I had occasion to do my first self-video this week. It was a one-minute spot to introduce a program I’m presenting at an upcoming nonprofit conference.

No problem, right? Go into my Macbook Pro. Fire up the Photo Booth program, and record my introduction.

Then reality set in.

I needed to be sure of what I was going to say, so I didn’t stumble.

My computer is generally below my direct line of sight, but I didn’t want to be looking down at the camera.

How do I look at the camera and still read my notes? How does my hair look? Is my office tidy?

After a little manipulation, I raised my computer so it was directly in front of me. I typed my notes into a document so I could see them on the screen as I looked at the camera. I stacked the books behind me, combed my hair and put on lipstick.

I recorded the spot. Then I recorded it again – apparently I tend to swivel in my desk chair when I talk. Then I recorded it again – I also tend to bite my lip during pauses. Then I recorded it again – I stumbled over a few words.

In all, it took a full hour and 10 takes before I was satisfied. The DonorPerfect  conference organizer laughed and said that was on the low end for all his staff who were recording videos.

Wow. Way to internalize a lesson I’ve been telling nonprofit boards about for the past few years!

When you see organizations with great social media presence, they make it look easy. This very small episode is a reminder that it’s not easy. It takes work to have a great presence. It takes planning and it takes forethought.

The idea for video promos came from a smart, full-time communications professional, who is coordinating the video uploads for all the conference facilitators. It’s part of a comprehensive marketing campaign that integrates with the organization’s educational goals.  It’s not scatter-shot. It’s planned and strategic, with specific objectives and accountability.

When Directors and Trustees suggest you get a college or high school student to “do the social media,” feel free to show them this post. If you want a consistent message, and a fully integrated consistent presence in front of your clients, supporters, members, volunteers and staff, it takes planning and it takes time.

Once upon a time we told people to “learn computer programming.” We don’t anymore.  Computers are now just a tool we all use to get our work done. That time has come for social media. Social media is now just another tool in a well-rounded marketing plan.

Have you had an experience that reinforces a lesson in nonprofit planning and governance? Let me know! Perhaps we can share it so others can learn, too!  You can reach me at: sdetwiler@detwiler.com.