The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Blank Sheets

10398751664_86fa892a53Ricky Nierva is the production designer on the movies UP and Monsters University and in this TED talk Ricky helps us see his work and talks about how fear can be paralyzing. Wait until you hear about the relationship between Carl and Russell.

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Portnoy Media Group uses the influence of social networks to expand your organization's voice and tell your story. We connect people with your mission and enable your brand to be shared, discovered, and connected. Work with us as we empower your organization to dramatically extend your online presence and increase donations.

Help, I need your feedback!

Over the next few months, I’m launching a few different projects and I’d like to get some feedback on what you’ve thought of previous work.  Would you help me out by taking 30 seconds to fill this out?

Thanks!

 

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“Don’t try to change the structure of the outside world [hoping that] then you’ll be fine, then you’ll be creative and then you’ll be brave. No. First, figure out how to be creative and brave and courageous, and the outside world will change on your behalf…”

Creativity, creation of art and dancing with fear/”The Resistance” is consistently on my mind lately. I really dig this conversation with Seth Godin and thought you would too.

 

 

 

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Over the past few weeks, I created a couple videos in partnership with Pure Charity for their BRAND NEW resources section and it launched today!

Head on over and check out their platform and see the difference they’re making for non-profits around the globe.


3 Tips for Great Engagement

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Here’s a couple quick ways you can engage your audience and new audiences today.

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Like Captain Picard says, “Engage!”

 


Saving Eliza

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I love receiving emails like this one from Wendy Wareham.

Dan,

Although we have never met, I have enjoyed your book and your audio sessions.  Your messages help fundraisers to remember to keep working on crafting the stories.
 
I’m sending this along to you because I feel like, even though I have 30 years of fundraising experience, I’ve been “taken to school” by a photographer with a purpose.  I thought you might find this interesting as well.  It’s the clearest case for support I think I’ve ever seen–and an excellent job of storytelling.  And he’s never done fundraising in his life!

If you’re like me, this tugged on the heartstrings with some force. In the time since receiving this email and writing this post, the cause has raised an additional 24K in just 12 hours.

 

So why does this video work so well?

It’s well crafted.
Benjamin Von Wong is not a newcomer to people and cameras. He understands emotion, connection and engagement. The use of slow motion, good music and there’s a place for us as the audience to insert ourselves into this story. The best part is that 80% of this video doesn’t take special equipment. It’s simple not easy.

 

The villain is defined 
I’ve never heard of Sanfilippo Syndrome but in under 3 minutes I know a good overview and how terrible this condition can be.

 

There’s a time limit.
There’s a hard end date. We need money by June 2014 or this doesn’t happen. It allows us to interact with them and function as the hero – and who doesn’t want to be the hero?

 

The solution is spelled out.
This part is different for most medical conditions.
Cures this certain to work are a rarity in medicine, but we have one, we actually have one, and the only thing standing between Eliza and her miracle is money. The trial is lacking funding to remain on schedule, and every moment counts as Eliza approaches the tipping point when her disease will take an irreversible turn for the worst.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed but this feels really good to put my money behind.

 

100% Guilt Free
All of the language is hopeful and encouraging with the appeal. Educated and not heavy handed. We feel the gravity of the situation without being manipulated.

 

Great inspiration and an audacious goal. I love how they’re swinging for the fences for Eliza and it looks like they’re going to get there.

 

Check out Saving Eliza for yourself. 

I’ve never understood certain tactics from agencies. They boast and brag about building a brand and continuing customer relationships but it feels like snake oil tactics. Why would you associate your brand with friendly extortion and a negative experience?

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You can tell a better story than this but it takes a little bit of forethought and a decision to not go for cheap gags. Commit to great storytelling and solid branding, build a relationship and increase average donation size and the amount of people connecting to your non-profit.

If I were consulting with this group, here’s where I’d start. These ideas aren’t spending anymore money than they currently are and should have a great impact. Let’s check out a bit about their background.

Mission Statement: 

To provide wish kids with hope through uplifting and rejuvenating experiences refocusing on the joy of life.

To provide lasting support and memories for wish families.

To treat families and associates with dignity and protect their privacy.

To inspire greater community participation in fulfilling Wishing Star’s mission.

To sum up, Wishing Star has been around for 31 years and they have action steps (or what they solve) in their mission statement. This is great news. Clear and concise with no frilly language to confuse us.

Initial Impressions:

  • 6 active chapters of Wishing Star in various cities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Website is a bit dated but they report back on the wishes they’ve granted.
  • The only social media is a Facebook fan page – might be a good idea to branch out.
  • They have a good stream of events so they can easily tease “what’s next” through the end of the year.
  • Lots of great stories that people can get behind, similar to Batkid. I found this video with 17K+ views and it has a lift bit of production value. They could easily create something on par or better.
  • Lots of room to connect emotions with their cause. Emotions = action.
  • Not a hard sell.

What we know:

We have access to goats, perhaps even baby goats. Who doesn’t like a baby goat?!?! They’ll look amazing on camera. Next up, let’s try a few ideas. Just spitballing and some of these will be bad. Here’s a few I’ve come up with:

  • Whatever we do, we have to make sure it’s scalable. The only way to do that is to create content that is catchy, funny and sharable. Filming this and taking stills to share through your different social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Can we do a set up at a school and bring the petting zoo to a school or several schools? Perhaps a private nursery school. Have kids interact, including those who have been designated as Wishing Star families. Film the interaction of families and communities collaborating
  • Have the same set up at the local mall. Create a “scream like a goat contest”, film it, and give prizes for the winners.
  • Can we conspire with some well known local celebs to play some practical jokes of ambushing them with goats and film it? Based on photos, they’re doing some of that already.
  • Ditch the goats all together and come up with a better idea.

Potential costs:

Making a video and if it’s good enough to share, you’re going to have to pay for it. But you might be able to convince the local news media to be your media sponsor. Let them put together the piece and then they’ll push it through their social media (plus it’s a great news story, they’ve already got the connections) and you can support it by sharing it on your channels. Of course you’re going to get a copy and put it on your YouTube page. Plus with a partnership like that shows your brand in a positive light, you’ll have all the benefits and none of the work.

Looking at their Facebook page, the goat thing is a big deal. Although it’s not really being seen by their tribe – A few dozen likes and 1 share, not the impact you want for a big push. (The tease for the goat promo received penetration – 195 likes and 110 shares.) I’d recommend spending a couple dollars to advertise on facebook or walk away from it completely and put more of a focus on Pinterest or Instagram.

This event/campaign could be an annual event that’s become a part of their DNA and something they’re known for. It strikes me as odd but I’m probably not their primary or secondary audience. Creating a great experience for them is far more important than making me feel comfortable. This is a reminder I often tell advisory boards – “If the idea/campaign is not created with your demographic in mind, it’s ok for you to hate it.”

 

What would you suggest they do? How can they tell the best story?


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This week on Story Road Radio we hear from Erik Deutsch.

Getting the word out on your projects can be a tall order in the digital age. What can you do about it? This week, PR Expert Erik Deutsch talks with us about the world of PR and how it’s changing to accommodate content providers.

ExcelPR Group

Erik on Twitter

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At Sea Events!

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In February, we partnered with Pastor, Author and Songwriter, Justin McRoberts on the debut of At Sea. In the video, Justin shares what At Sea is all about.

Their next event, An Evening With Pixar’s Arik Ehle. Arik as an illustrator for Pixar and has worked on films like Up, The Incredibles and WALL*E – Join them!

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