Are you creating media that elicits an emotional response? Something that is bigger than a product or a mission, something that will resonate or show truth?
Dove did an excellent job here.
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.
Making the rounds this morning of the web, I’ve come across 2 videos of importance. One is profound and the other much less but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t entertaining.
The first, the more meaningful to life. The difference maker of today. The video that is well executed, incredible content matched with multiple styles of great visual content and animation is To This Day Project. This short by Shane Koyczan highlights his work and part of his life journey. It resonates because it’s true and it shows passion.
The second is much less profound but it has a built in audience. The internet loves cats and they also love ninjas. So have them square off in a seemingly epic battle with some quick shots and great effects and you’ve got yourself a hit. The guys at Corridor Digital made this and check out their other great shorts (I’m a little partial to After DayZ)
So what do both videos have in common and how can they help you?
They focused on making sure their message was received by their targeted audience.
Give your audience what they want but not they way they want it. On one hand, the internet wants cats. And on the other, the internet wants ninjas. Put them together and you’ve got magic. To This Day showed a truth that we can all relate to – the underdog.
They had great shot composition.
One video was 8 minutes long and still I didn’t mind because it never droned. I wanted to know what happened to our narrator. The other shows miniature ninjas and requires the question, “How did they that?”.
- Make sure your next campaign has a direct audience.
- Make the center of the campaign a truth that your audience can relate to.
- Execute your story with excellence.
After a sold-out program in Silicon Valley, Social Media for Nonprofits is heading to Los Angeles on August 14, featuring an all-star lineup sharing practical tips and tools for leveraging social media for fundraising, marketing & advocacy.
Join me along with Giulia McPherson, CARE; Lee Fox, KooDooz; Lisa Rau, Confluence; Tom Kramer, Fundly; Michael Bellavia, HelpsGood; Stephanie Rudat, Movements.org; Richard Levy, give2gether; and Lauren Winkler, Save a Child’s Heart..
This stellar lineup will provide attendees with concrete insights and takeaways for nonprofits to use social media to advance their cause.
Discounted tickets are available for small nonprofits at $95. For-profit and larger nonprofits can use the discount code “Portnoy” to save $20 off $125 and $175 tickets. Registration includes access to the full conference as well as breakfast, and lunch.
For more information or to sign up, click here
Steve Stockman is a writer/director/producer and he wants to help you. His recent book, “How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck” just launched and his book trailer is super helpful.
I get asked a lot about the role of video and how to make it better. I’ve found with some small tips (Steve talks about them here) you’re next promo video can greatly improve.
Connect with Steve Directly on Twitter @stevestockman
This week’s episode goes International!! Jamie Scott, 50% of the UK group Graffiti6, sits down with Tiffany for an in-depth introduction to the NEW EP “Free”. You’ve heard them on Grey’s Anatomy, CSI:NY and Covert Affairs. Download it today!
This is how to ask for money – give vision to your tribe!
This concept is simple (Tell your Story) but it’s not easy. Every September, I look forward to hearing Scott Harrison tell me all the really incredible things that friends of charity:water have been doing over the last year. Seeing peers, families and kids get exited about making an impact in a community half way around the world is incredible – plus it doesn’t hurt when cute kids are putting on a lemonade stand for water projects either.
Conventional (or entrenched) wisdom would say that we need to make sure there’s a regular appeal letter, a response device and we need to wait 3 weeks to see how it does. Get some data returned and then look how else we can “engage” our print audience.
Can you imagine if charity:water did that?
I can’t – it would be against their DNA. They’ve never been a conventional charity, YAY!
Check out their website (it changes during this campaign- because it’s how they got started, they’re using every piece of communication to reinforce their position)
This design is so simple and extremely intentional. It’s pretty but the primary function of the webpage is quick connection and helping site visitors become participants in water projects.
But that’s them…. and you work at a more conventional charity and to mix it up too much could be disastrous.. What can we learn? Here’s a couple of tips.
Tell your story
Don’t just tell the stories of those your impacting make sure your organization doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s crucial to share your impact but make sure you’re consistently sharing with your audiences about why you’re active and why you’ve chosen this work versus others.
Film, Film, Film
Hire/partner with a filmmaker – and I don’t mean the guy down the street with a camera. I mean a professional that works withclients all the time. I’ve found that the best filmmakers to collaborate with have big dreams and don’t feel that client work is their endgame. They are pushing themselves and their company to be bigger, as a result, they are always learning and a position of learning means that they’ll have a careful eye on how to make your next film project. (PS if you’re nervous about it, I’ve got a great list of companies that I enjoy working with – just email me firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Clear Ask
One of the new trends is to kind of ask or soft ask. (Have a response device in a mailer but don’t draw attention to it.) It’s confusing. Ask your tribe or don’t. Give them information and thank them, tell them a story or an update but when it’s time to ask don’t “shuffle your feet”. “Do or do not. There is no try?”- Yoda Don’t apologize for raising money to save someones life! When you pause or don’t ask with confidence it can communicate a lot of extra negatives. Either you’re being a good steward with your funds and you can ask with confidence for the ability to carry on this work or you’ve abused this relationship and you’re unsure if this should continue.
