Getting started with a video outreach project

Video is a very effective–some might say the most effective–way for a non-for-profit to reach an audience, educate and make change. But how do you get started?

For over 20 years, Vox has helped organizations large and small do this, and today we’ll share useful points to consider as you start any media-based outreach campaign.

1. Think outcome first: being as specific as possible, describe what success would look like and list how it will be measure.

2. Know thy audience, and craft messages that reflect that knowledge. It’s useful to be as specific as possible when thinking about this. Although in theory, it’s never been easier to reach audiences, given the nature of digital communications, in practice it’s a very noisy environment, who are you trying to reach? what is your message for them? why will it matter?

3. Who is at the table at your organization? Often media initiatives start in one part of the organization–the PR or outreach department, which is a reasonable starting point. But they have a way of requiring expertise and/or buy in from other people and departments, for instance program or development staff. It’s natural to try to keep too many cooks out of the kitchen, but if there are importance voices who will contribute to the content, be the final review, or key to the dissemination and use of the video, get them in the room early. If there are issues to be raised, they should be addressed before video production begins.

4. As suggested above, media is a team sport, but it’s also useful to remember that any team is made stronger by smart use of its expert players. Vox works in an editorial partnership model–we work to understand the goals of the project (and all the points above) so we can bring our expertise to your team. Part of our expertise is production efficiency and working with our tools and practices. This partnership does not make clients video producers, videographers, editors, and graphics specialists though. We get that you have an iPhone with a pretty good camera. Ours is better, trust us, and even more important, we’ve got 25 years of experience doing just this.

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