The COVID Communications Conundrum Not easy to say, and even harder to conquer. As you will be acutely aware, charities and voluntary organisations have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, demand for services has increased, yet fundraising opportunities - especially in-person - have disappeared overnight. It doesn’t take an economist to work out that the funding gap is getting wider. The key to staying top of mind is obvious: digital communications. Executing an effective digital comms strategy, however, is not so simple, especially for smaller organisations. With every penny spent on service provision, there is nothing in the pot for communications professionals… and very little time for overstretched staff and volunteers to organise and run digital campaigns, even if they know how. So what can you do? It’s time to get smart about your communications… by making videos with your phone. The business video platform, Wistia, recently published their findings that video consumption in September 2020 increased by a whopping 120% compared with the same time last year. To put that into perspective, the yearly increase before the pandemic was just 18%. It seems the pandemic has worked up an appetite for creating and consuming educational and promotional video content like never before. So if your charity is yet to embrace digital video, you’re missing a bite at the cherry. A film studio in your pocket A smartphone or tablet is a video-making powerhouse. The camera quality of the latest models is far better than even social channels are capable of handling, and the processing power can run sophisticated editing apps with ease. But just because you have the tools, doesn’t mean you know how to use them. We’ve all seen videos with poor sound quality, bad lighting, mess in the background and a good view up someone’s nose! Like any other form of content, a badly made video can do more harm than good to your cause and your reputation. But with some training and a few basic accessories, you can create simple yet professional looking and sounding videos with relative ease. With practice, it’s possible to write, film and edit a short video in around an hour. How to get better at video On Wednesday 20th January I will be holding a free online workshop for BVSC members and associates. The hour-long workshop, called How To Get Better At Video, will provide an introduction to making your own videos with a smartphone, including: how to overcome fear of the camera how to make videos your audience will love understanding social media channels how to decide when to make your own and when to call the professionals and a cheat sheet to get you started with filming It’ll be a packed hour, and you’ll leave with some actionable tips and downloadable cheat sheets. There will also be an opportunity to ask video-related questions at the end of the session. Free workshop: How To Get Better At VideoDate: Wednesday 20th January 2021Time: 10.00-11.00 Book your free place About Ruth Ruth Duggal has been producing videos for twenty years. Through her video production company, Shuut - Videos With Heart, she specialises in working with organisations who care about making life better: charities, social enterprises, healthcare and wellbeing providers, training & education providers and arts & cultural organisations. More recently, she co-founded Make Your Own Video Training Academy to teach individuals and organisations how to plan, shoot, edit and upload brand-worthy videos with smartphones. She is co-author of the book, Make Your Own Videos.