We make documentary film not only because it is a ton of fun, but because we believe in the inherent value of a powerful story to make change. And video and film, especially in the digital era, provide so many angles and opportunities to tell stories in new and interesting ways.
More than anything else, I think that for this group, generating empathy for your work is one of the greatest gifts you can get from storytelling. Statistics, policy talk, explaining the problem — all these things can fall on deaf ears if you haven’t touched a personal nerve, or put names to faces. I know from working on this project and talking with so many homeless service providers that getting people to understand and empathize with the homeless is one of your biggest challenges — convincing a potential volunteer or donor or advocate that this is an economic problem that could touch any one of us. That’s what we were striving for in this film, and I think Invisible People has really thrived because of that authenticity.
One great example of the power of story to really wake people up to an issue that may have been reported in the news over and over again was Dasani’s story in the New York Times. This in-depth, interactive story got so many more people paying attention to the plight of homeless children in New York than any piece of traditional news reporting could.
Let’s take another example. The film “The Invisible War” is a great example of how documentary and story can really inspire action on an issue. Women came together to tell their stories of sexual assault in the military direct to the camera, not only revealing how widespread this problem was, but also putting faces and identities to this “invisible” problem. The film not only provoked a public outcry — after pre-screening the film for the Secretary of Defense, he immediately launched an investigation into how the military can end sexual assault.
I also wanted to show a quick video from the It Gets Better campaign, to show how this same model of storytelling for impact can be implemented on a web-platform, using short form, low-production quality video. This one is a little bit different than their typical video, which started out as LGBT individuals speaking direct to camera to young people to give them hope and encouragement in the face of discrimination. I liked this newer video because it’s so timely, and takes this idea to a global scale.
Of course, there are lots of ways to effectively tell stories, and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from exploring all kinds of mediums — written, audio, photography, etc. But there are a number of reasons why we’re focused on video here today, and part of that lies in how effective a tool it’s proven to be for nonprofits and for impact campaigns.Last year, See3 partnered with Edelman and YouTube to create the Intofocus report on nonprofit video. We surveyed hundreds of nonprofits about how and why they use video, and the kinds of results they saw from those campaigns.
First off, we already knew that video is a hugely dominant medium on the web, and that it is growing rapidly. I actually should look into revising these stats since my guess is they may have shifted in the last five months, but as of June, this is what the landscape looked like. Video increases your SEO ranking, it keeps people engaged in a topic longer, and can often connect to the popular zeitgeist in a way no other kind of content can.
We found in our survey that most nonprofits recognize that video should be a key component to their work, but that many don’t feel able to use video to its full potential.This shows some of those barriers, and how they relate to each other. The biggest barrier nonprofits see is budget. There’s a perception that making a compelling video requires a high production quality, whether produced in-house or by an outside vendor. A related issue is that for many, it feels difficult to prove your return on investment when putting money into a video. Unlike email fundraising stats, for instance, video stats usually aren’t as easy to quantify. Measuring a change in perceptions, for instance, is trickier than counting dollars raised.Another barrier commonly cited was staff resources — not enough trained, experienced video producers, or a digital team with too many other things on their plates. And finally, some nonprofits pointed to silos within their organization — ie, a fundraising team that doesn’t have a good handle on how to use digital assets.
But in my estimation, none of these things should be an insurmountable barrier to using video effectively and often.
As a nonprofit, you’re probably not going to be creating video just for the heck of it. Your organization has important goals, and that’s where you should start if you’re thinking it’s time to dip your toe into the video pool. That goal is central to the tone, style, format, and platform where you share that video. And knowing exactly what you’re aiming for will not only help you generate impact — it will help you prove to your team that investing time and a little money into video does in fact create a measurable return on investment.
For example: knowing your goal can help you land on really simple, and creative, ways to get there.
Connecting – with current and potential supporters, with homeless individuals, with “trends” of the moment — goes much further than great production value.
You won’t have a rockstar video program overnight, but every little bit of video content and practice can grow your skills, your followers, and get your organization’s message in front of more people.This afternoon, we’ll wade more into the specifics of different microvideo formats that can help you put these concepts into action. Thanks!
Transcript of "@Home / 100 Days Social Media Boot Camp, Los Angeles"
WELCOME TO THE @HOME
“We will all be involved in the solution.
Ending chronic and veteran
homelessness will only be possible if
everyone gets involved, including the
nonprofit sector, public and private
sectors, the faith community,
philanthropy, labor and community
members in every region.”
Chief Learning Officer
We produce and sponsor documentary films that explore
critical social issues, and channels them into powerful
tools for community engagement and change.
@home_campaign — #athome
Since 2006 we've been helping organizations to find and realize their vision for better
Every day we're creating strategies and media that have impact for our clients' goals like
fundraising, advocacy, recruitment, awareness and more.
OUR TEAM OF AUDIO-VISUAL PRODUCERS, STRATEGISTS, MARKETING PROS, DESIGNERS, AND DEVELOPERS ARE
COMMITTED TO BRINGING YOUR GOOD WORK TO THE PEOPLE INVESTED IN YOUR ISSUE.
See3 Core Services
Web Design & Development
Today’s Morning Agenda
Why Social Media
5 New Rules of the Game
Creating a Strategy
Using Online Video
Case Study: Invisible People
“connect and collaborate” rather than “command and control”
Characteristics of Social Media
• Participatory: It blurs the line between producer
and consumer, media and audience.
• Open and Democratic: It encourages comments,
voting and sharing of information. For this reason
it is seen as authentic and trustworthy.
• Conversational: Two (or more) way conversation
rather than one-directional broadcast. Is personal,
specific, and engaging.
• Communal: Supports formation, growth &
strength of communities around a particular shared
• Connected: Thrives on being connected, rather
than being territorial and proprietary.
Strengthen the Network
SOCIAL CONTENT IS
Social Capital is the value
of connections between
and among nodes in social
Content should be
immediately useful and/or
12:1 ratio of adding value.
The video train has left the station
More than half of all
Internet content is video.
Every month 4 billion
hours of video are
viewed on YouTube.
Every year more than
350 million videos are
shared on Twitter.