On June 24th and 25th, OneWorld hosted a conference that addressed the increasing importance of video as a tool to advance nonprofit causes. Presenters included filmmakers and producers, who shared advice on best practices for video for nonprofits. They talked about how to actually go about making a video and what equipment to use and also how to make the video spread through the Internet, or go viral. We've outlined three key take-aways below.
While you're at it, the always fantastic Agitator blog posted a video article linking to new data and a helpful article showing how to save costs related to online video. Be sure to check it out.
1) Document Yourself
Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson, two filmmakers, emphasized the importance of documenting yourself. If a nonprofit works internationally, they should film their trip and the people they talked to and the work that they did. Nonprofits who work primarily with policy still should document themselves because they have access to experts on their topic. They can interview those experts and expose them to the public. Jay and Ryanne also went into detail about equipment, but they stressed that you do not have to go overboard in terms of expenses. Most digital cameras today have a movie function and, unless you are planning on making a documentary, that is really all you need. In terms of editing, most computers younger than 8 years have some sort of editing software and, again, that is really all you need for most web videos.
2) Create a Video Library
Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3, stressed the importance of creating a video library. Even if you never show a particular video to the public, it serves as memory for the nonprofit. He also said that showing a human face to a cause is incredibly powerful because it brings people, who would not have necessarily cared, to the nonprofit.
3) How to Go Viral
Eddie Kurtz, the communications associate at Brave New Films, discussed how to make video go viral. He gave a series of tips that will help video become popular, but stressed the fact that some videos will never go viral. His advice was; keep the video relatively short (under about 4 minutes); don’t just talk at a camera; if posting on Youtube, make sure the description is compelling; use many different video websites (digg, reddit, youtube, dogooder, myspace, bliptv) to host your video so that lots of different people see it; and develop relationships with bloggers so that they can post your video.