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Video Advocacy Primer: Resource for Grantees


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This quick-start guide to using video for social change was funded by the Bertha Foundation and was written by Mary Joyce ( and John Kennedy ( This is version 1.4.

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Video Advocacy Primer: Resource for Grantees

  1. 1. Image:WeOwnTV Resource for Grantees VIDEO ADVOCACY PRIMER by Mary Joyce and John Kennedy | July 2016 (v1.4)
  2. 2. WHY USE VIDEO? Video advocacy* is an important tool in the campaign ecosystem. Of all media, video best approximates real life. This realism creates an emotional connection with the audience that motivates them to take action. This primer will teach you how to use video to motivate an audience to take action and create change. * Every word in italics is defined in the Glossary on p. 11. Image:WITNESS
  3. 3. CONTENTS 1 Building a Strategy..........................4 2 Project Management.....................5 4 Production...........................................7 5 Strategic Distribution...................8 6 Measuring Impact............................9 3 Creating a Narrative.....................6 Glossary.........................................................11 Budget Example.............................................12 Appendices............................................10 Credits.......................................................20 In-Depth Case Study......................................14 Theory of Change..........................................15 Image: Flickr/LimpingFrog Productions Release Form Example..................................13
  4. 4. The goal* of any advocacy video is to motivate an audience to take action in support of a larger campaign goal. What action is needed by your campaign? We are making a video that will inspire __________ (audience/s) to ____________ (action). Because of this audience action, our campaign will be able to achieve _______ (campaign goal). 1 BUILDING A STRATEGY Video Strategy Summary Want to learn more? Every word in italics is defined in the Glossary on p. 11 of this primer. * Start with your video’s goal. Which audience needs to take that action? Now, write your own strategy! Fill out the Strategic Plan at Use the Video for Change Toolkit at Examine the Theory of Change diagrams, starting on slide 15 of this primer. Moreon VideoStrategy Case Study Landmines in Senegal This is a classic example of an advocacy video. The video persuades the audience to connect with a personal story and to act on that person’s behalf. The video’s strategy could be stated as follows: “We are making a video that will persuade the president of Senegal (audience) to fund health care for landmine victims (action). Because of his action, our campaign will be able to achieve adequate victim health care services (campaign goal).” (Video: by RADDHO) A politician? Your supporters? A funder? Audience Examples Pass legislation? Attend a rally? Donate money? Action Examples Now connect audience and action to campaign goal.
  5. 5. 2 PROJECT MANAGEMENT Step 1 Assemble your Team It is easier to film sensitive topics with a small crew; 2 is the minimum. Producer is the Project Manager (understands video’s goal; schedules filming, set up, and interviews) BasicTeam Director is the Storyteller (sometimes also does the filming and editing) Cost does not determine a video’s success. You can shoot the video on a camera phone and can use most computers to edit. If you do want to hire professionals, here are the costs. Camera Person $500-$1000 per day (in the US) Professional Costs Editor $500 or more per day (in the US) Negotiate. They may reduce the fee for advocacy. 2 days filming + 1 week editing = a 3-5 minute video Step 2 Determine the Budget Step 3 Raise Money To fundraise outside foundations, find people or businesses aligned with your goals. Check BRITDOC Resources page (link below) for funders interested in your cause. Step 4 Manage Time You will need at least a week to schedule the 2 days of filming. Take time to know the community you are filming. We assume you are knowledgeable and embedded. Ceva de Spus had a defined audience and a call to action, which led to a successful campaign and measurable results. Campaign Goal Accessibility for Romanians with disabilities Audience 1) Bus drivers; 2) government officials Action 1) Stop for people with disabilities; 2) Make government buildings accessible to people with disabilities. Team Staff of the disability self-advocacy NGO Ceva de Spus (Something to Say) Budget $400 USD Time 2 days of editing for a 4-minute video Video Find funders on BRITDOC’s Resources page at Moreon Management Ceva de Spus won 1st prize at the 2015 Health Rights Online Film Festival. CaseStudy Accessibility! Read guide Videoactive Girls: 2009/09/Toolkit-Prepared-by-Video-Volunteers-for-Videoactive-Girls- project-of-Global-Fund-for-Children.pdf
