Undercover Pastor: The Video

It was about this time last year that we shot and produced this church’s basketball program closing ceremony video about Norville Thompkins, the mythical “child prodigy” who crushes the competition with his adult-sized skills.  This year we took a similar spoof concept and created the following video, “Undercover Pastor,” featuring the church’s new pastor going incognito as a player, coach and ref.

We also created a deleted scenes bonus reel:

Why Does Facebook Keep Changing Itself?

Facebook IconThe complaints are rampant. People are angry!

What are “top stories” exactly?  Where’s the old picture viewer?  Why did they put that black box around my photos?  It seems like every other week Facebook is launching some goofy change or moving things around or adding some strange interface that no one was asking for but everyone now must figure out. Why do they do this instead of just keeping things the way they are?  Here are 5 possible explanations – Facebook may not be as guilty as you think.

1.  Facebook doesn’t want you to forget who’s in charge.

They’re in charge.  You’re using their free service in exchange for them feeding you ads and mining your data.  That’s how Facebook pays their bills so you don’t have to. They need to keep you on your toes every now and then and make you mad just for the heck of it… why?  Same reason parents need to ground their kids sometimes or dish out overly harsh punishments that don’t fit the transgressions. The kids need to be reminded who’s in charge.  Don’t get greedy.  Mom and Dad rule.

2.  They need you to talk about them even if it’s negative.

It’s been said that tolerance is far worse than persecution because at least persecution is a sign of interest.  If Facebook gets negative feedback or press from it’s users it’s still ok as long as its not too frequent. Why?  So you’ll say the word “Facebook.”  It needs to stay a household name.  If you’re mad at it that’s still ok.  There’s a fairly precise formula you can use to find the sweet spot of how often someone should get mad at you for maximum yield. Facebook knows it and they want you to be mad at them every once in a while. Your anger is the Ying to their Yang.  I’m guessing that Facebook wants you to be ticked off at it about 4 times per year.

3.  They’re messing with you to see how big of a deal certain types of changes are.

Facebook probably already knows which major changes they’re going to keep or not but they still launch them all anyway because they want to watch the dialogue unfold amongst Facebook users. This is smart. This is like if you own a Taco Bell franchise, dress in plain clothes and then instruct your cooks to purposefully make orders wrong so you can overhear customers talk about it.  This will help you know if other changes you’re planning are going to be worth it or not or how much manpower to invest in quality control.  It’s worth a lot more to make people mad in a controlled environment where you can eavesdrop on them than out on the range where you’re not in a power position over them.

4.  Facebook jumbles things up just for the heck of it.

Ever get bored with how your living room is laid out?  Ever re-arrange your office for no particular reason even though it was fine the way it was?  Moving stuff around for no reason is a perfectly suitable reason in and of itself. Why?  Because it’s better to have friction than to be dormant. It’s better to have things in motion than at rest.  This is the law of the information age; The new darwinism is merely constant self-reinvention so that you out-survive your competitors (those that never change).  It doesn’t matter if your change is for the better or not, it just matters that you change.  Irrelevance is the ultimate suicide for technology companies.  Your chances of survival go up by 500% if you make negative changes rather than no changes at all. It’s the law of the digital jungle.  Being the school bully still makes you more popular than all the nice kids who’s names you forgot from middle school.

5.  The internet needs to constantly feel new.

This goes along with the last point.  You always need to feel romanced and captivated by your online experience.  Fresh, funky, shiny, new.  If you’re not getting that from one social network then you’ll go find it somewhere else. So Facebook and others need to continue making their experience feel new to you. They’ll try new features, moving stuff to new locations, new partnerships, technology platform crossovers, mobile experiences, partnering with Hollywood, etc… whatever it takes. But the point is if they aren’t constantly manufacturing something “new” they die off.

So if you don’t like Facebook’s new changes then relax- They’ll change it all to something else in a couple months.  But don’t get too comfortable if you like those changes because they’ll just change them again. Why?  It’s the self-replicating trap of the information age- Only the new shall survive.

- Jon Barnes

Thoughts?  Post a comment.

One of Our Most “Interesting” Videos of 2011

We made this for a local youth basketball organization and can’t stop sharing it!  Enjoy.

