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Double duty video

May 10th, 2007

As people who know me know, I’m a passionate fan and supporter of the great city of New Orleans.

For the last six months, I’ve spent a week per month down there talking with local rebuilding groups.

One of the groups that really stood out for me is Levees.org, a grassroots organization founded on a kitchen table by New Orleans resident Sandy Rosenthal.

We started advising Sandy on web promotion in December, showed her how to rework her site to maximize opt-ins, and encouraged her to harness the magic of Interner video.

One strategy I suggested was making a "double duty" video: a single video for use on the web site (and YouTube) and for TV. Non-Profits have the advantage of getting free  PSA (public service announcement) time on TV.

The trick is to make the video compelling. One way to do that: enroll a celebrity. Hollywood and TV star John Goodman stood up and here’s the result on YouTube..

Click here to see the video

P.S. What can YOU do with your Internet skills to help a cause that you believe in?


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  1. May 10th, 2007 at 20:30 | #1

    The video is great and your informatin is thought-provoking!
    I have a couple of questions. I am the executive director for a non-profit organization in rural Alaska that focuses on drug and alcohol abuse prevention among youth. Because of our isolated nature that is a significant problem in many rural communities in Alaska. We need a way to communicate with the local youth to help them deal with the unique isolation, social and climitalogical challenges they face here. And, we need something to gain support (in time, energy and money) for what we do. I would love to do something like your friend did.
    How do I do a video like that? I really don’t know where to start.
    How do I get someone like John Goodman to help us?
    Do I dare ask the third question??? How do I get you to coach us like you did Sandy?

  2. Ken McCarthy
    May 10th, 2007 at 20:54 | #2

    Well, the good news is that you don’t need someone like me or John Goodman – and if you had the choice, take John Goodman 🙂
    First stop: Figure out what video can do for you.
    Off the top of my head, it can document your work and show potential (and current) donors your success stories.
    Second, it can be used as a teaching tool for the communities you serve. Perhaps you can even get the young people involved.
    Second stop: You need a video maker. Not George Lucas, but someone who can shoot and edit and tell and story – and who cares about what you’re doing.
    There are documentary film people – they tend to take a long time to get things done, but they go deep. Then there are people experienced in making short segments for TV news. Those folks are fast, know how to tell a atory and will moonlight cheap.
    Get in touch with local colleges and TV stations. I realize there might not be many where you’re at, but you won’t find unless you look.
    Third, watch lots of YouTube and Google video and get a sense of what works on the Internet.
    Talk to local TV people about their PSA policy (public service announcements) and tell them what you’re doing. They may do a feature on you which you can use. They may even help with making the PSA. You never know.
    None of this is magic. It’s hard work and common sense and even after you get your video, it’s just one link in the chain.
    Promotion is a non-stop, never-ending process. No such thing as a one shot home run that knocks it out of the park. It’s more like lots and lots of singles.

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