01 August 2013

Media Facilitation 101 #nlpoli

The Thursday morning post of Liberal leadership campaign videos included a technical note that explained why the videos in it didn’t fit with the formatting here at SRBP.

The reason for the problem – as the post noted – is that the people who posted the videos at youtube put some limitations on the embedding code.  This simple point apparently escaped a couple of readers who spent some time lecturing about how your humble e-scribbler could scale the youtube videos or edit the code.


The problem here is not that your humble e-scribbler lacked the technical knowledge of html coding or had not realised the near orgasmic wonders of youtube.  The gods of google know the number of videos that have appeared here over the years.

The problem in this case  is that by limiting the control a user had over the embedding functionality,  the people who uploaded the videos put an unnecessary hindrance in the way of someone who wanted to post the videos on a blog within the design of the blog itself.

Was that not obvious?

Now truthfully, and to be fair to the Twitterati,  the post as it appeared was probably the third version of what should have been a very simple post.  It was the third version because  - and here’s another bit of it – the excellent editing software that your e-scribbler uses to write these posts didn’t recognise the code that came out of the youtube embed function. 

That’s not sarcasm, by the way.  Windows Live Writer is one of the neatest little pieces of software on the go.  It beats the crap out of the editor that comes with Blogger.  And that’s the frustrating POS that your e-scribbler wound up using to get that post up.

In the process, an important bit of commentary went missing.  That’s the bit that noted how this was an example of why the media people out there working on campaigns and on behalf of clients need to make sure that their stuff as easy to use as possible.  In this case, trying to do a quick post late at night after a long day wound up being a needlessly frustrating chore.

To go back to the code for a second, the old youtube embed code created a box around the video that one could resize at will in both length and width.  The code these up loaders used gave - at most – four pre-set choices.

The key to this is what people in the public relations business sometimes call media facilitation. You want to facilitate media coverage.  Make it easy. Don’t put needless hindrances or annoyances in their way.  Make your stuff a near ready to use as you can and you are more likely to get it used.  And, after all, that’s what you want if you are trying increase awareness, knowledge, publicity or whatever you want to call it.

Now as a last point, here’s a shout out to Triware Technologies, the last commenter in the thread.  Their advice on youtube was spot on, just as were most of the comments offered.  But the comment on YouTube's capabilities was also entirely irrelevant since the person who wrote the tweet obviously hadn’t gone back to understand the start of the thread.

Not a problem. 

And for those looking for an IT service provider, here’s one of the few endorsements – unpaid, of course – that you will see around these parts for any commercial operation.  Your humble e-scribbler has relied on the Triware team on a daily basis for IT support for the past five years. They are first rate in every respect on everything from project management to design to price.  You will have a hard time finding anyone better.