How To Leverage Your YouTube Content

So you have some YouTube videos… now what?!  A guide for organizations, non-profits and companies of all sizes.

Embed On Website

Embed some of your videos on your website.  Make sure your home page has video content on it but beware of embedding too many videos on one page (increased page load times).  If you have a video on each of your main top navigation pages you’re doing great.  Additionally, make sure the Youtube icon is present in the Footer or navigation of your site so that visitors can get to it in 1 click from wherever they are on your site.


Feature one of your videos in every email newsletter you send; sort of like a feature column in a newspaper.  Write a sentence or two about it and then either embed or link to the video.  Also make sure you have your Youtube icon link in every newsletter along with your other social media icons and channels.

Email Directly To Strategic People

Nothing beats a direct and personal communication.  Personal emails written from one person to another get read. Period.  Take an hour and send personal emails to some of your most important partners and connections and insert the link to a relevant video in each email.  This goes a long way and is well worth the time it takes to make it personal.

Before And After Presentations

If your company has a staff meeting, leadership retreat, pitch, presentation, board report or other in-house or outward focused presentation then make sure you start or end every presentation with your video content. If people are nodding off after 10 minutes of your PowerPoint show I guarantee you they’ll perk up when you say, “And now let’s watch this short video.”  It works every time.

Events And Fundraisers

Video is a powerful force when it comes to fundraising and mobilization.  If your organization is sponsoring an event or is somehow part of a fundraising effort make sure you incorporate your video content into every aspect of the ask.  Video is able to make the emotional connection (to people’s hearts and wallets) that a simple speech or presentation can’t.

Loop In The Hallways

Make a DVD loop of your video content and have it playing continuously in your office lobby or reception area.  If you’re hosting an event have that DVD loop playing at your booth, display or in the hallway or lobby of the facility you’re in.  Flat screen TV’s with built-in DVD or USB drives are fairly cheap and you don’t need a gigantic screen.

Press Releases

Create press releases for some of your most interesting video pieces and share the stories and personalities that surround them.  Write some quality press releases and, if you’re using a PR software tool like Vocus or PRsafe, embed or link your Youtube content right into the post.  Don’t forget to contact local news people directly and share this content with them as well.

Blog About Each Video

Write a blog post about each of your video pieces. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, just embed the video and write a paragraph or two about the back-story surrounding that video.  What led up to this video?  What happened as a result?  How have you seen people respond to the video?  Don’t get technical with dates and details but try to capture the ongoing story that surrounds that one moment in time in your video.

Connect With Other Organizations

If you have video content that features notable business leaders, celebrities or politicians then make sure you deliver that content to the respective offices of the noteworthy people that appear in your video.  If you have a brief interview or feature spot with a congressman or community leader then make sure you send a link to their staff or PR person so that they can glean benefit from that content as well.  Additionally, if you have partner organizations or parent companies make sure you deliberately connect your relevant video content with the right people in those organizations for double yield.


How to Manage Your Reputation in Search Engine Results

You need to step in front of your online presence and be in the know and in control about where you’re showing up online.  Create channels, create content, use your name and relevant keywords in everything you produce and wait.

1. Buy your name as a domain name and create a personal blog there.  Purchase and then forward all the .org, .net, etc. versions to that blog. If you’re not going to blog then forward the domains to your main company website.

2. Create social media channels and fully populate them with bio, links, information, etc.. Make sure you use your search keywords in the titles and About Us fields.

3. Get a strategy in place to create new digital content. Press releases, video, blog posts, articles, white papers, etc… If you’re not going to create/write anything then don’t expect to score high in your search engine results.

4. One short talking head video of you is better than no video content at all, plus video gets good returns on SEO.  Create a YouTube channel, upload your video and make sure you correctly SEO/tag your content.  If you can create a video each month you’ll be ahead of the crowd.

5. Login to your main website and add new content as often as possible. This is one of the main factors in Google’s ranking of your site.

6. Make sure in all your content that you use your search keywords in both the title and the content of the post/blog. (See our YouTube SEO blog post for more on this).

7. Use a PR posting tool like PRsafe to post your press releases.

8. Have a press kit posted and ready that includes: Approved headshot of yourself, your bio, experience, a few quotes and links to any pertinent sites or videos.  Create this as a PDF document or upload to PRwebsite.