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Move into the Digital Age with Video - 5/18/2010 -

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators challenged itself to do more with video and found it not only easy, but also a natural fit for the organization's redesigned online magazine, MOVE.

By Katelyn Wyszynski

It's no secret that social media is washing over the business world—whether you're a multi-million dollar corporation or small-scale association, if you're not riding that social media wave, you're likely to find yourself face first in the sand while the rest of the working world paddles back out to catch the next swarm.

And when you think about it, it's really no surprise that social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become all the rage. Each tool provides yet another outlet where people can not only express themselves, but also absorb information that's pertinent and valuable to them and their careers.

Elementary school teachers typically help determine what kind of learners their students are: kinesthetic, auditory, or visual. According to an articleon education.com, about half of all students are visual learners, and as they absorb knowledge and develop their thinking, they begin to incorporate other styles of learning into their process. So by the time you're about ready to use social media to deliver key messages to your association or learn about what others are doing, the kinesthetic clicks—and that means the moving sounds and images of an online video may be just the tool you're looking for. Not surprisingly, online video provides a more interactive way of sharing information compared to the static PowerPoint slide, and very often, for the same price.

With that in mind, it's no small wonder that YouTube sees 24 hours of video uploaded to its site every 60 seconds (Mashable.com). Every 60 seconds! Every minute that you spend pondering how to better message your core audience, 24 hours worth of free-flowing video is uploaded onto YouTube for the whole world to see. Admittedly, like any other open-forum on the World Wide Web, it's a little frightening to think who may be watching or commenting; but who says you have to use YouTube to be on the video bandwagon? All it takes is a handheld camera, a website, and you're ready to roll.

That's why we at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) decided to raise our own bar in online video, making it an integral part of our redesigned online magazine, MOVE. For the more visual and auditory information absorbers in our audience, we try to get as many supplemental video clips for every magazine column as we can—and it began with a short videoshot in-house, introducing the new interactive online publication. All it took was an empty room, a willing staff member to jump in front of the camera, and a story to tell. Best of all, there are ample free or very low-cost tools out there that can help you in the production process—everything from video editing to script prompters.

As it turned out, the magazine readers became quick watchers, and loved the online content that supplemented their favorite stories. And for a lot of the visual material we are playing online, we don't even need a camera or to block out chunks of time. We discovered that many of our members were already making videos that they wanted to share with their colleagues or had a ready-made news clip to accompany a topic we were covering in a story.

For example, a video promoting the location for AAMVA's next big event was embedded into an advertisement for the event and received well over 2,000 plays in its first run. Better yet, our subsidiary (IRP) had spent a lot of time creating an important video for its membership, and we were able to promote it through the digital issue of our magazine—a promotion that received more than 3,000 plays. Furthermore, the sources of video and opportunities to create in-house video continue to grow with each issue we put out.

It's been a fun ride moving MOVE into the digital age, and there are lots of sources out there to help us along the way. More importantly, we've got a reader/viewership that is supportive and helpful in our digital journey. As long as our videos continue to rope in viewers and provide valuable information to the membership, we'll continue to produce and provide them.

Katelyn Wyszynski is publications specialist, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administratorsand editor of MOVE magazine. She is also a member of the Association Media & Publishing Final Proof Committee, and we appreciate her volunteering to share AAMVA's success story with video.

Interested in learning more? Jason D. King, ABC, director of communications and public relations for AAMVA—accompanied by Jen Smith and Ben Ledyard of Network Media Partners—will present "From Good to Great: Reinvent Your Magazine for the Digital Age,” on June 15th, 10:30 a.m., at the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meetingin Washington, DC.


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