Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things to Ask When Producing A Video

Whether you know it or not, video is likely in your future. Here's why:

From this blog post by Wolf 21 Internet Marketing, you can see some provocative statistics about video (attrib. to Craig Backman from McLellan Group):
  • Video is the preferred medium by most site visitors. According to Cisco Systems, 90% of web traffic will be from video by the time we reach 2013.
  • Video is relevant to all demographics. It is not just youth that are broadcasting their talents through online video, but people 55 and older are also finding a space to share their stories.
  • Video is more persuasive. According to Nielson data, product users are 85% more likely to buy from video content than from text.
  • Video is more memorable. Videos are sensational and require more than just one sense to understand a message. They thus attract better site traffic and higher quality content than text does.
  • Video enhances SEO results. Forrester found that video is 53 times more than text content to rank within the top search engine results. Google looks at the description, title and tags for indexing a video.
Here's the situation: I wanted to create a video series out of a project I'm working on at work. While I've worked with video in the past, I am still learning how to describe the different styles and formats of video that are out there. Fortunately, I work with a great guy that knows more about what to look for in cameras and lighting and so I'm picking up more knowledge that way.

If you find yourself starting out in the creation of a video, here are some good questions to consider...

Questions to ask yourself:
1. What kind of "look" am I going for? It helps to have examples to share with your videographer and others working on the project.
2. How long will this video be? Keep in mind what your goal for viewership general, the shorter, the better.
3. Do I have video editing skills on staff? If so, that could keep your cost down. If possible, you should always get the raw video and audio so you can use it in other ways in the future.
4. Do I need a studio or do I have a background that will work for this project? Depending on what kind of video you're shooting, you might need to search for the right background.
5. Do I need a teleprompter? These days you can use a tablet (Galaxy or iPad) as your teleprompter, but if you have the ability to speak without it, that's always preferable.
6. What is my budget? Don't you hate this question? The budget will dictate who you work with. I had someone virtually hang up the phone on me when they heard the budget I was using. Of course, that ensured I would never choose to work with them in the future, no matter what kind of budget I had available. It helps to get an idea of the ballpark your videographer is working in  for your type of project early on to save you both time.

Questions your videographer should ask you:
1. What kind of lighting do you have/do you want? Your answers will dictate the kind of lighting or lenses they bring with them to the shoot.
2. What's your timeline? Your videographer should be able to share their typical turnaround time for the type of shoot you are doing and work with you to meet your schedule.
3. What kind of nameplates/graphics/logos/intro do you want to use? Your videographer should want to get a feel for the kind of editing they will need to do with your footage.
4. Where will you use the video once produced? Your answer to this question will dictate the format the video will be in and the way your videographer delivers the video to you.

Here's the example of the type of video style I want to shoot in that I shared with our videographer:

From this example we were able to talk about the "shallow depth of field" or the blurred background look that my team wanted. We were also able to talk about the DSLR cameras the videographer would use that would achieve that result. This is why it helps to have an example or two of video styles your hoping to achieve when you talk with your videographer (and others working on your video project).
Was this helpful? Do you have other questions you think should be included in this list? If you have your own helpful tips, please include them in the comments so others can learn from your experience!
Hopefully, with the right questions and communication, your video experience will go smoothly and without a hitch!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Mission-Driven Volunteer Chat

How'd you like to learn about the best ways to motivate people to volunteer for your organization?

Two of my favorite people have teamed up to write a whitepaper worth talking about - "The Mission Driven Volunteer." Elizabeth Weaver Engel and Peggy Hoffman packed their paper full of a wealth of information, including data about generational engagement and myths and truths about volunteering (among much much more that you would be wise to read as soon as possible).

The duo is going to guest host the Association Chat on Tuesday, August 27th, at 2 pm ET and talk about the topics discussed in their whitepaper. Be sure not to miss this great opportunity to talk to the authors online!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Top 10 Learnings From ASAE Annual 2013

My fabulous co-presenters and me. Amy Lestition, me,
Laurie Kulilosky, and Ozair Esmail.
The music has died down, the exhibitors have gone home, and lonely discarded lanyards are lying in wait for hotel maids to toss out with the wastepaper for a new day.

After every ASAE Annual Conference comes a sense that camp is over and all of us go back to our regularly scheduled programs. For me, I try to go over the things I've learned, the people I need to remember to follow up with when I get back to my office, and to make the most of my experience by processing as much as possible of it before forgetting.

Here are my top 10 learnings from this ASAE Annual:

  1. Participate in a service project. I didn't take part in a service project this year and I felt like I was missing out on some good networking AND doing something good for the city hosting us. I plan to correct that at the next ASAE Annual.
  2. Volunteer with ASAE more. I miss being on an ASAE Council and I plan to volunteer to be on one again when the next call for volunteers goes out.
  3. Make better decisions. To make better decisions, stop and ask, "What would I tell my best friend to do?" Thanks to author and speaker Dan Heath for this one.
  4. Prepare for powerful condensed versions of my presentations. I had to give what I'd planned as a 12 minute portion of my presentation with a panel of speakers in something more like five minutes. I wish that had been the most powerful five minutes of the presentation, but instead it felt rushed. 
  5. Get to rooms early. Many of the presentations were standing room only. 'Nuff said.
  6. Use MOOC for more personal development. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are changing the way we approach education. I've already taken Coursera courses, but I should check out some others for more FREE online education. Thanks to speakers David DeLorenzo and Kylee Coffman for the MOOC discussion in their session.
  7. Improve my "elevator speech" when explaining what I do. I loathe the term "elevator speech" because it sounds so manufactured and salesy. However, it is helpful to be able to quickly articulate what you do in a way that makes it easy for people to grasp how they can do business with you. With something like "social media consulting for Aptify" people need to know if my services are for them or not. How can I best communicate that without being tacky? I need to work on that.
  8. Bring #assnchat badge ribbons. The weekly Association Chat that I host and that has been going on for over four years now has a powerful community behind it. I want to bring attention to that by having ribbons made for it. Simple, fun, easy.
  9. Look up Kat Cole on YouTube. I wasn't in her session, but it got heavy press in the Twittersphere. People were still talking about her session later in the day. I want to see what she's all about.
  10. Thank Cecilia Sepp for mentioning Association Chat in her session. Every time I meet someone from the Association Chat community who thanks me for moderating the chats each week, I know that they really are thanking all the people who participate and share in the online conversation every day using the hashtag #assnchat. I love it when people spread the word about the chat...and Cecilia has been particularly helpful in that way. 
  11. Jump in the fountains. :)
What were your takeaways from ASAE Annual? Which sessions really taught you a lot? What will you do better next time?