short films work best.

Here are some of our most successful videos to date from Facebook. However, more people engage with shorter videos.

Engagement is a term used to demonstrate when a user actively reacts by liking, sharing or commenting on a post. This gives it more exposure (known as reach) as their friends on Facebook will also see this content as a result.

It's National Cat Day! Here are 10 facts about Scottish wildcats you might not know (10 secs)

Engagement: 573

Reach: 14,106

Chester Zoo wildcat kitten born (38 secs)

Engagement: 352

Reach: 10,728

Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (3 mins)

Engagement: 217

Reach: 6,434

Photo: Project officer, Keri, takes to the hills on a quad to check survey cameras. An ideal video moment.

Attention spans on social media are short, and viewers will not hesitate to move on if you do not grab them early. For little snippets keep it under 30 seconds. For a more in-depth video or blog then less than 3 minutes is ideal.

Plan your content

  • Always shoot in landscape format to maximise what the viewer will see on their device.
  • Make sure it's steady. Use a tripod or rest your phone on a table, railing or fence to prevent shaky hands.
  • Ask if you really need audio – this can be a tricky inclusion due to background noise (wind/traffic) and many people watch video on their mobile phone without the sound on.
  • Don’t over script your narrative, short concise material works best. You might want to create a sketch or story book of what you want to communicate. You can download a basic storyboard template here.
  • Look at these links for inspiration. Staff and volunteers across the partnership that makes up Scottish Wildcat Action already make good use of video:

RZSS Armadillo Diaries - blog style video diary

NTS Volunteering

SNH Oceanic ravines

SWT Badger mural - time lapse video

National Museums Scotland Dress - a slideshow of still images

Photo: Communications volunteer, Barrie at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. Sometimes you need a 'proper' camera but a smartphone can produce great content for social media.


Try this free software called LightWorks for basic editing. There are also many, many self-help videos on YouTube that offer tips and advice. A good starting point is

I can also edit your videos but bear in mind this adds to the time and sometimes current content is better.

I will be only too pleased to talk to you about ideas for videos and to offer help.

For more information about the project, visit or on Facebook and Twitter @SaveOurWildcats.

Scottish Wildcat Action is the first national project to save the highly endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction. It is a partnership involving over 20 organisations, including, Scottish Natural Heritage, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Government, as well as its partners.


Heritage Lottery Fund

This content was made possible by our Partners & Funders at Heritage Lottery Fund


Image for Vicky Burns

Vicky is the Communications Coordinator for Scottish Wildcat Action. She has a background in third sector communications and marketing and is based at the Scottish Wildlife Trust office in Edinburgh.

email or call 07799 342380

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