City of Seattle Video Posting Standard 2.0

Revised by the Internet Board, approved by the Technology Board,
October 2, 2012. Originally approved by the Technology Board,
October 2, 2009


The City of Seattle provides access to online video because residents expect to communicate and obtain information from online videos. Video content should meet the following goals: provide information about City services, events, issues, individuals or organizations that contribute to Seattle and the region. The City encourages the use of video content to further the goals of the City and the missions of its departments, where appropriate. These standards should be used in conjunction with the City's Social Media Use Policy.

City of Seattle Video Posting Guidelines

  1. The department's communication manager is responsible for approving the video content.
  2. The department must have secured rights to stream the video by:
    • Certifying the video was produced by the department, or
    • Securing written permission for the City to host and stream the video on City of Seattle websites
  3. Video content from sources other than the Seattle Channel, City of Seattle, or City of Seattle designees may not be embedded on pages. Links to external videos are permitted.
  4. City of Seattle video content can fit into two categories
    • Feature Videos
      • An edited, stand-alone video that tells a story.
        • This type of video does not need additional text-based explanation to give it context, though it may be embedded in a project site, news release or blog post.
      • The video quality should be comparable to DVD quality.
        • Low quality video will be considered as long as audio is clear and the content is compelling and informative.
    • Video Clips
      • A short video, possible taken from a mobile device, with few or no edits.
      • The clip does not stand on its own and should be embedded onto a web page that gives it context. 

Guide for Submitting Feature Video and Video Clips

Feature Videos

    • Feature videos should be submitted to web manager at the Seattle Channel, and will be subject to review by the Program Committee.
      • Acceptable formats: .MOV, .MPG, .WMV, .AVI, DVD, Tapes - miniDV and DV Cam
      • Video details to be provided to Seattle Channel by department:
        • Title and Description
        • Key words including subjects and neighborhood(s) where applicable
        • Video Length
        • Archive/removal date for time sensitive content
        • Specify if video should be posted on the City of Seattle, Seattle Channel, and/or appropriate departmental YouTube channel.
    • Feature videos will be hosted online at and be considered for broadcast on the Seattle Channel, Cable Channel 21.
    • The Seattle Channel will host the video on its video server, provide links and embed code for sharing and provide video retention.
    • The Seattle Channel can provide video play statistics via Google Analytics.

Video Clips

    • A video clip may be posted to the City of Seattle YouTube channel.  
    • Once a video clip is posted to YouTube, it may be embedded onto pages using YouTube embedding tools.
      • Configuration:
        • The "Show suggested videos when the video finishes" checkbox will be unselected in the embed code from YouTube. 
        • Comments on a video may either be turned off on YouTube or allowed.  The citywide Web team will retain any comments posted to the video (see below).
    • A department may request its own YouTube channel on an exception basis, subject to approval by the Mayor's Director of Communications.
      • The Citywide Web Team will create the department YouTube channel and grant access rights to the department administrator.
      • All video clips uploaded to a department YouTube channel must comply with the City Social Media Standards.  Retention of video clips and comments posted to a departmental YouTube channel will be the responsibility of the department.
    • As above, the YouTube video clip may be embedded onto pages.
      • Configuration:
        • The "Show suggested videos when the video finishes" checkbox must be unselected in the embed code from YouTube. 
        • Comments on a video may either be turned off on YouTube or allowed.  If allowed, all comments posted to the video must be retained by the department (see below)

Retention of Video Posted to YouTube

  • For purposes of records retention the original video file must be saved per the City's retention policy.
    • Contact the City Records Manager for the preferred video format.  Avoid submitting DVD's for retention.
    • Videos from external sources are not accepted for retention.
  • Any comments on video clips posted on YouTube must be retained. 
    • The YouTube account should be set up to send emails containing any comments posted to a video to the corresponding city email account for archival.

General Information

For general advice on video production or for a list of video freelancers please contact the Seattle Channel Production Manager.
The following additional social media tools have been approved for use by the City of Seattle:
Social Media Use Policy
Twitter Standard
Facebook Standard
CityLink Standard

Document Control

Owner: Internet Board
Update Frequency: Annually, in December




Approval Date


Initial version






10/2/2012 Tech Board approval