  6. 6. 3 CREATING A NARRATIVE The message is what the video tells the audience to motivate them to act. What motivates your audience to act? Technocrat wants facts, statistics, data, evidence. Partisan wants to see how it benefits their group. Empath is moved by emotions: tragedy, injustice, hope. AudienceMotivations Most of us have multiple motivations. What message will speak to that motivation? Technocrat “The data shows that X treatment is effective.” Partisan “Your political allies and supporters are in favor if funding X treatment.” MessageExamples Empath “Without X treatment, people suffer.” The story makes an emotional argument for action. The call to action asks the audience to become part of the story. How movies use the Hero’s Journey to create stories: Moreon Narrative Storytelling chapter from Video for Change e-book: video-change-book/ No Talking Heads Film those directly affected, not your staff Get Out of the Office Go where injustice is happening. FinalTips De-CenterYourself Let those directly affected speak. CaseStudy TogetherforBernieSanders Advocacy videos are useful on small focused campaigns and national ones. This 2015 video asked people to help Bernie Sanders in his quest for the presidency. Campaign Goal Bernie Sanders elected President Audience Empath US voters motivated by a desire to connect with their fellow citizens Message If you want a united country, vote for Bernie Sanders Story Bernie Sander is succeeding as the hero of a quest to unite America, but he needs your vote to win the election and complete his quest. Call to Action “Vote together” Video: by HUMAN The video conveys the “together” message by uniting torn pictures of Americans faces. Beginning Hero is introduced and starts quest. Middle Hero faces obstacle. TheHero’sJourney End Audience asked to help hero conquer obstacle & complete quest. One type of story is called the “Hero’s Journey.” Politician “Fund Treatment Now!” Supporter “Call your MP now to demand treatment funding.” Donor “Donate now!” CallstoAction
  7. 7. 4 PRODUCTION Decide who will do the work. Decide Strategy Create Narrative Pre- Production Production Post- Production Distribute Video Evaluate Impact Option 1 Hire a Media Firm Your Work Their Work Your Work Your Work Your Work Their Work Your Work Their Work 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Option 2 Hire a Director Option 3 Partner with a Documentarian Option 4 Do It Yourself Video Advocacy Process Understand Safety & Security at Learn more about the Three Stages of Every Project at 2013/06/26/video-pre-production-and-post-production/ Moreon Production Dig deep into the Video Production Archive at video-production/ You Documentary director Dara Kell and Socio- Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) combined their expertise and knowledge to create a series of videos. Option Hire a Director (#2) Goal Engage marginalized communities in SERI’s litigation work Division of Work SERI staff identified the video goal. Dara helped with strategy and made the video. Video Case Study Widows of Marikana High quality, high control High quality, less control High quality, least control Lowest quality, highest control Ensure the physical & emotional safety of all participants. Who Filmmaker, NGO, distributor, those who appear in & are represented by the film When Risk exists during filming & editing, as well as after distribution. RiskAssessment BasicConsiderations What Risk means retaliation, backlash, re- victimization, & other possible harms Reduce risks & obtain informed consent (see form, p. 11)
