Mon, April 28 2008

Great video tips from See3

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

See3 recently sent around this nifty list of video tips.  I really like it, so I’m sharing it in its entirety, followed by a video I think exhibits many of these principles. More on See3 at the bottom of this list.  Thanks See3!

10 Things to Remember When Shooting Video for the Web

We are consistently meeting organizations that are thirsting for more effective and creative ways to use video in their online strategies.  We think that integrating video is critical, but doing it the right way can make all the difference to your campaign.  Here are some useful tips for making a better video.

1. Tell a story.  If you want your audience to identify with your mission, you need a compelling story that connects your work to real people. If a story moves you, it will likely move others as well - and become the foundation for deeper involvement.

2. Keep the audience in mind.  Are you trying to reach urban street youth or retired veterans?  Tailor your messaging for a targeted audience and consider how you want it to feel before the camera starts rolling.

3. Make a clear call to action.  You have their attention, now tell your viewers how you want them to engage, whether it’s donating money, visiting a website or volunteering.

4. Shoot video with repurposing in mind.  Video footage can be reused for different projects and messages.  Building a media library is a valuable long-term asset for your organization.  Have a camera ready for every important event.  Ask volunteers to document their work and make it available for future events, trainings, and online use.

5. Think outside of the box.  Consider new ways to make your video edgy or gripping.  Use music, stills, or archival footage to reel a viewer in and then maintain energy throughout the piece.

6. Prepare a script and get some feedback.  Yes, even a one- or two-minute video needs the arc of a well-considered story.  Scripts help lay the foundation for every piece of good production out there.  Use feedback from trustworthy sources to make improvements.

7. B-roll (footage where people aren’t talking) is important.  Too many talking heads can make it difficult to hold a viewer’s attention.  Collect all the footage you can and choose your best content when it’s time to edit.

8. Sound is critical.  One of the most underappreciated aspects of production is sound quality.  Web viewers are more likely to watch a poor-quality video with good sound than a good-quality video with poor sound.

9. Give the viewer the right web tools.  Can the viewer forward the video to a friend, subscribe to your RSS feed, get involved, and sign up for your newsletter right there on the spot?  If not, they should.

10. Host a screening.  Working with award-winning documentarians makes screenings here at See3 one of the most exciting parts of our work.  Professional films rely on screenings, so why shouldn’t nonprofits?  Screenings foster discussion and feedback from others who care about your message.  It’s also an opportunity to meet up with others in your nonprofit community.  For See3, it helps us maintain the award-winning video quality that we strive for with every project.

Interested in learning more about our production services?  Give us a call at (773) 784-7333 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

And here’s a video from a highly successful fundraiser from our Six Degrees program, Samantha Millman.  Thanks, Samantha!


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Fri, April 25 2008

The seven (or nine) things everyone wants

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Mark Rovner and I have been working on a little project - maybe it will turn into a book.  We test-drove some of the content at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and the NTC conference attendees were brilliant and contributed much to our thought process!  The session was received warmly enough that we were asked to type up a little summary for the NTEN newsletter.  I wanted to share that (it’s below), as well as the official blog for this topic.  We welcome thoughts, comments, additions—any input at all!

Here’s what we said:

The NTC in New Orleans was full of fantastic, sparkly, shiny new technology tools.  And then there was our session.  No winsome widgets, no witty Twittering, no Dopplr-found Doppelgangers.

And that was the point.

Which is this: What makes technology tools great is not the technology.  It’s the people behind them. Successful technology is about bonds, not wires.  It’s human connections that matter.  “Social media” is about “social” more than it’s about “media”. 

If you missed our session, we summed it up in the title: The Seven Things Everyone Wants: What Freud and Buddha Understood (and We’re Forgetting) about Online Outreach. 

Some very human principles make or break the success of absolutely everything you do online. These are the kind of truths Buddha or Freud – explorers of the deepest recesses of the human mind—talked about.  To achieve true marketing “enlightenment,” you need to tap into fundamental human needs with your technology – rather than hoping technology can inspire alone.  You may think this sounds a bit like Maslow – and it is – but with a twist: Maslow was uncovering human needs; We are showing how his and other deep needs can be employed to foster a more humane world. 

