Charity Uses Streaming Web Video and Social Media to Launch Humanitarian Effort

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The world’s a smaller place with social media and web video now being the “norm” for communication, making it an easy reach to rally help for worthy causes. The World Food Programme recently used search engine Google+’s Hangouts service combined with live YouTube to bring awareness to an African hunger epidemic. “Having instant, global reach for charitable groups like WFP,” comments Melbourne Video Production creator David Jenyns, “means pressing issues have a real chance of getting support.”

African Food Crisis

African Food Crisis (DAUD YUSSUF/REUTERS)

Technology of today can raise awareness like no other time in history,” comments Jenyns, “and people can respond just as quickly to take action.

Long gone are the days of door-knocking and office donation boxes being the primary means of charity awareness. Being well into the new millennia, the internet now stretches into every corner of the globe; bringing with it urgent pleas for support via social media and web video.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the largest agency of its kind, recently used this combination of technology to launch a global humanitarian effort to bring awareness to, and rally support for, world hunger. Basing the event amid the current Sahel Crisis in Africa, the entire drive hinged on the efficiency of WFP hosting a “Hangout,” Google+’s interactive social media plug-in, and YouTube.

The event featured WFP’s Denise Brown (Niger Director), CNN’s Jim Clancy, along with a handful of journalists and bloggers from around the globe. Viewers could watch the event streaming live on YouTube and ask questions on Google+ or via Twitter.

“Using a live video and social media like Google+ Hangouts is the perfect way to bring people from around the world together for an urgent cause,” says David Jenyns, Director of Melbourne Video Production, “because time zones and borders become obsolete, and your audience is near infinite.”

With over 10 million people in the West African region in crisis, including Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Cameroon, the urgency for food assistance is at boiling point.

This time of year, from June to September, is what's known as the “hunger season” and it's already in full swing. WFP knew it needed to increase awareness about the Sahel Crisis quickly and globally, so it's no surprise they engaged the services of goliath companies Google+ and YouTube as their messengers.

“Technology of today can raise awareness like no other time in history,” comments Jenyns, “and people can respond just as quickly to take action.”

An interactive web video event, like the one WFP hosted, has made a name for itself as an effective way to communicate in any arena. Everyone from the U.S. President Barack Obama to His Holiness the Dalai Lama are using this combination of social media and web video to send messages to, and interact with, their respective audiences.

“It’s amazing to see everyone from governments, corporate businesses and charitable organisations using the same methods to reach their audiences,” says Jenyns, “it’s marketing at its best, and plain to see that no business should be without it.”

The World Food Programme's efforts with the Sahel Crisis are still ongoing; information on the epidemic, as well as a way to donate, can be found on their YouTube Channel.

About Melbourne Video Production is a full-service web video marketing company specializing in video production in Melbourne. They create complete campaigns from the ground up: from script writing to video production and marketing it online.

Known for being at the cutting edge of strategic video marketing and SEO practices, the company has a range of video products designed to help you connect with your customers, turn your clients into your best sales people, and save time and money by answering your frequently asked questions in video.

Melbourne Video Production Director, David Jenyns, has, over several years, built a team of experts who are niche experts to support the business, and who share his ethos for ethical, professional Internet marketing.

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