Interview between Mark Davey of the DAM Blog and Alex Struminger, Executive Project Manager—Internet, Broadcast & Image Section at UNICEF, Division of Communications
Making the Video and Getting the Word Out with WeShare
Alex: It's funny, you reach a sort of critical mass after a while and the rate of fan acquisition and the rate of comments and responses, and likes and all that, starts to really go up exponentially. And it is a phenomenon.
Mark: Do you have a social media team that interacts with the comments? Is that part of your process?
Alex: We have a couple of people, including myself, who've been very engaged in developing that, our social media strategy. But we folded it in, we're not sure early on whether to make this a specialty and have a social media team, or to fold it in with the people working on the website which we've had in place for a number of years.
And we have more and more realized that the only way to really take advantage of the opportunity in real time is to fold the social media team in with the existing work practices that are going on a daily basis and the team that’s already there involve in production. So we do have a couple of people who pay special attention to the social media space and try to curate the content there.
But the practices of getting the video into the right format and getting it on to YouTube and getting the YouTube player into the webpage and getting it onto Facebook or onto Twitter, those things have been folded into standard work practices.
And it's by the way the other end of socializing enterprise technology, so not only do we have to socialize it with the end user group to get the system adopted, but you have to socialize it with the existing group who are going to resist change. So the people who already have a work system in place whether its work practices and processes and doing day to day work, you have to sort of get this new system folded in with theirs.
So along with the WeShare, which is what we call the Widen DAM product, we call it WeShare because, as our director said when we launched the product, we are sharing ourselves back and forth among our family of countries.
So we fold it into WeShare and the social media platforms simultaneously in with the existing work group. And that took some doing, there's some education involved getting people to buy in to the fact that we're not just asking you to do one more thing on top of your already long list of things you have to do today, here's the impact of your doing this is going to have. Here's the number of people... And we're going to report to them every week how many things got uploaded to the system, how many people took it out, how many people watched the videos on YouTube, how many friends we got shared videos on Facebook, constantly feeding back to them reinforcing how important the work is, the traditional work, and then of course trying to streamline it where possible and get rid of some of the things where we have redundancies.
ROI: Fundraising, Communications, Awareness and Advocacy
Mark: So you are going to find redundancy through the analytics and I guess you’re also getting feedback on where your information has the highest priority and uptake. I guess that sort of information is feeding back into your operations for raising and spreading information?
Alex: Yeah, obviously for fundraising measuring everything is very important. That's one of the places where this stuff has really become a science. But the feedback I'm talking about here is feeding back the impact and importance of the work to the team working on a daily basis to help with the socializing process, to get the DAM adopted on the back end so they don't forget to put something up there, so it becomes a priority, they understand the importance of it. You know, we change it from being here's one more task we're adding to your already full plate, to you know, here's something that's going to help you impact a larger number of people, and here's the proof of it.
Mark: So your return on investment is the impact on people's lives, it's quite an interesting one at that…
Alex: Yeah, at the end of the day, the number of people that we reach is the most important thing. Fundraising is part of what we do along with the fundraising partners, but the area where we're producing all this work is not primarily a fundraising area, it's a communications area, and awareness raising, advocacy, getting our message out about children.
You know Haiti and Pakistan are emergencies and they get a fair amount of attention from the media, but the real ongoing work is in between emergencies. It's the people working to change behavior in countries, getting people to wash their hands, getting people to eat properly balanced diets, to limit the amount of infant mortality in certain areas, to limit the amount of transference from mother to child of HIV/AIDS; these are sort of the unsung programs that are going on, on a day-to-day basis. And that message is actually a lot harder to get across than an emergency. Emergencies have a very sympathetic audience that's very receptive.
Mark: So it's the long and hard grunt work that you do on a day-to-day basis and then when the emergencies come on you switch into that. But again, all your messages you're using video, radio, and TV to push that across. It's great work.
Alex: Oh, absolutely, and if you're on Facebook you should become a fan of Facebook.com/unicef and you'll see the amount of information that's constantly coming out of video; we're putting stuff up several times a day. We're getting a lot of comments back, so it's turned into a very rich way of distributing the video and distributing our message.
Mark: Excellent! Alex, thank you very much for taking time out for the blog today and sharing your experiences with DAM and what great work with UNICEF you're doing. Really appreciate that! Thank you very much.
Alex: Well, thanks for saying that Mark, and thanks for having me, I enjoyed it.
-END OF SEGMENT 5-
Listen to More UNICEF Podcase Study Segments:
Part 2 – Building User Adoption with Widen SaaS DAM and Managing Video Assets for Global Humanitarian Aid (6:40)
Part 3 – Leveraging Social Media for Video Distribution and Using the Widen DAM Service for Global Scale (3:54)
Check out the related blog post: UNICEF Uses Video and Digital Asset Management to Promote Global Humanitarian Aid