Using video to tell your story

Telling stories using video is something that Nathalie Hofsteed and Lee Hales at Give a little are pretty excited about. They recently told me about plans to make it easy for organisations to share video updates via their donation pages. Give a little are on a mission to make it easy for fundraisers to account to supporters about how they use donations.

“People love hearing from the trenches. Organisations are sharing are really honest, budget productions,” explains Nathalie.

“People like to see a face. You can see frustration or elation or whatever,” Lee chipped in.

Videos of new wells being constructed by charity: water are a good example, Nathalie says. The emphasis is on clarity of presentation, not on slick production. In fact, the Give a little team argue that it doesn’t need to be broadcast quality.

Effective communication to a wide audience led the NZ Drug Foundation to share a series of short clips from the New Zealand/International Drug policy symposium on YouTube. These are not just long talks, but edited digests on themes such as addiction treatment, methamphetamines and international policy.

I recently spoke with Ross Bell, the Foundation’s director, who describes the videos as a way of translating information into formats that people can more easily access.

They’ll form useful background for upcoming consultation on liquor legislation being run by the Law Commission. And they are being picked up by affiliated organisations around the world.

With positive feedback about the footage, which is also being distributed by DVD, Ross will continue to use video when it’s an effective way of communicating.

How to get started? Even though I missed “The Power of Videoblogging” workshop by Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson run at the Connecting Up conference in May 2009, I heard very good things about the session. Materials shared by the presenters include slides from their presentation and links to learn to videoblog resources on the freevlog website. It doesn’t look too scary.

With free hosting of videos by YouTube, Vimeo and others, coupled with the ease of embedding and sharing, now is a good time to start thinking about video. You’ll be the first to see results of my efforts, which I’ll share here. The only thing stopping me: I need to loan/ buy/ beg a video recorder from somewhere.