Video is much more within the grasp of voluntary organisations then it has ever been. Even a modest effort can be hosted quickly and cleanly on platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo (or now, even Pinterest), and pulled down onto our own websites on demand to showcase our work or the voices of people we help.
We also have some spectacular success stories to inspire us (and our managers) to think about how we could use videos to demonstrate or underpin what we’re doing… just think of the Kony 2012 film which was well reported as the most viral video of all time.
If you are thinking of shouting ‘action’, then here are some resources that might help:
Audio: as Kony 2012 told us, the voice-over or sound on a video is really key to helping people understand your message. Whether it’s a first-hand account from one of your service-users about how they’ve benefited from your help, or a documentary-style expose of the iniquities of central African warlords, the sound on your film can make or break your impact. Luckily, YouTube has recently improved its online audio editor, so find out more about that in this Mashable article before you start.
Planning: Mashable also has some advice about the key elements of your film which will help it go viral: this is packed with excellent advice about using the structure, title and marketing of your video to maximise its chances of being widely shared. Engaging with viewers through emotion (be it humour or pathos) may also be a good way for we voluntary-sector types to tell our stories. Read the article here.
Viral? Even if we are successful and manage to create something that not only tells our stories but is shared widely, what does that mean? For all the recent buzz about the Kony 2012 film, its successor video has not had nearly as much impact (although still racking up viewing figures most of us would be pleased with!). You can read about the decline in impact in this Mashable article, here.
So, here today and gone tomorrow… is that the real lesson of Kony and the viral video? Well, if it is, then it shouldn’t bother us in the voluntary sector. The stories we want to tell and the messages we want to share are not going to go away overnight, so it makes sense for us to see video creation as part of an on-going process to inform, influence and change.
What videos are you sharing?