As part of the Social Media Strategies Summit for Public Agencies and Government, we're highlighting the amazing speakers taking part in this two day virtual event. The event runs December 7 - 8 and features a wide-range of compelling sessions.
What is your session for SMSS about?
How to Create Great Video Content for Social Media
Without giving too much away about your session, what do you hope to cover that is of benefit to attendees of the SMSS?
I'm going to cover a variety of skills, techniques, and approaches to help communications professionals create powerful content. If you're new to creating video content, It is my hope that you gain a level of confidence and learn new approaches to help create authentic and meaningful stories.
Tell us a little about what you do and how you got there
I'm a content creator at heart with over 15 years of experience working all over the world. My starting point was in commercial production and advertisement, but I found my true passion in building stories that have a meaningful impact within our communities. I'm a big believer in creating content that is cinematically beautiful because it helps people step into the shoes of others.
What do you love about your job?
I love the moment when I connect with someone who has a story to share, and we bring it to life through video together. I'm a big advocate for co-authoring content with everyone involved in creating any story. It's truly the best practice for creating authentic content.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
We work directly with amazing people that create the best educational experience for Washington residents. There's never a shortage of stories, but there's always the end of every day we have available to tell those stories. It's always hard to work with the time constraints we all face.
What are some of the more memorable events you’ve had to deal with in your role and what lessons did you learn?
Producing live content to roll out big announcements and guidance for schools during the pandemic was a turning point in my career. At that moment, I realized the importance of being technically ready for whatever this world has in store for us. Within the same period of time, I realized that honoring the work of people willing to contribute their stories to a video or an article is extremely valuable and insightful. These micro-documentaries have the power to reach people in ways we don't always envision when planning out the project.
What is it about communications, media or crisis comms that interests you so much?
What interests me about communications, media, or crisis comms is creating those authentic moments through content that connects people to a person, an organization, a program, or a policy that can improve our lives in this world. In my opinion, we need to believe before we can listen, and I approach my work with that in mind for every scene or interview.
Can you give one piece of advice for those who want to start a career in Government communications?
I think working in government gets a bad rap. You always hear about the bureaucracy or see images of people punching in their time cards after filing ten billion reports. It's not like that at all. Working in government means you're going to find yourself surrounded by people that are very passionate, creative, and committed to making a difference. I would say keep an open mind because being a steward of the public trust is an awesome feeling.
What are your favorite tools you use to do your job more effectively?
A camera on my arm and a handshake. I like to connect with people before I ask them to tell their story.
What would you say to anyone in a leadership role about having a PIO or comms professional who might not have one?
When your agency is ready, thinking about communications roles within your organization is a marker of growth. There's a point when communicating with your staff internally starts to get challenging. When you realize your message isn't reaching the public in the way you want it to, the next instinct is to start thinking strategically about the delivery of that message. These needs emerge within every agency, and the question that remains is, do want to invest in reinventing the wheel, or do you want to incorporate communications strategies that work from a seasoned professional?
Are there any books, podcasts, websites or any other resources you would recommend for the comms pro?
There's a ton of materials out there, but conferences like Social Media for Government are a great place to start. Learning from people in the profession within your state is the best place for resources.