In a few weeks, there will be a video blogging geekout session at NTC. I'm the session designer and I got a couple of rock stars from the video blogging community with us - Jay Dedman, Ryan Hodson, Jonny Goldstein, Andy Carvin, and Robyn Tippins to lead the session.
So, over the last month, I've been looking for examples. In the comments to a post, Jonny Goldstein, pointed me to the above video from SEIU in YouTube. At Beyond Broadcast Conference keynote, Henry Jenkins, used the term "astro turf" to refer to "participatory media" made by big business. Well, this example is no astro turf. It's the real thing. It's authentic.
I was able to track down Anthony Jennings who is the Web Site Specialist at SEIU. His job includes strategic planning, launching and maintaining web sites for the International and some locals. I did a brief interview with him through YouTube to learn more about how they created the video.
1. How did the idea of using YouTube to message about your organization
We agreed You Tube should be used to showcase video when we decided to experiment with other forms of "emerging technology" like Digg, Flickr, etc. It was an experiment to see if pushing SEIU in non-traditional areas for us would prove popular.
2. This particular video, was it produced by staff in-house or did you work with a videographer/production company? How much time did it take?
Taping and interviews were done by a staff person. Editing was done by an outside contractor. Taping and interviews were done in less than 24 hours. Post production was done in a few days.
3. How did you incorporate the use of video in your campaign? What were the goals? What were results?
Once videos were complete, they were posted as home page material, and a communique to local press in Houston was sent. If any picked up on the story of the campaign, an email was sent to our activist list in Texas with a campaign update, a link to You Tube and a mention of the news coverage. We got great coverage on the series of worker stories in the Houston janitors campaign ... Hundreds and hundreds of views of videos we told relatively few people about. It encouraged us to put more resources behind producing fresh content and keeping You Tube in our arsenal.
4. What did you learn about using video/youtube that would share with others?
One thing we learned is You Tube is an easy way to get video out to people without also having to give them a crash course in what software to download to watch this QuickTime, or that Windows Media. Anyone who has ever watched a broadcast news program (especially those owned by Newscorp) have heard of You Tube or MySpace. They're familiar with it. Once politicians started using it, it just because an automatic thing you do .. you have video, you post it on You Tube. Our challenge in the near future is to get ahead of the "hot new thing to do on the internet" and apply its utility to our campaign goals.