Adjust Across Platforms
The web needs to reflect your campaigns. This sounds simple, and it is, but too many times the website is taking a backseat to the agency running a print campaign. remember, you can get more data in 30 minutes from a facebook post (with a vibrant community) than you will on how a mailer responded. (it’s easier for charity:water – to my knowledge they don’t have a regular mailing list, just email)
How are you building it around your project. You have to show the peer to peer influence – don’t just give me some stats – that’s lame. Show me how a human was impacted and made an adjustment in their life for your cause. That will help your community know that this is the kind of action you’re looking for. Read Dan and Chip Heath’s book “Switch” they call it: Highlighting the bright spots.
Ditch the Text
How much text on the charity:water homepage is above the fold? Not that much. Bold statements and a video. This short film will do more than 3 pages of text could ever do to communicate a story. Now look at your website. I run into a lot of NPO’s trying to communicate everything that they do all at the same time. That’s not story telling, it’s asking people to drink from a fire hose and how long would you hang around if that’s all you could do. It’s not connection – it’s offensive. Don’t be offensive.. but you know that already.
Congratulations to Scott Harrison and the team at charity:water for hitting another homerun. I admire your work and you’re all top shelf in my book.
Breaking this information down and getting it working for your organization is what Portnoy Media does best. So if this is feeling like a lot and you’re interested in telling your story better and developing community around your brand – give us a shout. Nonprofits, over 40% of your annual revenue is less than 120 days away!!
Office Number 626.487.9823
Tuesday’s launch of comedian Michael Jr’s “O1″ video on Funny or Die.com was a great one for us at PMG. The sketch made it all the way to the homepage as one of their trending videos.
Here’s a picture:
With nearly 1,000 views in just 48 hours since it’s launch – we’re thrilled to be producing collaborative high quality shorts. Plus, Michael is bringing the funny!
Watch the short here.. and don’t forget to vote!
Ben Stiller and Stiller Foundation launched a video 2 weeks back about an organization involving Jennifer Aniston and the idea of her being naked. This video preys on the natural behavior on the web (that many people want to see her naked) and give it the old Bait and Switch (because she’s not going to be naked) I’m sure this results in some serious clicks.
Sadly, clicks are not the name of the game when it comes to donor development and brand champions. This video is a great grab for acquisition to a whole bunch of people that probably don’t get asked to help kids in Haiti. (Which is fantastic!) Here’s a breakdown on the video launch.
What he did that was great:
Splash – Using the star power super effectively, Stiller uses his and that of Anistons for fun and with purpose. I applaud Stiller for the brash nature of what he’s doing. The status quo is not getting it done in Haiti so bucking the system is a great start.
A Talkable Video – It’s highly sharable and because of the nature of the video saw exposure on morning talk shows and lots of blog posts. So many nonprofits just communicate facts and forget that they’re crafting a narrative around their brand. Stiller knows this and doesn’t forget.
What could’ve been better:
Nonprofit Youtube Channel – There’s great use of title cards at the end. They show where you can connect to the Stiller Foundation but it would’ve been super hot to allow users to just click the annotations in the video. I’ve written about Annotations inside YouTube videos before (Thanks again for talking about it Weber Shandwick, call me!) and they put a potential donor really close to engagement in your campaigns. Any 501(c)3 can apply for one at google.com/nonprofits
What’s Next? – The question that is always asked. If I do decide to visit the site, the call to action is to support the foundation financially, also a bold move, but it looks like that’s it. There’s connection if I want to click to facebook or twitter (also good) but what about a call to join the email list? Is there an email list?? I couldn’t find one easily. What if in that email was a system of 2-4 auto-responders that explained why Ben felt so strongly to spend his money, effort and energy in this idea. That’s a great story and you’d have me hooked and I’d guess a lot more people too.
Interesting to note:
Impact – With nearly 2 Million followers on Twitter I’d expect a 2 week old video to have more impressions (call me picky). It’s a great video (for reasons mentioned above) but it tells me that the impact for cause related media is not why many of his followers are there. I’d be thinking through how to convert them from observers to participants.
PS. My favorite role of Stiller has to be Tony Perkis in Heavyweights.
A prequel to the Ocean’s franchise – Michael Jr shows what it looks like before Danny Ocean was involved.
As a continuation in his series of cinematic shorts like Blackberry, “O1″ takes it to the next level of funny.
Portnoy Media produced the video, coordinated the shoot and brought in top notch talent to make it possible.
We’re pleased to continue our partnership with Michael Jr. Check out his site here
Make sure you’re balancing your information vegetables with information dessert
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
Read our community Q&A with Eli (featuring 10 ways to turn off the filter bubble):Â http://on.ted.com/PariserQA