The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship just announced it is seeking entries from companies who have demonstrated their responsibility through video for its inaugural International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival. We’re excited to see the winner revealed at the annual conference in 2009 because we’re also big believers in the power of video to showcase compelling stories about pressing issues. Not only does video have an almost unparalleled power to tug at the heartstrings, but it can also inform (build brand and issue awareness) and mobilize (generate funds or advocacy and drive change).
Video was once typically associated with compelling TV advertisements (Whirlpool’s Habitat for Humanity spot on the film festival’s Web site is a great example), but social media channels have today provided new, less resource-intensive ways to produce and distribute pieces that educate and bring complex issues to the masses or specialized audiences (e.g., Dove or ITT videos). Increasingly, companies and organizations are turning the screen inward to rally their own employees or secure partners through videos not shared publically. They’re even handing the camera to those touched by the issue to tell the story in their words. Video may not be the most novel tool in the communication arsenal, but it continues to translate complex issues, capture attention and inspire unlike most any other medium.
A few best practices for communicating your cause via video:
- Humanize the initiatives – use real people affected by the issue to show the need
- Provide context (e.g., a few defining statistics) to illustrate why efforts are urgent, especially for complex global or business issues
- Show the impact you’re making on the issue, but don’t overstate or overpromise
- Ensure it is more than a boast about your accomplishments
- Be transparent with the details of your commitment – a requirement if you’re also selling a product or service that triggers a donation for the issue
- Offer a convenient venue for people to learn more about the issue and opportunities for engagement
- Spread the word – tap social media networks to encourage othersto advocate on your behalf