Using video to communicate research outputs
Intended audience: Scientists, information professionals, technical developers, marketing and communication professionals
Version 0.1 October 2009 - Download PDF
While conventional methods for sharing data, information and knowledge, such as conferences, seminars, journal articles and reports, and now institutional repositories, are an important part of the communication of research and development, the way people source information has evolved. The internet and social media are steadily breaking down barriers to communication, allowing people to connect, engage and share in a more informal way. In a Nielsen Report (2009) on the global online landscape, it was observed that online videos and social networks resulted in increased engagement by internet users in the United States of America, with time spent on video sites shooting up by almost 2,000 percent since 2003 (1). In 2008 alone, time spent by these users on social network sites increased 73 percent. This Pathway introduces video and how you can use it to improve the communication of your research outputs.
What do you need to know?
Why you should consider videos
Online videos are an excellent medium to help you reach out to a global audience base on the Internet. Videos have the power to engage people at an emotional level in ways that are different to the written word. Two important sites for posting videos are YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) and BlipTV (http://blip.tv/).
Just placing a video on a video-sharing sites does not however guarantee attention. While these sites encourage and make it easy for people to watch and share online videos, approximately 20 hours of video get uploaded on YouTube every minute (2). So video footage of your research findings may not get the coverage it deserves in the light of other more entertaining videos - and people do most often go to social media sites to be entertained.
The answer is to link your video to various social media applications or tools, such as social networking sites, blogs, microblogs, forums and message boards. The true value of social media lies here - the social networks or communities that form within these social media tools. Agricultural research and development organizations stand to benefit greatly from using social media tools as vehicles to get their message across. An engaging video that captures someone’s attention can be shared easily within his or her social network, and will move outward quickly to reach people in other networks. Think of them as strategic communication lines that branch out progressively to other networks.
What do you need to do?
Establish the goal of the online video
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase the visibility of your work or your institution, or do you want to engage people in an issue? Is there a specific action that you want to see taken? These aims need to be determined so that the impact of the video can be measured.
Identify your target audience
Who do you see as your potential advocates? How do you want them to react? Are you looking for long-term support? You need to create video that is compelling for the right groups of people.
Decide on content
What do you want to document on video? Why is it important for your audience to know this? How will you reveal the content?
· One successful video will not be enough to create the type of impact you hope to see. It will soon be forgotten in the millions of other 2 minute-long videos. Create a series of videos that communicate your organization’s message. This has a greater chance of maintaining attention and building longer-term audience support.
· The content has to be unique to attract people. It should be interesting enough for them to share it with their network.
· Videos have great potential to complement your communication/social media strategy. They convey thoughts, emotions and atmosphere better and faster than any other communication medium.
What makes a good video?
Well-made videos can do the walking and talking for your organization at low cost. Depending on the message your organization wants to share, the video can be as simple or as elaborate as money and time allows. Your video needs to be:
· Well-planned in script and layout
· Short and well edited
· High quality audio
· With good lighting.
· Viral Video for Nonprofits (http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/07/guest-post-by-michael-hoffman-viral-video-for-nonprofits-a-rethinking.html) An honest look at using video in the non- profit environment.
· Share your photographs and videos online (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/put-it-out-there-tools-for-photo-video-and-slideshow-sharing/). ICT-KM blog on photo and video sharing.
· ICT-KM Social Media Blog series (http://ictkm.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/and-then-there-were-ten/) Blogs on using social media tools in research and development organizations.
1. The Nielsen Wire (http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/online-global-landscape-0409/)
2. Mashable (http://mashable.com/2009/05/20/youtube-video-uploads/)