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Wednesday 24 September 2008

Postscript: How not to do video about recycling

My post on 'How not to do video about recycling' was reproduced by PSF. This provoked a rather negative but, n'est ce pas, expected response.

Here's how I responded to the commentator's points.
"Firstly: Why is every council doing this separately? Simple. Every council's bin and recycling arrangements is different"
But they're not. Many are the same or pretty much so. What is the efficiency loss in not sending out similar messages? - for one thing. And where can councils connect with other councils doing the same and share cost - for another thing? Answer? Nowhere. That's my point.

Plus there's isn't even one central (web based) resource point where even more generic messaging resources are available.

This is very inefficient when most British people spend lots of time online.

I wish the audit office would focus on shit like this rather than the stuff PSF is currently highlighting ... [NB: Most PSF content is behind a firewall, this comment refers to how the audit office believes council staff are all "potential fraudsters" and thus want their bank details].
"Councils have been given great big dollops of central government money to spend solely on recycling publicity"
Er, this just speaks to the first point I'm making and you expand on this - use of amateurs etc. I found this when looking for centralised resources around marketing around recycling. Including video. The EU actually has a good video (past blog post), but Whitehall?? Whitehall tips on online marketing around recycling? Hello?
"I have to disagree on the Allerdale video"
Point taken, as it's not viral yet. But I was trying to get to the different dynamic which works in this space. What you think of as crappy might actually end up going viral. Allerdale made me laugh - that's a plus.
"All these things require skills that only come with professional training and years of practice"
This is absolutely not true for viral video! C'mon! have you seen utube lately? I have seen enough viral video to recognise in Allendale's a potential viral. It actually looks like some of the professional virals I've seen, who - shock - attempt to evoke amateurism.

Like with most things web I was pointing at entry points, things you can do, to get some audience for video rather than just post it and wait for an audience (which is, truth, what most are doing). But yes, it would probably actually pay - i.e. have an ROI - to hire someone who has-a-clue to promote and advise on what you're making.

But don't confuse this with film-making or other skills. What works in online video is a whole other ballgame and really it's - in what we're talking about here - simply putting your efforts in front of as many possible eyeballs as possible and keep doing it and keep honing. This we just don't do.
"What makes some council officer decide he can stand in a stupid suit and green make-up and be an actor for the day, instead of... er... doing what the council tax-payers expect them to do."
Like what? Excuse me but this is a bit patronising. I would never criticise someone for trying, just offer some tips about how they might get their point over and seen by more people. I'd like to see you face the opprobrium of doning a green monster suit in an effort to stop people littering :] This (poor) guy just needs more tips on how to get that message across. (for one, the vid should be half the length at least, which is pretty easily achieved using cheap video editors).

I would say that UK online video, from what I can see, is still in the 'taking off' stage compared to elsewhere (like, er, France). But having looked around it's clear that the potential audiences - yes, including localised audiences - are huge.

It's another channel with mass potential. I s'pose, given how we're barely if at all in others it might seem a little pointless but with viral video it's amazing how quickly something pops up which, er, 'hits the spot'. and I would be the last to be shocked if this actually came from some enterprising council officer prepared to make a fool of himself. And in a good way!

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