A collection of tips to help you be a great communicator. Video production, social media, marketing, and the art and science of communication.
I collected notes written by judges when CASE had their reviews online. Every year they judge videos produced for college fundraising and recruitment. There’s much to learn from their critiques. Contest winners had much in common: • Good stories, simply told. The most powerful thing you can do. Humanize with engaging stories. Connect with a narrative thread. • People talking on camera were natural, warm, open and showed passion. They were engaging and full of energy. • Focused on people who benefited from donations. • Sparse narration....read more
How is your nonprofit doing as we close in on the halfway mark for 2013? The Nonprofit Marketing Guide website created a fascinating infographic about trends. How does your nonprofit compare with the results from their survey? • Social media is starting to edge out email for marketing. • For social media, nonprofits are using mostly on Facebook (94%), then Twitter (62%) and YouTube (42%). • Some 76% of nonprofits email appeals at least monthly. The average nonprofit sends direct mail quarterly. • Nonprofit communicators focus most of their...read more
Some lessons from an infographic compiled by Video Explainers… Celebrities do not guarantee engagement. Videos produce the best click-through rates. What’s the best length for videos on the web? Short and sweet. You have under 15 seconds to hook your audience. For your website, consider a couple very short videos along with a longer piece with some more substance. And by longer, it’s best to stay under three minutes when on the web. You could go longer than three minutes when you have a captive audience at a meeting or...read more
• You may be tempted to just get the facts out about your cause. But it’s stories that make us care. • Our minds process information best when it’s in story form. We remember what we see and hear when it’s told as a story. No matter what you are saying, build from a beginning to a middle to an ending. • We are social beings. We mirror others. Seeing someone take an action has a much greater impact on us than having someone just talk about the action. • Use stories at all levels of your communication with donors and...read more
Some favorites I keep going back to: “Made to Stick,” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I wish everyone launching a video project would first read this book. “Presenting to Win,” by Jerry Weissman. Book recommended by Tom Ahern, the guru of writing for nonprofits. Jerry coached leaders in top companies to use the art of storytelling when making business presentations, and they had amazing results. “The Lost Art of the Great Speech,” by Richard Dowis. How to write speeches, and deliver them. Great advice you can...read more
1. Plan! Lay a good foundation. Know your goals. 2. Know your audience. What moves them? 3. Be a good a student. Learn what works in video, and what doesn’t. 4. Video is not like print. It’s a slice of life. It should flow like a conversation with a friend. 5. Don’t judge a script by reading it. Your viewers won’t be reading it. They’ll be watching and listening. Have someone read the script aloud to you. Or you can have your computer read it to you. On my Mac, I highlight the narration text and hit the T button,...read more