Archive for March 2010
A hypocrite speaks
This afternoon I had the pleasure of chairing a seminar hosted by the Media Trust all about how small charities can take advantage of using the web in general and video in particular to further their communication.
- Video’s ability to explain complex ideas and express emotive messages
- The underlying importance of social networks, particularly finding enthusiastic supporters who can at as ambassadors and help a charity develop
- Using existing tools, going where the audience already is and not re-inventing the wheel
- Not spreading your efforts too thinly
- Supporting material for the main message – video has more impact if it doesn’t stand alone
What is clear in modern marketing is that big campaigns still have some use, if you can afford them, but they suffer from a long preparation, followed by a large but short-term impact.
However, you can get a very worthwhile result from regularly putting small and simple messages out there. You’re playing the long game.
My top tip is actually very simple:
Keep a weblog. Add info it regularly. (Sharp eyed readers will notice that I don’t actually manage to do this myself. Oops!)
Link to pictures, video, other writers who resonate with your cause. Use other tools like Twitter and Facebook to send people back to your blog.
Quite apart from the conversation you can now start to have with your supporters, a weblog is a great way to prove your diligence in your chosen field. It’s also a great way of reminding yourself what you’ve been doing for the past few months.
In short, it’s a planning tool as well as being a your archive of actions. Need to get that Annual Report out in half the time? Keep a weblog and you’re doing the work throughout the year rather than in one exhausting block.
Don’t write it down, don’t even think it
For some reason at almost 4am on the 28th February I was surfing the Guardian. Right on the front page was a small link to ‘Chlie sausage’ with other links with earthquake coverage.
Intrigued, I clicked, and got this:
(click for the larger size)
This is clearly a case of a mistaken button push. It came down fairly quickly, and it’s not in Google’s cache anymore, but a search brings up the leftover metadata.
I suppose the lesson here is don’t add anything into a news system which you don’t intend to be visible to the public. I can remember this being impressed upon me during early days at Radio New Zealand. Journalists were actively discouraged from adding private notes in the news system, for the amusement of the newsreaders or sub-editors.
It was pointed out that a court request for information could make the comedy slur of a hapless newsmaker very public indeed, and perhaps lead to legal proceedings! Not fun.
The recent addendum to the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines says much the same thing about personal web-presences for BBC staff: If you wouldn’t say it on air, don’t put it on the web.
TVTropes has a whole category of fictional and some real-life ‘Is this thing still on’ moments broadcast on television.
In the end, I’m reminded of the time I saw the Guardian’s mis-publish, nearly 4am. And surreal things happen in the wee small hours, as the poet, Rives, points out in this cleverly written piece at TED in 2007. Enjoy.