I’ve had video on my mind lately. A guest post at the Communications Network Blog by Helen Lowe, president of Catalytica and former head of visual communications for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, called “Which Stories Are You Likely to Remember?” sealed the deal for me this morning. It’s a compelling, if not scientific, argument for using video to tell your organization’s stories.
We recently launched the Forum’s YouTube Channel with videos of presentations from Foundations on the Hill. It was our first foray into filmmaking so we kept it pretty simple. Other regionals have been working with video much longer and have developed a more sophisticated style. For example, Minnesota Council on Foundations recently had MCF diversity fellow Tawanna Black lead a conversation on encouraging diversity among positions of power within philanthropic organizations, with several other good examples on their YouTube Channel.
What I like about this video is that it shows a narrative of events. You get the feeling of what it was like to be there in person. It’s important to note that the video contains very little actual video. Most of it is photos set to music. That goes to show that you don’t need fancy video equipment to create an engaging multimedia presentation. Animoto is a service that I like for creating video slide shows from photos. There are others, such as Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker. Just look around and find what tool suits you best.
Joseph Piearson does a great job explaining how the service can be used, while the video show each step. By the end, I feel pretty confident that I could use Issuu to do some cool things for my organization. You can find even more at ICoF’s YouTube Channel.
You may have noticed that all these examples come from YouTube. There are other video hosting services, but YouTube has a few distinct advantages. First, it’s the largest video distributor on the planet. If you want your video to be seen and discovered, it’s good to go where the people are. Second, YouTube offers a nonprofit program that is easy to sign up for and lifts the limits imposed on most video sharing sites (such as file size or video length). Thirdly, a nonprofit YouTube Channel allows you to insert what they call “Call to Action Overlays.” You’ve probably seen these in YouTube videos before in the form of ads. As a nonprofit YouTube user, you can add your own overlays with links to your website or information about a cause.
Are there other regionals or regional association members using video to tell their stories? If so, how? Can you point me to any other effective examples?
If you’ve been hesitant to include video in your communications, what are the major barriers you face?