March 4, 2013

What Non-Profits Can Learn From Cat Videos

Timeless tips regarding the importance of storytelling.

from Jessica Mason of YouTube for Good at the Social Good Summit:
"We all know the Internet loves cat videos on YouTube, but did you ever stop to think about why?
Jessica Mason of YouTube for Good did, and she says it comes down to their universal appeal.
"Cats, animals, babies, they do well on YouTube because they transcend boundaries," Mason said on stage Monday at the Social Good Summit. "They make boundaries, language, cultural barriers, irrelevant."

Non-profits can learn a lot from cat videos, but Mason distilled her take away points into three core principals: tell universal stories; engage regularly; and be surprising, original and action-packed. Mason pointed to one of this year's most popular non-profit videos — the image and emotion-rich video "It's time," from Australia's Get Up — that didn't use a single word to get its message across. Like cat videos, "It's time" appeals to an international audience, because it doesn't rely on language or localisms.

Mason's second point, regular engagement, applies to organizations hoping to reach either a hyper-local or multi-national constituency. You should give your supporters video content on at least a weekly basis, sharing different aspects of your non-profit, from success stories to behind-the-scenes peeks into your office. However, not all non-profits are trying to reach a global audience — and that's okay." Read Mashable article here.