Adventures in Online Organizing: Grt ask for distributed film screenings from Invisible Children

I’ve been inspired by the work that Invisible Children is doing for some time now — the integration of their online communications (heavily film) and their organizing is stellar. Maybe my top NGO crush (tied with 350.org).

I just rec’d this email asking supporters — primarily students on campuses — to book a screening for this upcoming Congo Tour movie.

They included this video appeal, which i thought was a great example of using a personal voice to make a compelling ask and tell a memorable story at the same time. The guy in the video is literally finishing the edits of the film that you’ll be able to show your community, and the ask is dead simple — sign up to host just one screening. Very simple. And at the same time it teases out one of the stories from the film.

Here it is — more cause-orientated films should follow this model, so many seem to miss the mark in generating word of mouth:

Introducing: The Congo Tour from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Online Organizing: Grt ask for distributed film screenings from Invisible Children

  1. Thanks for this post. In a way its funny to see videos and appeals that Invisible Children sends out of as great marketing pieces – we’re really just trying to live the story and share it with anyone else who would like to join along. You’ve got me thinking: Another study could be done on the Invisible Children Roadie Tour – it’s right in the face of anyone who attends and it has a super strong conversion rate; its the best word of mouth. Although, again its origin is organic and homegrown. The tour started only because it was the best idea we had at the time to get people to actually take the time to watch a documentary. It worked. It’s just apart of us living out our story. From working at Invisible Children the last few years I’ve learned that the most responsive and powerful marketing we’ve ever used is us simply acting out reality – we needed to get Oprah to let us on her show, we needed to have a huge event to get the nations attention, we needed to have a tour so people watch this show, we needed to do something to get Tom Coburn to say yes to the LRA Bill…Just working, always seems to always just work. Thanks for the post, you got me thinking again about the real strength of story in marketing. You got to live it out. Have you read, All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin?

  2. I think that Invisible Children are successful for two (basic) reasons:1. It’s fun2. It’s all goodThat is, you get to rescue child soldiers, there’s nothing bad about that, and you get to have fun while doing it: it’s a grand adventure. I know that it is actually hard in Uganda, and working with child soldiers can be terrifying, likely, and/or dangerous.

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