Dissent is Patriotic

STORIES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE MOVEMENT – What ACLU-Oregon, IRCO & NWGSDPDX can tell us

Have you felt a chronic sense of anxiety over the last 100 days? Has the last 100 days felt like 300? Does a feeling of dread come over you every time you see another “Breaking News” alert? Well, we might have just the thing for you.

 

AM:PM PR Speakeasy Panel Discussion with ACLU and Nasty Women

 

Come join us at am:pm PR this Thursday, April 20th at 4:00 pm to hear from some of the heroes fighting for us on the front lines of the movement. Come to listen, come to learn, come to support, come to help, or come for the feeling of solidarity.

Our Inspiration

A recent New York Times (NYT) article referred to this as the “political age of anxiety” in response to a poll taken by the American Psychological Association where nearly 60 percent of Americans said the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress and the level of stress is rising.

Dr. Stephen C. Hayes, a psychology professor interviewed by the NYT, advised Americans, “Use your anxiety to motivate you. Think about what you value most and take action.”

Hayes goes on to say that taking action gives you a sense you have some control over your environment. That perceived self-efficacy can relieve stress and help you feel empowered. Whether signing a petition, participating in a march, making a donation, joining a group, hosting an event or just taking the time to be a better person – action at any level can provide a sense of purpose and hope.

So, you could say this is a selfish effort. I admit, I wanted to be in a room of like-minded and inspiring people. I also wanted to meet my new heroes – the Nasty Women who created the “In Our America” you see multiplying everywhere, members of the ACLU who are fighting harder than ever to preserve and protect our civil liberties and those at the Immigration and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) who are working with those that feel most threatened right now.

Thankfully, representatives from each of these organizations have agreed to join us a for a panel discussion on just what the hell is happening right now, what they are doing about it and what you can do to help, if so inclined.

I hope you can join us for this group therapy session, but whether you are able to or not, here’s a list of videos, articles and sites that might give you the same feeling of hope and inspiration they give me:

 

 

The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

 

Melissa McCarthy as Spicer

 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

 

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

 

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

 

 

Listen Learn Lead with Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX

 

Anti-Trump Resistance School Starts at Harvard - CBS News

 

Recover Resist Reform - Anti-Trump - American Prospect

“I can’t overstate how unprecedented the grassroots energy of this resistance is,” said Anna Galland, MoveOn’s executive director.

 

American Prospect - No Factions in Foxholes in Anti-Trump Movement

 

Indivisible Group Guide

 

 

Portland Mercury Resistance & Solidarity Calendar

 

Resistance Calendar

 

 

 

Postcard from space

Crowdfunding Crises Offer Communication Case Studies

Earlier this fall I read a news story about a Scotsman who raised money on a crowdfunding platform for a project that would purportedly send the world’s first postcards from space.

The project was in the news, not because the venture promised to strap a couple cameras to a weather balloon and take photos from twenty miles into the earth’s atmosphere, but because it failed to deliver on its basic promise. Angry customers formed an online revolt that led a newspaper reporter to take notice.

I don’t know if this SpaceCard was simply part of a clever self-funded publicity ploy to get the postcard app ByPost into the news, but the online reaction does offer another intriguing case study for my grad school terminal project.

Anatomy of a Typical Crisis.
My terminal project will explore crisis communication responses to crowdfunding crises. My interest was initially piqued last year after a company contacted AM:PM PR for crisis communication messaging help. They had created a great product funded through Kickstarter but were over a year behind schedule delivering the product. Additionally, the company was struggling to communicate its challenges to its backers and needed to open new sales channels to fund operations while navigating manufacturing conundrums. The appearance of the product for sale online before most backers received theirs threatened to create a firestorm of angry comments on review sites, which could have ballooned into news stories and increased undesirable attention. The situation was blunted with our help, and by honest and clear communication. No media picked up the story, and as of last check, the company is still quietly working away to get its product to its initial backers while concurrently offering its product for sale through a variety of channels.

Apology Videos.
The following apology video is for a project from Canada called the “Peachy Printer.” It raised $50,000+ on IndieGogo and another $650,000 on Kickstarter. Backers were supposed to get their printers in 2014, this apology video is from Oct. 2, 2014.

On October 23, 2016 the project creator posted updates at IndieGogo and Kickstarter to share news of police investigations after an investor was accused of using funds to build a house.

Since we helped that unnamed organization stave off a consumer revolt last December, I have been collecting stories like the “Peachy Printer” – and about other companies facing similar challenges. There are tons – from Seattle to Portland to San Francisco to Scotland and beyond. The challenges faced by these crowdsourced campaigns are similar to those faced by many entrepreneurial endeavors, and I intend to contribute to a growing body of research with my project.