  8. 8. 5 STRATEGIC DISTRIBUTION Now, show your video to your audience. You already know who they are. The President of Senegal American empath voters Users of (see case study) Audience Examples In order to reach your audience, you will need to build relationships with distribution partners. Reached byAudience DistributionMethodExamples Partner+ = Embed video on page of ally website; send invitation to watch video to their email list Live screening at their office News report by localTV station Live screening at the village church Relationships built at the start of video creation will help with distribution at the end. Start reaching out to partners now! Villagers in a rural area CaseStudy IndianRailwaysBlindtoDisability Journalist at the TV station Wanting a video to “go viral” onYouTube is not a sufficient strategy. Who needs to see the video? How do you want them to act to create change? Campaign Goal Build a footbridge at a train station to protect blind users from injury. Audience Empath citizens who take action online + empath rail officials who can fund the building of the footbridge Reached by Uploaded toYouTube + embedded on UnheardIndia website + linked to in petition + live screening for railway officials Outcome Railway officials agreed to build a footbridge. Video + More Info volunteers-impact-case-study by A. Lalzare. A Railway Manager (see case study) Want more suggestions about distributing your video strategically? Read the Impact Distribution section of See many Distribution Pathways at Read the Hybrid Distribution Guide at Moreon Distribution Politician’s staff Church pastor Politician Likely attendees to your protest march Other NGO’s working on your issue Residents of X city
  9. 9. 6 MEASURING IMPACT Measuring impact means documenting the action taken by the audience after watching the video. ActionAudience Metric= Agree to sponsor a human rights bill Recycle Sign up for a legal services consultation Villagers in a rural area Number of sign-ups Tons of recycling + Agreement Donate Supporters of your organization Quantity of money raised ComparisonExamples Metric Number of sign-ups Tons of recycling + Do we raise more money when we embed a video on the page? Quantity of money raised Question for Future Action Did more people sign up for help when we screened a video first? Did the news coverage convince more people to recycle? Comparison= Money raised on the page in 1 month, with &. without a video Sign-ups with & without a video screening at the event Tons of recycling in month before & after the broadcast Most metrics are only useful in guiding future action when they are evaluated comparatively. Audience action is the goal of any advocacy video Measuring action = measuring goal achievement CaseStudy KONY2012 The KONY 2012 viral video is criticized for gaining 100+ million views, but not leading to the arrest of Joseph Kony, and for speaking for Ugandans, removing their agency. The video highlights that views ≠ change. Campaign Goal Arrest Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony Audience Empath young Americans Action Buy and use action kit + sign pledge + donate Metrics Arrest Kony (+ action kit sales/use + $ raised) Impact Substantial donations and views, Kony still at large. Video Use the Evaluation Toolbox at evaluating/evaluation-toolbox/ Moreon MeasuringImpact Read this post on Creating and Measuring Social Impact at measuring-social-impact Politician Residents of X city The metric is the unit of measure of that action. MetricExamples
  10. 10. APPENDICES Image: WeOwnTV
  11. 11. VIDEO ADVOCACY GLOSSARY • ActionTask or activity undertaken in furtherance of a goal • Advocacy Promotion of an action or policy to benefit a population or person whose interests are not being met • Audience Intended viewer(s) • Call to Action Words that incite the audience to urgently undertake an activity • Campaign Series of actions undertaken to achieve a goal • Content Information and ideas expressed through a medium, such as words or images • Distribution Partner An individual or organization who, through their own connections to your audience, helps you show your video to that audience • Empath Person who is able to perceive the emotional state of another person and who is moved to take action based on that other person’s emotional state • Goal Desired outcome • Hero Character at the center of a story; the protagonist •Impact Change made to a situation or context* •Informed Consent Permission given to undertake an activity with understanding of the possible consequences • Message Underlying persuasive content of a piece of media, usually not explicitly stated •Metric Unit of measurement • Motivation Reasons for taking action • Narrative Account of connected events • Partisan Strong supporter of a particular group or cause, often to the exclusion of concern for other groups or causes • PersuasionThe art of convincing someone to do something • Post-Production Final phase of video creation, which begins after all the footage has been captured. Includes editing the • footage in a way that effectively tells the story. Other tasks include adding titles, subtitles, graphics, music, color correction and effects. ** • Pre-ProductionThe phase of a video project where all the planning takes place before the cameras roll. This work includes casting (selecting hero), storyboarding, script-writing, and scouting locations.