Are You Infor-taining Me?

Some of the best nonprofit communications I have seen lately, have been ones that fully understand information delivered in straight up “words on paper or screen” format no longer works. I know, I love the written word too, but communication today is done mostly on the quick (unless you are at the beach right now with a good book or book reader in your hands) and requires a whole new way of figuring out how to grab attention that then allows you to effectively communicate.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s Peter Panepento recently brought attention to some of the more creative ways organizations are using video to get their messages out. While some of his selections are not all that unusual, one from Israel by the Youth Renewal Fund (and created with a very small budget) demonstrates a growing movement to use video in new ways that bring important information to you in a style that carries you along through graphics, text on screen, effective music and lots of visual cues. In less than 5 minutes you learn everything you need to know about why this organization exists, who it is helping and how it is addressing a need.

Video animator/activist, Annie Leonard turns even serious exposes of rampant human wastefulness and toxic consumerism into infor-tainment at its finest. The Story of Stuff Project, which has been seen by millions of YouTube viewers, demonstrates how creativity applied to a simple animated video format using very little narrative, can powerfully get attention and effectively transmit information.

If you want to reach people with your message but think it requires a lot of money and professional production talent, take a little time exploring YouTube’s nonprofit area. You are sure to pick up a few good ideas that can motivate your team to crank up their creative juices and ratchet up your organization’s infor-tainment quotient.

Gail Hyman is a marketing and communications professional who currently focuses her practice, Gail Hyman Consulting, on assisting Jewish nonprofit organizations increase their ranks of supporters and better leverage their communications in the Web 2.0 environment. Gail is a regular contributor to eJewish Philanthropy.