Outreach, Distribution and Engagement

 If no one sees your film, your ability to make social impact is limited.

Thinking through how people engage with your initiative will begin during Research and Planning. After your Video for Change film is produced and edited, the next step is to implement your strategies for how people will see and experience the initiative, and how they will connect to both the narrative in the video and the issues presented in it.

Outreach, distribution and engagement are all stages in creating that connection, and they are also opportunities to inspire collective action towards social impact. They are therefore crucial stages in the chain of activities for a Video for Change initiative to create social impact. To help start the design of your outreach, distribution and engagement activities we have designed an impact campaign builder which you download and work on with your team.

All activities aimed at maximizing the social impact of a video are popularly called Impact Production. In the below video three experienced women explain what Impact Production is all about.

The Fledgling Fund defines outreach, engagement and distribution as follows:

  • Outreach — Use strategic communications to tell potential audiences about your film, and engage in marketing activities to get people to venues and platforms to watch or experience your content.
  • Distribution — Get your video out into the world by making it available for viewing on various venues and platforms.
  • Engagement — Deepen people’s investment and commitment, and activate audiences to move from passive viewing of the video into taking action on the issues and proposed solutions.

Success at each of these stages relies on strong relationships. First, it’s important to engage the affected community and the communities represented in your film. (See Values and Methods.)

When that relationship is viewed by the community as a positive and beneficial one, community members will be champions for your video and create natural, organic opportunities for outreach, distribution and engagement.

The stages are also reliant on a strong understanding of your audiences and your partners, and your ability to communicate and message with them.

In terms of timing, activities around each of these three stages are often sequential — from outreach to distribution to engagement — but also overlap and work together iteratively to create connection to your video and inspire targeted action.

Let’s consider each stage separately, with a reminder to consider again the foundational Video for Change values and methods:

  • Impact Statement — How can we increase the chance for positive and lasting social impact?
  • Power Analysis — What are the power dynamics within this process and how can we address or level them?
  • Participation and Inclusion — Where and how can we build participation into the process, in an empowering and effective way?
  • Accountability and Transparency — How can we be responsible to and respectful to our communities via accountability and transparency?
  • Risk Management — What implications could our activities have for those involved, and how can we manage risk?