Media Campaigns - Video (DC)

Compiled by:
Doerte Peters (seecon international gmbh)

Executive Summary

The media (video, radio, print media, internet and email) play a significant part in spreading information on SSWM and in awareness raising. They enable to influence and change public opinion and behaviour on an issue. This can lead to public pressure on the local policy actors, so the media can indirectly influence decision makers as well. Furthermore, the media can play a role as an advocacy tool (WATERAID & WSSCC 2003). Here, we will focus on why and how to prepare video material for SSWM reasons. As a participatory and visual medium, video can both give locals a voice and convey complex ideas in comprehensible formats (BURKE 1999). Due to this, it enables to teach specific SSWM related skills (FOCUS 2006).

Media Campaigns as a Tool to Influence Both the Public Opinion and Policy Makers

As the media are part of the lives of many people (BURKE 1999), they can give a basis for public discussion and the rethinking of norms. Case studies show that the media can have an immense educating impact on the public opinion and behaviour (BURKE 1999). Also, the media can influence decision makers indirectly, when the public gets aware of a topic and applies pressure (WATERAID 2007). The media play also an important role in advocacy work.
In summary, the media are useful for the following reasons (WATERAID 2007):

 

  • Change public attitudes and behaviour
  • Inform the public about your issue and proposed solutions
  • Recruit allies among the public and decision-makers
  • Raise money for your cause
  • Get your issue onto the political public agenda
  • Make your issue visible and credible in policy debate
  • Influence decision-makers and opinion leaders

 

Main Stakeholders & Target Groups

Your target group is a specific audience, watching or producing the video. They can be living either in rural areas or in urban ones. Make sure you address the right audience by considering the particular cultural background.
For producing a video the main actors can vary, but you will need the equipment and probably professional support. Also, the locals and local decision makers can participate in the production, as you can handle over the camera.
Have a look at the different ideas of producing a video further down, to see which kind of video needs which actors to take part.


Why to Choose Video as Medium to Reach Your Targets?

(Adapted from BURKE 1999)

Video is a participatory medium. Source: UNESCO (2008); CTA (2004)

  • Once you have the equipment, it is easy to produce or show a video.
  • Video can overcome literacy problems.
  • Increasingly, people are already accustomed to moving images, and video is as a result seen as less of an external medium.
  • As a visual medium, video can convey complex ideas in comprehensible formats.
  • By handing over the camera, people are free to record what they regard as important. Video is a good tool for pushing public participation.
  • Children’s and women’s participation can be brought forward
  • Tapes and smart cards can be used repeatedly, if needed. Especially for this reason, it is valuable as a training tool. Due to the vision and emotional impact it enables to teach specific skills.
  • A short, high-quality video, video news release or film clip produced by a communication professional will attract coverage particularly from the broadcast media. The videos can be screened during “Open Days” or at special events organised for SSWM reasons (WATERAID & WSSCC 2003).

How to Plan a Media Campaign

The planning process of producing a video for SSWM is similar to those of other media (radio, internet, print media). Therefore, the following six main steps in developing a media campaign are generally adaptive. The questions posed will guide you through your planning (adapted from FOCUS 2006):

 

Step 1: Define Your Audience: Whom do you want to reach with your message? Can you reach this audience within available resources? Do you know enough about your audience to select effective messages and channels of communication?

 

Step 2: Set Clear Objectives: What is your overall goal? Do your plans fit with other activities and plans in the community? Have you identified your objectives?

 

Step 3: Define Channels and Vehicles for Communication: Which channel is the best to use for your targets?

 

  • Raise awareness/spread information: accessible media with broad reach (radio)
  • Change attitudes: channels with emotional impact (television, radio)
  • Model specific skills: television works best because of sound, sight, and motion
  • Change public opinion: look for news coverage via editorials, news interviews
  • Complex message: print presentations

 

Step 4: Identify Effective Messages: Have you chosen a message for your audience that has the right message content (or theme)? Does the message have the right tone (light or heavy) and the right appeal (rational or emotional)? Would using humour or fear be appropriate and effective?
Any message you choose should pass the ‘’What? So What? Now What?’ Test:


 

  • ‘What?’ refers to the basic information being conveyed
  • ‘So What?’ addresses the reasons or benefits for action
  • ‘Now What?’ clearly defines some desirable and productive action

 

Step 5: Implement Your Campaign: What work needs to be done? Have you made a timeline? When and how long will you run your campaign, and with what intensity? When will you contact the media channels you have selected, obtain the messages you selected in the format required? Have you set out a work plan that defines required tasks, the people responsible and the timing?

 

Step 6: Evaluate Your Campaign: Does your campaign track coverage (process indicators)? Does it generate additional media coverage? Can you see changes in knowledge or attitudes (outcome indicators)? Are there any letters or phone calls with questions on the topic?

