A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked about two topics facing Chambers today – print and video:
I have two questions: (1) Do you do an annual printed Chamber of Commerce Directory? Our Board is having trouble seeing the value of doing this; and (2) Do you provide any monthly Ustream videos on informational topics and if so, do you open it to members and non-members and do you charge a fee? Thanks….
Say Good-Bye to Print
Moving away from print will happen. Even if you currently have hold-outs – the cost savings (eliminating the print and mailing, not to mention staff time and environmental savings) are too great to be ignored. Plus now that we live in the information age, chambers cannot afford to circulate outdated information. Just as chamber members make tough decisions on eliminating costs from their businesses, clambers will do the same. This includes directories, newsletters and eventually, maybe even correspondence (although that may happen right before we get flying cars).
Say Hello to Video
People don’t read. They skim.
If you want to get information to multi-tasking members, you need to think visual. (However, video should not replace the written word. There are some stalwarts, like me, who still read and appreciate text.)
Here are 11 ideas for chamber videos:
Welcome messages. Welcome people to your website and point out its highlights.
Welcome greetings for new members. Yes, in person is best and phone calls are great, but sending a video greeting is another way to connect, especially if they signed up online, while the office was closed. Tell new chamber members how they can get involved, how to navigate your online community (if you have one) and highlight a few member benefits. Use screen shares to show them where to go.
Event previews. For large events create an image montage from old pictures. Make it upbeat and energizing to get your audience excited.
Top 10 reasons to join the chamber.
Explaining what the chamber does for “you.” Here’s a video from the Mountain View Chamber introducing viewers to staff members and how they help.
Weekly/monthly infocasts. These can be done by chamber members or staff on topics of interest to the community. Topics like social media for small business or personal branding would work well. If you allow members to do them, keep them more informative and less sales-y.
Tour of the office.
Promotional video. This could be a montage of pictures of you helping within the community or talking about why you joined the chamber, but the point behind it is to tell the chamber’s story.
Promotional video for your area. The St. Pete Chamber of Commerce did St. Pete Stories, a series using chamber members to promote the city of St. Pete. It was very effective to hear what local business people loved about the area. They married the interviews with beautiful video clips. It not only made the city look good but gave the members a little press as well.
Member promotional pieces. Arrange with local businesses to highlight their latest news. Feature a new business every week or month. Here’s an example from the La Habra Chamber of Commerce.
Bloopers. Always keep your bloopers. They are worth gold to viewers. Enough said.
Grab your iPhone, your webcam or camcorder and get filming.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image, video editing tools, via Flickr by IntelFreePress