** • ProductionThis phase begins once the footage is recorded. During the production process you will work out the lighting requirements, framing and composition. ** • Quest Long and difficult search for the solution to a problem • Strategy Plan of actions undertaken to achieve a goal • Story Account of connected events told for the purpose entertaining - or otherwise emotionally engaging - an audience • Tactic Action undertaken to achieve a goal • Technocrat Person with analytical skills and knowledge who relies on that expertise over emotions or group affiliation when making decisions, particularly decisions of an official nature • Video Recording of moving images • Video Advocacy Use of a recording of moving images to convince an audience to take an action that will benefit a population or person whose interests are not being met • Viral Spreading rapidly from one person to another, as when a disease is transmitted among infected people * Source: Video for Change ( ** Source: The Video Effect (
  12. 12. VIDEO BUDGET EXAMPLE* *Budget courtesy of NMAP Staff & Benefits Staff, Payroll Taxes, Benefits $12,000.00 Staff & Benefits Total $12,000.00 Contractors Contractors - Shooting (5 days @ 400/day) $2,000.00 Contractors - Field Audio/Production Assistance (5 days @ $250/day) $1,250.00 Contractors - Editing (12 days @ $400/day) $4,800.00 Music - Licensing / Composition $500.00 Transcription and Translation $2,000.00 Graphics $1,000.00 Contractors Total $11,550.00 Travel Airfare (2 staff members @ $1000 + baggage) $2,400.00 Food, Lodging (3 staff + creatives x 5 days @ $250/diem) $3,750.00 Local Transport $350.00 Travel Costs Total $6,500.00 Equipment and Capital Expenditure Camera Equipment (Rentals @$150/shoot day) $750.00 Storage/Hard Drives $600.00 Total Equipment and Capital Expenditure: $1,350.00 Direct Costs Total $31,400.00 Indirect Costs Indirect Costs (Rent,Accounting, Audit, Insurance, Supplies, Utilities, Postage, etc.) 12% of budget $3,600.00 Indirect Costs Total $3,600.00 Budget Total $35,000.00 Section title (Use color to make budget easy to read.) Description of good or service Section sub-total Cost of good or service Words go on the left. Direct cost of making the video Indirect administrative costs (overhead) Numbers go on the right. Total cost of the video project (Brightest color because this is the most important info.)
  13. 13. RELEASE FORM EXAMPLE* *Form courtesy of WITNESS Link: Checklist for Personal Informed Consent and Release Name  of  Interviewee:  _____________________ Name  of  Producer(s):  _____________________ Date:  _________________ Par$cipa$on  in  Interview ☐  I  am  18  years  old  or  older  (If  under  18,  obtain  addi2onal  consent  from  legal  guardian). ☐  I  understand  who  is  interviewing  me,  and  why  I  am  being  interviewed  (Ask  interviewee  to  explain  in  his  or  her  own  words). ☐  My  parCcipaCon  in  this  interview  is  voluntary.  I  understand  that  there  are  no  repercussions  for  refusing  to  parCcipate. ☐  I  understand  that  I  can  stop  this  recording  and  interview  at  any  Cme,  and  that  I  can  refuse  to  answer  any  quesCon. Restric$ons ☐  I  understand  that  I  am  free  to  set  restricCons  on  the  filming,  recording,  and  use  of  this  interview. ☐  I  consent  to  the  filming,  recording,  and  use  of  my  face/image.   (☐  I  do  not  consent  to  the  filming,  recording,  and  use  of  my  face/image). ☐  I  consent  to  the  filming,  recording  and  use  of  my  voice.   (☐  I  do  not  consent  to  the  filming,  recording  and  use  of  my  voice). ☐  I  consent  to  the  use  of  my  full  name.   (☐  I  do  not  consent  to  the  use  of  my  full  name). ☐  I  hereby  declare  the  following  further  restricCons  on  the  use  of  these  recordings: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ☐  I  understand  that  if  circumstances  change  and  I  need  to  rescind  consent,  I  must  contact  the  Producers,  who  will  abide  by  my   request  to  the  extent  possible. Usage ☐  I  understand  that  use  can  mean  reproducCon,  exhibiCon,  broadcast,  and  archiving,  in  whole  or  in  part,  in  any  media  now  known   or  hereaJer  to  come  into  existence,  throughout  the  world.    