Video Equipment Recommendations (Part II of II)

Video CameraOn Tuesday, December 7th, we met with Bob Heim and Lisa Zelig of Boston Digital Editing for a crash course in video production. In Part I, Bob forwarded us fifteen tips on a successful shoot. In Part II, Bob has made some recommendations on equipment, which he sent to us and is allowing us to post here.

Our recent meeting on the basics of video production has helped me to learn a little about and the kinds of video projects the various departments of BU will be producing in the short term. Based on what we discussed, I think I can make several equipment recommendations.

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15 Do’s and Don’ts of Video Production (Part I of II)

Video ProductionOn Tuesday, December 7th, we met with Bob Heim and Lisa Zelig of Boston Digital Editing for a crash course in video production, as many of us are now tasked with creating video content for our websites and social media channels. Bob made recommendations on equipment and making the best of different lighting and sound setups. He has forwarded us fifteen tips on a successful shoot, which he has kindly allowed us to post here.

1) No Shaky Shots!
Get a tripod and use it. Helps with camera moves. Make sure the camera you have fits on the base of the tripod you have.

2) Be Still
Only move the camera when you have: 1) a reason and 2) the opportunity. Don’t let needless adjustments ruin your shot. Make sure you have at least 10-20 seconds of usable footage for each piece of B-Roll. All pans and zooms should be slow and controlled.

3) What You See is What You Get
Don’t push record until your shot is perfect. It should be visually interesting and follow the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is when you imagine your image is divided up like a tic-tac-toe board. The subject’s eyes should be on the top line and their gaze should follow to the other side of the frame (where the interviewer would be).

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Social Media and Time Management

TimeI’m currently poring over Ivan Walsh’s second iteration of free eBooks on social media. One that stood out for me is Amber Naslund’s “Social Media Time Management” (pdf), which I’m now reading through for a few new ideas.

When we sit down to consult with a school on their social media strategy, one of the biggest concerns is time management. Staff already have many different projects on their plates (and several waiting in the wings). How is it possible to keep up with not only 1) listening to what people are saying about them, but 2) remembering to allot time to all of these new tools, especially if they have to learn them first?

I often think of a marketer’s common concern: the switching cost hurdle. If the mental energy and effort expelled in making a switch in behavior is perceived as being greater than the benefit, the switch doesn’t occur. We also see this all the time in business with the adoption of social media — are the benefits of using social tools like Facebook worth the learning curve involved?

From what I’ve read so far, I agree with Amber — listen first, and come up with some solid goals. It shouldn’t be an exhaustive list, but maybe one or two things that you’d really like to get accomplished. Then, once you’ve been listening for a while, decide on what tools can help you the most. I also like to add that if you’re thinking of using more than one website to promote, get really good at one before moving on to a second. If you need to reserve your URLs, by all means do it, but make sure you have your goals outlined, and maybe a schedule if you’re sharing responsibilities with more than one person in your area.

How do you stay on top of social media on your team?

Image courtesy John-Morgan on Flickr.

TWTRCON SF 10: Key Takeaways

Photo courtesy vincentgallegos on Flickr

Photo courtesy vincentgallegos on Flickr

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend TWTRCON SF 2010, much due in part to Anne Weiskopf, Dean Elmore and Kat Cornetta (thank you!) I’d like to share with you some takeaways I gathered from some of the great sessions I attended during the one-day conference. Please feel free to reach out to me in person if you’d like to talk more about these notes, or better yet, visit the blogs and websites of the speakers noted below — they have some very valuable knowledge to share.

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Guest Post: How BU Student Health Services Wellness Education Uses Social Media

The following is a guest post from Michelle George of Student Health Services’ Wellness Education program. We asked her to give some insight into how she uses social tools to help promote Wellness programs (including GTK). Here’s what she had to say!


At Student Health Services Wellness Education, we use social media quite regularly. We know that the population we serve is connected to many platforms including Facebook and Twitter. We also know from the research that most people get answers to their health questions online or from a friend versus a health educator or medical professional. While this knowledge makes it difficult to dispel myths, it is helpful to get the word out to our students in this format.

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Social Media Communicators Meeting 09/21/2010: Fall Introductions, Video Production Discussion, Upcoming Events

Maple LeavesThe Social Media Communicators group met on Tuesday, September 21 to introduce everyone at the meeting (new year, new members), as well as follow up on interest in a video production seminar. All members present discussed the tools they were using for video production, and what they would like to gain from it. Sarah Evans from BU Photography also discussed the efforts of her department over the past several months. We then talked about upcoming meeting agenda items and events for cross-promotion.

Public Relations Introductions

First, Public Relations went around and introduced their team. Tom Testa, Asst. VP of PR, emphasized the name change from Media Relations (which implied a heavy media/Experts Program emphasis) to Public Relations, which is now more focused on messaging, content creation, and a blend of social media. Public Relations is hoping to be the center of conversation for the university, and to be the place where the outside community goes for its information on BU. The department is still beat-driven, with a client/agency model, which allows the team to meet one-on-one with clients (schools) and consult with them on a broader, all-encompassing promotional strategy, including social media.

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Live chat with Dean Elmore and Tom O’Keefe (@BostonTweet)

On Wednesday, Sept. 8th at 1 pm ET, we’ll be on UStream LIVE with Dean Elmore and @BostonTweet talking about how to make the most of what Boston has to offer, or “A BU Student’s Guide to Boston.”

We will solicit questions via Twitter with the hashtag #buchats, as well as Facebook and on UStream itself. Please feel free to share it with your students as well — we’ll be hosting the chat in front of a live audience, which is first come first served, in BU Central.

The links to share are:

Boston University is now on Foursquare

As we had mentioned in our last Social Media Communicators meeting, we have been in talks with Foursquare about getting BU on board. We’re happy to announce that today, our official page has been launched:

Boston University on Foursquare

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Live UStream chat with Hardin Coleman and Joan Salge Blake

Healthy EatingJoin registered dietitian and Sargent clinical associate professor Joan Salge Blake and School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman tomorrow on UStream for a live chat about nutrition and education. At 11:00 am on Wednesday, September 1, they will be live on UStream, talking about the effects of health & good nutrition on education, as well as the significance of including healthy eating in the curriculum. How can you make sure your child is eating healthy meals when he’s at school? How can schools prepare healthy, appealing meals for children that fulfill FDA school lunch regulations and still stay on budget?

The official hashtag for the event is #buchats, which is also how we’ll solicit questions tomorrow (along with UStream comments). If your school or department focuses on health or nutrition, we’d appreciate some help getting the word out! The link to share is, or

(image courtesy Susy Morris on Flickr)

How the University of New Haven is using social media to connect with prospective students

University of New HavenI’ve recently been following #CampusChat, a weekly discussion on Twitter put on by SmartCollegeVisit. The participants are mainly parents and higher ed-related organizations and services, and recently #CampusChat has been inviting schools to be represented in the discussion.

Gil Rogers is the Associate Director of Admissions and Enrollment Technology at the University of New Haven (@unewhaven), and he was a guest for the #CampusChat held on August 11th. He fielded questions and talked about how the University of New Haven uses social media and new technologies to connect with prospective students (full transcript here). Some key takeaways:

– E-mail is not dead: their e-mail read rates have actually increased with the use of smartphones & inclusion of timeline information — upcoming events, etc.

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