There are at least seven of these fundamental needs, and that’s what we covered in our session.  We threw out a need, and the folks in the session talked about how they’d met it through online communications.  (Hat tip to Britt Bravo for capturing the examples so well in her blog.) There are other human needs – we’d like to add simplicity and humor to the list of seven – but this was a start.
Here is a taste of our discussion.  But the conversation is far from over.  Please help us continue it – we’re headed toward a book of some kind, we hope.  Talk to us at our official blog for the topic.

PLEASE:  Don’t just read this article, tell us your story.

Need 1: To be SEEN and HEARD

Making someone feel seen and heard is the most powerful thing any of us can do with online communications.  On the other hand, not listening is the root of most problems, personal (just ask your partner!) and professional (just ask your co-workers!).

Examples of great listening:
Teen Health Talk engages youth to talk about health issues rather than lectures at them.
•Oxfam has used Flickr petitions successfully in several campaigns. Two of their staff members recently returned from Darfur and are putting together a video to raise awareness about it. They are collecting questions from supporters to include.

The bottom line: See to be seen, hear to be heard.

Need 2: To be CONNECTED to someone or something

People are sociable creatures, and they want to find other people that share their interests.  That’s what fuels Facebook or Twitter or any number of examples.  In fact, one could argue that connecting people to each other is the highest and best use of technology.

Examples of great connecting:

•BeliefNet has prayer circles where people can share prayers for specific people.
•March of Dimes’ Share Your Stories allows families of babies in the NICU to share stories.

The bottom line: Engage by connecting to what your audience (NOT YOU) wants to hear.

Need 3: To be part of something GREATER THAN THEMSELVES

We need to lay out the grand, inspirational vision of our cause.  We should show how together we can leave the world a better place.

Examples of vision: shows the cumulative effect of everyone changing their light bulbs to CFLs.
•The MoveOn “endorse a thon” for Barack Obama is only the latest in a long line of creative, uplifting and inspiring efforts.

Need 4: To have HOPE for the future

Forget doom and gloom, finger-wagging campaigns.  People hate them.

Example of hopeful messaging:

Earth: The Sequel has been up for 2 weeks and has received 15,000 views.
•The Yes We Can Obama video.

The bottom line: Ix-nay on the apocalypse. Persuade through inspiration

Need 5: To have the security of TRUST

People are starved for a sense of trust.  That’s why we glom on to authentic messengers.

Examples of authenticity:

•76% of givers according to Cone say they are influenced by friends and family. SixDegrees allows people to create widgets that feature a photo of themselves and 250 characters of text about why they support a particular cause.
•The Packard Kid Connection site helps kids get ready to go to the hospital. It builds trust because it looks like Club Penguin (Club Penguin is a social network for children), and it has videos of children explaining how things work at the hospital.

The bottom line: Cut the crap.  Your authenticity is everything.

Need 6: To be of SERVICE

The #1 reason people stop giving to a nonprofit is that they feel like they are being treated like an ATM machine. They want to help, but they also want to be of service and to have different ways of serving. That need is not being fulfilled if all they hear is the unimaginative drumbeat of dollars. 

If you are reading this, you already understand – and embody – the deep need to be useful and of service.

Need 7: To want HAPPINESS for self and others

The core of Buddhism is that everyone wants happiness and to be free from suffering. The more you want happiness for others, the better it is for you, and them.

We wrapped up the session with the following happy dance.  Remember, it’s about people.  People who want to be happy in this world.


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Wed, April 23 2008

8 ways to calm an angry constituent

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Someone is angry at you.  Somewhere, out there, a donor is miffed at their volume of direct mail.  Or a co-worker feels slighted.  Or a volunteer feels unappreciated.  Or your significant other is simmering.

What do you do when someone is upset with you?  Deal with it! 

1. Create ways to listen: The key to good donor relations, stellar customer service and strong human relations is to set up a dynamic where people can easily complain or raise concern BEFORE they are raving mad.  Be sure you have a phone number (answered by a nice person) displayed on all your outreach, email contacts and blogs and other outreach that enable conversation. 

