Public Citizen, a DC-based health advocacy group, is incorporating YouTube in its effort to reach and educate young women (I think) about the dangers of a new generation of birth control pills. The behavior they want is for people to support their petition to the FDA to ban third-generation birth control pills. The campaign website includes a video posted on YouTube that could best be described as 'office made' (to distinguish it from 'home made'). Kate, the director of the clip, is an editor/administrative assistant at Public Citizen. So much for audience generated content.
I don't usually get into critiques of the observable elements of a campaign because I know from experience that a lot can happen from project idea to strategy development through creative executions. But this one demonstrates all the wrong things to do so well that it makes a good case drama [an earlier review of campaigns using new media elements ]. And it looks completely home-grown and delivered - so no clients or agencies to blame.
Read through the press release, send a prescripted message about the campaign to a friend, listen to the language in the video, and fill out the e-form so that your pre-written message is successfully delivered to the appropriate target(s) - yes, that what it says!. A classic example of doing things the old way and sucking whatever passion someone might have been able to experience about the issue right out of them.
- Put the message into English if it's for young women - well, for anyone not a policy wonk.
- Get your audience, not interns, to do the videos (though in fairness, they are asking for content contributions from others. Hint: do that ahead of time.)
- Social sites like YouTube work when you get involved and encourage interactions and sharing of information and content among like-minded people (Kate did mention putting a Facebook profile up). Using YouTube as a repository link for a video from your otherwise static website is just using new technology in old ways.
- Give petitioners language they can pick and choose from if not create themselves. We all know how ineffective those scripted letters are.
- And why not try mobile - especially with this demo?
The old way is so much more... familiar?