Idealware recently posted this great video as an example of how you can use the screenwriter’s three-act structure approach to effectively telling your story. You can make it more complicated, but your story really can be boiled down to this:
An event that sets your story in motion
Rising conflict that forces your character to take bold action
The showdown or climax that brings your story to a successful conclusion
In the video, a little girl’s accident (the event) creates a situation that requires bold action (the girl’s family moving into Ronald McDonald House in Austin to be close to her while she heals), resulting in a successful recovery. All in two minutes (well, actually 2:04, but let’s not quibble).
This little story perfectly captures Ronald McDonald House’s mission and the difference it makes in the lives of families far better than a marketing brochure or annual report. And much more inexpensively, I’ll bet.
MarketingExperiments really excels at their mission: identifying what works in optimizing online marketing communication. Their latest webinar on content marketing does a really nice deep dive into the how-to of structuring a content marketing program for the web. Here’s the slide deck from that session.
Here’s a moving video from Charitywater.org that shows how a child’s death spurred giving that yielded life-giving water for 60,000 Ethiopians. As the cost of video production continues to drop and the the tools become easier to use, nonprofits need to make sure they’re taking advantage of this powerful storytelling medium.
Meanwhile, back at my day job … We learned late last week that be.group won four awards in the 2012 National Mature Media Awards. The competition recognizes the nation’s best marketing, communications, educational materials and programs for adults age 50 and older. It’s the largest and most prestigious awards program of its kind.
This year we had entries in four categories and won awards in each. Our be.yourself video (above) received a Gold in Marketing & Communications, and was judged Best of Show in the marketing category. We also received a Gold in Publications/Editorial for be.magazine, which we launched last year (our entry was only the second issue published). The magazine also received a Silver for graphic design in the Art/Design category, as did our new marketing brochure system in Marketing & Communications.
All materials entered in this year’s competition were part of the new program we rolled out as part of the rebranding of Southern California Presbyterian Homes as be.group. What’s most important is the effectiveness of our efforts to communicate the brand and help seniors and their families understand the truly amazing benefits of living in a senior living community. But I’d be lying if I said this kind of recognition from our peers didn’t make my day.
Yes, it’s essentially a two-minute ad for Proctor & Gamble and its product lines. But what a commercial. Even non-moms will tear up just a little as these stories play out to their inevitable Olympic conclusion. Well done.
In my day job (the one that’s making it increasingly difficult to maintain this blog) I serve as v.p. of communications and marketing for be.group, a large nonprofit that provides senior housing and other services throughout California.
As part of our re-branding last year (Presto! Chango! Southern California Presbyterian Homes becomes be.group!), we introduced be.magazine, a twice-yearly publication that explores the opportunities and possibilities open to seniors who wish to continue learning, creating, connecting and growing.
We’ve only put out three issues so far, so we were thrilled to learn that be.magazine had won two awards in the ninth annual Magnum Opus Awards competition, presented by Content Marketing Institute and ContentWise. The competition recognizes outstanding examples of content marketing across a wide range of industries and media.
In its first year in competition, be.magazine received the Silver for Best Design – New Publication and the Bronze for Best Nonprofit Publication. Entries were judged on the basis of information/entertainment value, relevance, pacing, quality of copywriting, appropriateness for the audience and effectiveness in achieving goals, among other criteria.
To put it into context, there were more than 500 entries submitted by big companies such as Walt Disney Co., Lexus, United Airlines and Merrill Lynch, among others. In the best design category, our Silver was to Google’s Gold for its Think Quarterly publication.
You can find the latest issue of be.magazine on our website.
Thanks to LAist for turning me on to this little gem. Filmmaker Ryan Killackey and his wife spent more than a year capturing 10,000 images of California to create this quintessential story of life in the Golden State, told in less than three minutes. Who says great storytelling is easy?
The tilt-shift photography—in which life-size settings and subjects are rendered as miniature-style models through camera manipulation—breathes new life into some overly familiar California imagery. (You can check out some other amazing tilt-shift still examples here.)
Personal favorites among the images in this short film include a Griffith Observatory swarming with ant-like tourists, and the fireworks show at Disneyland with Tinkerbell flitting in and out like a mosquito. The closing image is simple and sublime. And the music is perfect.