2. Listen: If someone is venting, let them vent.  Let them rant and rave until they stop for air.

3. Acknowledge: Say exactly what they said back to them - it’s called reflective listening.  “It sounds like you’re really frustrated with us because of x, y and z.”  This makes a person feel heard.

4. Thank: Thank them for telling you how they feel.  Even crappy feedback is feedback.  “We want to know when our donors are not happy with us, and I’m so glad you told me about this.  Thank you.”

5. Say sorry: Now comes the hard part.  Say you’re sorry.  Not “I’m sorry if this was bad/if you feel that way.”  Say “I’m sorry this was a bad experience. We never want anyone to feel that way about us, and so we’re sincerely sorry.”

6. Act: Say and do something to fix the problem the person is angry about.  If you can’t do what they want, do the best you can.  Do something.

7. Follow up to show you acted: Get back to them a day later and say again that you’re sorry and how you addressed the problem. 

8. Follow up again to make sure things are okay now: Check back in a week or two later.  You might just win someone back (or over).

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Wed, April 23 2008

How to message on the environment

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

In honor of Earth Day, here is exceptionally good messaging.  Thanks to Mark Rovner for sending this to me.

What’s refreshingly good about this spot?

1. It makes me believe I can make a difference.  Because EDF has made a difference before.
2. It makes me feel good.  It’s a thank you, not an appeal, which is a refreshing Earth Day message.
3. It makes me want to support EDF because it’s about hope, optimism and action.

What can you learn from it?

1. Make people believe they can change something THROUGH YOU.  Show what you can and have done.
2. Make people feel appreciated.  Thank them for changing something.  Thank them for even thinking about changing something.
3. Make people feel inspired.  Show them there is hope.

And here’s what NOT to do.  Today, in Network for Good’s Nonprofit 911 call, Kirt Manecke shared this horror story.  He supported an organization, and in the mail he received:

2. The letter didn’t even have his name or donation amount on it.
3. The letter was a photocopy of a photocopy.  It was even crooked on the page.

That doesn’t make a donor feel that they are making a difference.  It doesn’t make a donor feel appreciated.  And it sure isn’t inspirational.

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Tue, April 15 2008

It pays to be personal

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Inside Influence Report, one of my favorite newsletters from the great gang at ASU, reminds us once again why it pays to be personal. 

Here’s the story, from Noah Goldstein:

I have a friend who is a medical doctor. Nicest guy in the world. Will do, and has done, anything for anybody. So I was totally perplexed — and as a social psychologist, very interested — when I learned he was having difficulty finding someone to cover his shift on the weekend of my wedding. I asked him if he had ever volunteered to take his colleagues’ shifts, and he replied that indeed he had. Considering all he had done in the past to help them, and all that we know about the power of the norm of reciprocation, it was puzzling that he could not get a single person to volunteer to help him out during his time of need. By the time he had answered my next question, however, the solution to the mystery was clear.

When I inquired how he went about asking for help, he said that he had sent out an e-mail. And it wasn’t just any of type of e-mail — it was a mass e-mail, in which all of the recipients could see all the other recipients.

The problem with this strategy is that it creates what is called diffusion of responsibility. By sending out the mass e-mail in a way that made visible the large number of coworkers being asked, no one single individual felt personally responsible for helping. Instead, each recipient likely assumed that someone else on that list would agree to help. In a classic demonstration of diffusion of responsibility, social psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané staged a situation in which a student seemed to be having an epileptic seizure during a study. When a single bystander was present, that person helped approximately 85% of the time. But when five bystanders were present — all of whom were located in separate rooms, so no one could be certain if the victim was receiving help — only 31% of the bystanders helped.

Fortunately for this friend, Noah Goldstein knew what to do.  He told the doctor to send personal emails asking individual people specifically.  It worked.  The doctor attended the wedding.

The more your “asks” appear to be made from you, personally and directly, to an individual,  the more likely people will support you.  So segment your audience.  Show you know them.  Speak to them like individuals.  Try some one-on-one contact with your biggest supporters.  Mass, impersonal, Dear Friend emails just won’t do the same job.  Just ask the doctor.

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