I did a post June 8 about using animoto to create videos of commencement, using dozens of photos and for the first time recognizing hundreds of graduates on the most important day of their college career.
I also sent out a news release on the fact that we were posting videos of commencement saying “We’ve found a way to share the day with millions of people,” or something to that effect. The media picked up on it. Our local NBC affiliate gave us a fair amount of time and played part of a YouTube clip.
(As of this writing they’ve been posted less than two weeks and have attracted more than 800 hits. Not bad for a really small niche video collection).
Okay. Win-win situation. We get publicity, the overworked media folks get news handed to them. In the case of TV, the news folks simply read the release and played a clip of one of our videos.
I hope the grads, now alumni, see the videos as a gift from a university that cares about them. I hope their parents share it with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and we have a whole specialized audience of people who feel good about Mansfield University.
* * *
It was a no-brainer to build upon this. For alumni weekend I told my staff and student photogs to cover every event. Cover registration, the golf tournament, presentations, banquet, dinners. Get the drinks, the food, the hugs.
I stationed my work study student in the studio. A month ago Christie knew nothing about video editing. The photographers came in after nearly every event and downloaded the photos. Christie edited them, found music, created a video and posted it. Within a few hours after each event, a video was up on YouTube.
My news director sent out releases about the weekend and included the link to the posts.
The alumni who were even vaguely familiar with YouTube were excited. The alumni staff of course was happy.
My staff was excited. Each person had a clear assignment and purpose, and they were seeing immediate results. No waiting around three months for the alumni quarterly to come out with maybe 20 photos at the most being printed.
The trick, I think, is keeping them short. I scanned a lot of commencement videos and they’re 8-12 minutes, too long for today’s audiences.
In the case of still shots, it’s just as easy to produce and post eight short videos as it is to post one nine minute one.
The videos are simple – photos, cg intros and outros and a music bed. They move quickly and most importantly, they’re produced quickly.
Oh, and they’re free.