I  understand  that  examples  of  use  include  broadcast  on  television,   posCng  on  the  Internet,  exhibiCon  at  public  screenings,  inclusion  in  reports  and  legal  cases,  and  long-­‐term  retenCon  and   accessibility  in  an  archive. ☐  I  consent  to  the  use  of  these  recordings  in  the  video  advocacy  project,  _________________________,  abiding  by  the   restricCons  set  out  here. ☐  I  consent  to  the  Producers’  use  of  these  recordings  for  other  purposes  now  and  any  Cme  in  the  future,  in  a  manner  consistent   with  the  Statement  of  Intent  on  Video  Usage,  which  includes  abiding  by  the  restricCons  set  out  here. ☐  I  consent  to  allowing  the  Producers  to  license  or  assign  the  rights  to  these  recordings  to  third  parCes,  in  a  manner  consistent   with  the  Statement  of  Intent  on  Video  Usage,  which  includes  abiding  by  the  restricCons  set  out  here. ☐  I  understand  that  due  to  the  nature  of  digital  recordings,  there  is  a  risk  that  anyone  may  obtain,  view,  and  re-­‐use  copies  of   these  recordings,  and  the  restricted  informa$on  contained  in  them,  without  my  permission  or  the  permission  of  the  Producers   or  their  licensees.               Producer Signed:  ______________________         Signed:  _______________________   Name:  _______________________         Name:  ________________________ OrganizaCon:  _________________         OrganizaCon:  ___________________ Date:  ________________________         Date:_________________________ Consent to be interviewed Restrictions on what can and cannot be recorded from that interview Consent to use the video recording of the interview Both participant and filmmaker sign Consent is only meaningful when it is possible to deny consent.
  14. 14. IN-DEPTH CASE STUDY THE WIDOWS OF MARIKANA What is the video? Bertha Justice Initiative partner Socio- Economic RightsInstitute of South Africa (SERI) collaborated with Sleeping Giant Films to produce a series of videos. One is called Imbokodo: The Widows of Marikana. That video documents the experiences of the families of miners killed in the struggle for a living wage at Marikana, South Africa, on August 16th, 2012. What is the video link? Who made the video? Dara Kell, who is also director of the documentary Dear Mandela. Who was the project manager?  The video project was jointly managed by Dara, Stuart Wilson (Executive Director of SERI), and Nomzamo Zondo (Director of Litigation for SERI). Who created the strategy? Dara used knowledge gained during outreach and screenings of Dear Mandela to define the audience and the goals of the videos. Who was the audience of the video? The primary audience for the video is the communities most affected by these health rights and civil rights issues. The videos were brought to a number of rural communities to be screened directly to this audience. The videos were also shared with civil society, young lawyers, and media groups. What action did you want from those who watched the video? The aim was for the audience 1) to know their rights, 2) to understand their rights when engaging lawyers, and 3) to become engaged in the struggle for justice. What was your theory of change? The campaign goal was to increase participation of marginalized communities in South Africa that SERI serves in civil rights litigation. The video goal was to show these stories to the marginalized communities. We hoped the video would persuade these communities to see that they have power and access to rights defined in the constitution. The impact for SERI would be to see more individuals from these communities become engaged in legal proceedings. How much did the video cost? $37,900 for 4 short documentary- style advocacy videos. How did you raise the funds? We received a Bertha Foundation Media Opportunity grant. How did SERI find a director? Stuart Wilson was a lawyer involved in the Dear Mandela documentary, made by Dara. How did Dara and SERI work together? (i.e., who set the goal and content of the video? How did they reach these decisions?) Stuart Wilson and Nomzamo Zondo had a clear goal for the story and knew the best storytellers. Dara was left in charge of the filming. The SERI team gave feedback and notes to Dara.  Did you do an impact study?  SERI and Dara are starting an impact study in August of this year.