Scholarly Research.
I’ve already done a fair amount of due diligence exploring existing scholarly research that may apply and form a foundation for my efforts. There are entire fields of study that may be relevant including crisis communication, issues management and operations management-related studies. One researcher whose work I’ve enjoyed is Timothy Coombs. His research offers insights that may be applicable to crowdfunded campaigns, including the Situational Crisis Communication Theory. Part of the theory suggests that companies that are new or without a track record will receive more flexibility in the court of public opinion for their fledgling efforts to meet customer demand and expectations. The key component is clear communication, yet most crowdfunded campaigns (and startups) I’ve observed are run by passionate and proud individuals that aren’t quick to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

Case Studies.
The Coolest Cooler is another interesting case study. The company created a cooler that includes a blender, Bluetooth stereo, USB charger and corkscrew in addition to other amenities. The company ran into trouble when it experienced manufacturing delays and then had to start selling its product through online retailers before all backers received their cooler. This led to negative commentary on review sites that de-evolved further into a crisis of communication when media began running with the story. My research will help to come up with guidance other businesses may follow to avoid experiencing the same painful dilemma.

Other similar crowd-funded products facing similar crises include a talking robot called Jibo that’s two-years behind its delivery schedule. The Glowforge printer, which broke customer’s hearts again this past week when the company admitted it wouldn’t get product out for the holidays, is now on track to deliver two years behind schedule.

Opportunities.
These crowd-funded projects are fascinating to study because they provide an opportunity to observe consumer reaction to business decisions in real time. You can see what the company did (or didn’t do) to communicate clearly, and review and gauge consumer reaction. The information will help to inform future best practices for crowdfunded projects, entrepreneurs and traditional startups.

 

Why is everyone talking about Snapchat?

Veterans’ Day 2016

Video Pro Secret - Sound Quality

Video Pro Secret #2: Sound quality is even more important than video quality

GUEST POST

2nd Installment By Jay Carter, Beyond Measure Media

This post is borrowed from BeyondMeasureMedia.com

Last time, we explored why the story your video tells is so important, and how a great video will always pass the “I Should Certainly Hope So” test.

Today, we reveal the Secret #2: Sound quality. While video quality can go a long way toward telling a clear and compelling video story, I think sound quality is even more important.

Bad Video Happens

Most (honest) professional videographers have a war story or two.  Memories of a time they really blew it behind the camera, especially at the beginning of their career.

Hey, stuff happens – out-of-focus interviews, a bright-blue shot of what is supposed to be a white wall, an accidental jerk of the camera away from the action.

But even in the face of those kinds of video mistakes, there are usually ways of correcting or covering those flaws and recovering what could still turn out to be a decent video.

But sound? You really can’t screw that up.

Mess up on the sound, and your video is most likely dead in the water.

Here’s a good example:

Watch (and listen) to the two short interview clips below.

Clip #1:  Bad Sound Quality

 

The sound you’re hearing in this first clip above came from the onboard mic that was attached to the camera.

It sounds like the subject is talking into a microphone that was located across the room, because that’s exactly what was happening.

The too-lengthy distance between the person on camera and the microphone is the biggest reason why many videos recorded on smart phones often appear less than professional.

Listening to a person who sounds far away makes the viewer feel far away. It causes their attention to wane.  Rather than taking the viewer on a journey, bad sound reinforces that they’re just watching a video – a video that is annoyingly hard to hear and understand.

Now compare that to clip number two below.

Clip #2:  Good Sound Quality

 

In this second clip the audio is recorded from a lavaliere microphone clipped to the subject’s collar.

This simple improvement in sound quality changes everything.

Despite the fact that this is a poorly-lit shot, despite the fact that there is no depth to the shot, it’s still (mostly) usable in a video, particularly if we’re only using a quick clip of the interview.

Professional-Sounding Video

For the interviews we shoot – and even for b-roll footage of people doing things – we use a wireless Sennheiser lavaliere microphone to pick up deep, rich audio.

There are even lav mics available these days that can attach to your smart phone, delivering a richer and more professional sound quality than what most smart phone video cameras can deliver by themselves.

But isn’t just about making your video “sound professional.”  It’s deeper than that.

Sound quality can make a viewer pay closer attention to the on-camera speaker.  It can make the entire experience sound (and thus, feel) more intimate.

More than fancy lighting, more than stunning panoramic images, more than pretty much anything else, a rich quality sound can pull a viewer into the story being told on a screen.

In the next post, we’ll uncover our third secret for creating powerful videos – a secret tool I personally use on nearly every project I produce to “dial up” the emotional impact of an interview.

Also, if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, stay tuned for Part 2 of “Pro Secrets for Making Great Videos” in November.

Beyond Measure MediaJay Carter is a former Texas TV news anchor and reporter, with numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcast storytelling. He has worked as a radio news anchor and voiceover talent. He works with his wife and business partner, Michele Kim Carter, at Beyond Measure Media creating video stories and testimonials for businesses and nonprofits.

A note from AM:PM PR

According to Google, in 2016, more video content will be uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years and a Cisco forecast report predicts online video will be responsible for 80% of internet traffic by 2019.

Video is the quickest way to influence an audience and the most effective tool for telling complicated stories. In an age with so much content coming coming at us, video can also be the easiest tool for learning new things.

We see video as a powerful communications tool and regularly recommend it to clients.

A decade ago, businesses struggled to understand social networking and some doubted its value or predicted it a fad and fell behind their competition. Today, video is the tool every organization should include in their marketing plans.

Here’s a great source for on using video for business: By 2019, Video Marketing Will Be Everything. You’ve Got to Get in on the Trend — Now.