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WWPR’s Hit Play Video Workshop had it all—intentional networking, a killer panel, key takeaways, and, best of all, a hands-on component. Attendees not only learned skills they can immediately apply in their job or side hustle, but also walked away with a work-in-progress video.

It’s my first time attending something like this and I’m already hoping there will be more like it.

Melinda Tolliver, WWPR Member

Article written by  Melinda Tolliver,
WWPR Member,
Manager, Digital Media, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The program kicked off with a panel led by digital expert Caitlin Donahue, SVP at Curley Company. She was joined by Celene Di Stasio, COO & creative director of DC Visionaries and co-founder of ShortKlips, and Cristina Rayas, content creator at The Center for Community Change and writer & director of fun of TheMUES Productions.

Here were a few of my key takeaways from the panelists:

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot going on in video production. Cristina compared video production to organizing a dinner party. One must consider: How formal is it? Are you letting them into the kitchen or just having them at the table? How will you be presenting the meal? Strategy is important when producing an effective video.

Set clear expectations. That goes for yourself, your clients, your colleagues, and your video team whether you’re client side or in-house. Caitlin pressed that all parties need to understand timelines and what you’re asking from your producer. Educate everyone about what goes into the process. Cristina has also learned that empowering individuals within her organization is a game-changer—since doing so, her colleagues have been more eager to come up with ideas and get in front of the camera.

If you’re outsourcing, avoid the common mistakes clients make. Celene implored those seeking video production companies to loop them in early in the process to ensure your video is as effective as possible. It’s what they do and they can give important feedback on audience and message targeting before you’ve committed time and resources to something that won’t work. But, trust your vision and your message—and make sure to communicate that with the videographer or producer.

And my favorite tip?

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, because authentic video is working. Though Cristina has had a lot of success with higher production videos, she’s also seen a lot of success on social media with personal 30-45-second videos. On the producer side, Celene tells clients that, if they don’t have a big budget, start by testing short clips to find out what’s working for your audience. In her mind, the message is what’s important, not the quality.

After learning from the amazing panelists, we broke off to collaborate in small groups and produce our own videos. The goal was to build conversational content, also known as a quick clip—quick to make & quick to disappear.

To help us along, Celene and her co-founder allowed us to test ShortKlips, their online video editing platform that provides a shortcut to production by outsourcing work to a network of video producers.

My group (s/o to my amazing team!) chose to build a video around what one wished they knew before entering the communications field. Luckily, we had Cristina to help our team brainstorm and design our creative brief before we went to filming. She provided a good set of ears for bouncing ideas and insight from her experience producing similar videos.

The story we chose was inspired by one of my teammates, who described a time she surprised herself in the office. She did a fabulous job on camera as Celene walked us through how to record a high-quality, short and sweet video with just our iPhones and good lighting.

Now, as the group’s project manager, I will be working with ShortKlips to produce our video for WWPR to use—how cool is that? Not only did I walk away with immediately applicable skills, but I also got connected with five professionals in an out-of-the-box way and learned a new tech platform.

I can’t wait to share my group’s video with the WWPR community! Stay tuned for the final product on WWPR’s social media platforms and my own Twitter account (@mmptolliver).