  15. 15. Image:WITNESS Basic & Advanced Models VIDEO ADVOCACY THEORY OF CHANGE by Mary Joyce
  16. 16. BASIC MODEL Start here. Campaign Goal Video Goal Audience Action Identify audience that needs to act. Show video to audience. Audience action benefits campaign. MaryJoyce,2016
  17. 17. TuberculosisTreatment in East Africa Patients who are delinquent in taking theirTB medication are unjustly sent to prison, instead of treatment centers. Start here. Campaign Goal The goal is that TB patients who a r e d e l i n q u e n t o n t h e i r medications are sent to treatment centers, not to prison. Video Goal Magistrates who see the video subsequently sentence patients to treatment centers, instead of prison. Audience Action One of the magistrates said it influenced her thinking, but it’s unclear if sentencing practices changed. Magistrates have control over sentencing. Video screened for magistrates. Since we don’t know if sentencing practices changed, we also don’t know if the video benefited the campaign. MaryJoyce,2016 BASIC MODEL EXAMPLE
  18. 18. Campaign Goal Desired benefit for Marginalized Population Video Goal desired effect on Audience Impact of Video realized effect on Audience Impact on Campaign realized benefit for Marginalized Population Audience sees video Desired Realized Marginalized Population Audience C a m p a i g n identifies an audience that can benefit the population A u d i e n c e takes action End evaluation here. Goal-SettingEvaluation Campaign Video Evaluate whether video benefited population Start goal-setting here. MaryJoyce,2016 ADVANCED MODEL
  19. 19. Desired Realized Population: Delinquent TB Patients Audience: Magistrates Campaign Goal TB patients who are delinquent on their medications are sent to t re a t m e n t c e n t e r s instead of prisons. Video Goal Magistrates who see the v i d e o s u b s e q u e n t l y sentence patients to treatment centers instead of prison. Impact of Video on Audience A single magistrate “admitted to having learnt something new that would assist her... to ensure that the public health is not put at risk.”* Impact of Audience Action on Campaign ? (NGO provided no evidence as to whether sentencing rates actually changed.) *Text from a 2015 grantee report; anonymized to protect the privacy of the NGO M a g i s t r a t e s have control over sentencing U n c l e a r w h e t h e r magistrates c h a n g e d sentencing practices Video screened for magistrates Unclear if video actually helped patients Start here. MaryJoyce,2016 TuberculosisTreatment in East Africa Patients who are delinquent in taking theirTB medication are unjustly sent to prison, instead of treatment centers. ADVANCED MODEL EXAMPLE
  20. 20. CREDITS We would like to thank these Bertha Foundation partners for their input into the creation of this primer: •Adam Stofsky, New Media Advocacy Project •Jessica Mayberry, VideoVolunteers •Andrew Lowenthal, EngageMedia •Priscila Neri and the team at WITNESS We would also like to thank these Bertha Foundation partners for their input on the needs assessment: •Stuart Wilson, Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa •Jennifer Gibson, Reprieve •Brian Concannon, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti •Anabel Bermejo Bragado, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights •Shahzad Akbar, The Foundation for Fundamental Rights •Romel Bagares, CenterLaw Image: WITNESS
  21. 21. THANK YOU! Mary Joyce | Analysis + Design + Content John Kennedy | Project Management + Outreach + Interviews + Content 5050john@gmail.comIMPACT Findings 1 THANK YOU!! ysis, Findings and Recommendations, InformationVisualization and Models ction Analysis | Mary Joyce | Video Strategy Analysis, Findings and R Image: LifeMosaic