Things to Consider before Applying Video Campaigns

  • Find out if video is the right media to reach your targets. It is not as widely spread as the radio and might not be common in all rural areas. Make sure people do not feel shorttaken by producing or showing video material.
  • If the video is part of an overall media campaign, it could be beneficial to use a corporate slogan that is recognisable within all kinds of used media. Make sure you use identical information in all media.
  • Equipment costs — especially for productions of a high quality — can mount rapidly. It is usually advisable to seek expert advice over what to buy, although in many countries there will be a limited range to choose from (BURKE 1999).
  • Videos should be a part of a wider communication process that encompasses other awareness raising instruments. Videos can achieve your objectives even better combined with other media and other awareness raising/communication tools in the SSWM Toolbox.
  • Equipment can break, especially in extreme conditions (BURKE 1999).
  • Video needs careful planning, and can be time-consuming (BURKE 1999).
  • It requires electricity: rechargeable batteries only last for a few hours each. Also, video formats vary between countries (BURKE 1999).
  • Use of video almost always requires an input from experts in the field. Results from applications of video without this expertise can be disappointing. It is helpful to ask experienced people and get some tips before starting.
  • It is important to consider the cultural background of the specific audience when producing a video, to make sure the message is going to be noted.
  • Many people are excluded from watching videos at home because they do not have the equipment, so it is important to show them at public places.

Ideas for Producing and Showing a Video

There are lots of ways to create a video and many different types of them: educating videos, training videos, participatory videos, research videos and quality videos. Below you can find a short description of each of those to get an idea what a video for SSWM could be like:

 

1) Educating Videos:
For SSWM the most important sort of a video is an educating video. As a visual medium, videos are good to teach specific skills like how to wash your hands. It is easy for the audience to get the point and imitate the shown contents. The video has to be appealing, so it is good to present the key points in a (funny) story, so that it is not boring to watch the video.

 

2) Training Videos (LIE & MANDLER 2009):
When non-professional filmmakers produce a video, this activity is generally recognised as participatory video. Before pushing the record button, filmmaking aspirants attend training seminars on production techniques, with good facilitation, so that filming will be more than just an individual experience. Regular and competent training provides guidance for the whole process of producing a video.

 

3) Participatory Videos (LIE & MANDLER 2009):
Participatory video refers to a particular way of using the camera that emphasises the participatory character of a video activity. The filming is used as way of identifying and discussing central issues in a community and the underlying social processes. The video films produced are shared with the community, thus initiating community-led learning. Participatory video is a very effective means of advocating social processes and can help coordinate community action. Quality and outreach with this video approach, however, are less important. Participatory video is more about team activity than creating a product. To increase the impact of the participatory video process, it should be well embedded in the overall communication strategy.

 

4) Research Videos (LIE & MANDLER 2009):
Video is also used in research activities. The camera can be used to gather information through, for example, interviews or filming particular cultivation practices. It can also be used for reflexive research. The use of video for research is often part of other forms of video making.

 

5) Quality Videos (LIE & MANDLER 2009):
Some video activities are clearly product driven, in that the producers strive for the highest quality film as an end product. This is particularly important when public relations are involved. The outcome of the video activity should be a professional film. A video produced as part of an awareness campaign, with the intention to broadcast it on national television networks, needs to be of broadcast quality. This requires a film crew of local and/or external professionals. Inevitably, this means comparably high production costs. The result could be a stand-alone film, with loose links to the main focus of a project but appropriate for universal use.

 

6) Showing/Publishing a Video:
Videos can be published and shown in many different ways: They can be watched or shown in households, at public places like a town hall, or be published on internet pages of private persons, NGOs or video pages like YouTube. Videos can also be used as training material at school, university or in specific courses.

Applicability

Used in a deliberate way, video material can have a wide applicability: Even though some people in rural areas might have no access to the equipment to watch or produce videos, the videos can be shown at public places and be produced in a participatory way.

Watching a video is possible for anyone having access to the internet. Due to the currency of computers and the internet, the applicability of video material rises.

A video produced cheap and for a specific region might have a format that cannot be used in other regions. As well, it could not be applicable anywhere else for cultural reasons. Cultural backgrounds need to be considered, some cultures might reject videos or the participation in producing a video.
 

Advantages

  • Overcomes literacy problems
  • Visual medium: conveys complex ideas in comprehensible formats
  • Participatory medium
  • Tapes and smart cards can be used repeatedly
  • Enables to teach specific skills
  • Private and state TV companies can act as partners in some projects
  • Can be watched/ shown on internet pages, at public places and in households

Disadvantages

  • High quality videos are expensive to produce
  • High equipment costs, material can break
  • Different formats of videos
  • Electricity needed for production
  • Input from experts often necessary
  • Many people lack video recorders or a computer to watch digital video material

References Library

BURKE, A. (1999): Communications & Development. A practical guide. London: Social Development Division. Department for International Development. URL [Accessed: 14.07.2010].

LIE, R. ; MANDLER, A. (Editor) (2009): Video in Development. Filming for Rural Change. London: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and. URL [Accessed: 31.07.2010].

WATERAID (Editor) (2007): The Advocacy Sourcebook. London: WaterAid. URL [Accessed: 12.04.2010].

WATERAID & WSSCC (Editor) (2003): Advocacy Sourcebook. A Guide to Advocacy for WSSCC co-ordinators working on the WASH campaign. WATERAID & WSSCC . URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012].

FOCUS (Editor) (2006): Community Based Media Campaign Action Pack. Kingston: Ontario Stroke Strategy. URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012].

UNESCO (Editor) (2008): Video training in Hebron, Palestine. Paris: UNESCO. URL [Accessed: 25.03.2012].

CTA (Editor) (2004): Development of Locally-Produced Videos. The Netherlands: CTA. URL [Accessed: 25.03.2012].

Further Readings Library

Reference icon

BENEST, G. (2010): A Rights-Based Approach to Participatory Video: toolkit. InsightShare. URL [Accessed: 31.07.2010].

“A Rights-Based Approach to Participatory Video: Toolkit” is helpful for providing the first few steps for practitioners of participatory video to begin introducing a rights-based approach into their practice.


Reference icon

BURKE, A. (1999): Communications & Development. A practical guide. London: Social Development Division. Department for International Development. URL [Accessed: 14.07.2010].

This document includes a guide to using different media (drama, broadcast media and other media). In the internet section, it focuses on networking. You can get detailed information on networking, especially combined with gender questions. As there are some case studies, the document is not just theoretical but close to reality.


Reference icon

FOCUS (Editor) (2006): Community Based Media Campaign Action Pack. Kingston: Ontario Stroke Strategy. URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012].

This planner takes you through a 6-step process to develop a community-based media campaign. Although it is written for a campaign on alcohol risks, it offers clear step-by step information on how to plan a media campaign that are useful for any kind of a media campaign. It includes many useful tips and tricks.


Reference icon

LIE, R. ; MANDLER, A. (Editor) (2009): Video in Development. Filming for Rural Change. London: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and. URL [Accessed: 31.07.2010].

This document is about creating a video for development in rural areas. Besides different possible forms of producing video material, it includes case studies to each one topic. Even though it is not specialized on water and/or sanitation, it is helpful for getting general information on video and video production for rural areas.


Reference icon

WATERAID (Editor) (2007): The Advocacy Sourcebook. London: WaterAid. URL [Accessed: 12.04.2010].

This book provides detailed information about drawing up advocacy action plans that aim to improve the water supply and sanitation situation. The document presents concrete examples of advocacy work in practice and it provides many tools, tables and diagrams, which advocacy workers may like to reproduce, adapt or distribute for their own advocacy campaign.


Reference icon

WATERAID & WSSCC (Editor) (2003): Advocacy Sourcebook. A Guide to Advocacy for WSSCC co-ordinators working on the WASH campaign. WATERAID & WSSCC . URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012].

This guide for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all (WASH) campaign offers practical guidance on advocacy work related to water and sanitation. It aims to explain the different advocacy tools, provide practical examples of advocacy work, and provide information on key policy actors and processes and how to influence them at local, national and international levels.


Case Studies Library

Reference icon

BURKE, A. (1999): Communications & Development. A practical guide. London: Social Development Division. Department for International Development. URL [Accessed: 14.07.2010].

This document includes a guide to using different media (drama, broadcast media and other media). In the internet section, it focuses on networking. You can get detailed information on networking, especially combined with gender questions. As there are some case studies, the document is not just theoretical but close to reality.


Reference icon

LIE, R. ; MANDLER, A. (Editor) (2009): Video in Development. Filming for Rural Change. London: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and. URL [Accessed: 31.07.2010].

This document is about creating a video for development in rural areas. Besides different possible forms of producing video material, it includes case studies to each one topic. Even though it is not specialized on water and/or sanitation, it is helpful for getting general information on video and video production for rural areas.


Important Weblinks

http://insightshare.org/ [Accessed: 27.07.2010]

On this webpage you can find a selection of short case studies from various participatory video projects undertaken by InsightShare over the years.

http://globalwater.org/ [Accessed: 31.07.2010]

On this homepage you can find awareness raising film material about the world’s water scarcity.

http://www.sourabh.tk/ [Accessed: 22.04.2010]

This website by Sourabh Phadke is a great source for various kinds of awareness raising materials including videos and funny cartoon strips especially interesting for education.

http://www.youtube.com/ [Accessed: 21.07.2010]

This weblink connects to a video showing the preparation and demonstrating the pressing of a candle filter.

http://www.waterlandpeople.net/ [Accessed: 27.04.2010]

The initiative “Water, Land and People: Voices and insights from three continents“ promoted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims at sharing and deepening the knowledge base of SDC and partners in order to improve the development strategies and policies with regard to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) with emphasis on the aspect Water for Food.

http://insightshare.org/ [Accessed: 27.07.2010]

On this webpage you can find a selection of short case studies from various participatory video projects undertaken by InsightShare over the years.

http://video.cta.int/ [Accessed: 27.07.2010]

This webpage is about videos for development and it contains examples of videos. It is specialized on agricultural topics but may help to get an idea of what a video can be like.