Behind the Project | Save Dulwich Hamlet
Behind the project is a new seriers which interviews Seenit Project Managers, i.e. people from different companies who use Seenit’s tech to make an awesome video happen.
For our first edition, it was only right we interviewed Seenit’s own Ben Sibley. Two weeks into his employment, he set up his third video project ‘Save Dulwich Hamlet’. It aimed to bring awareness to the fact his local (and England’s oldest) football club was threatened with closure over a real estate dispute. The video was insanely successful - like over 241 Facebook shares & 45,000 Twitter views in 2 days successful.
Here is how he did it & his top tips for those who make video magic with Seenit.
- Can you give us an outline of your project?
“Essentially, my local football team, Dulwich Hamlet, have been forced out of their ground by their owners who are property developers who want to demolish the ground & build flats on it. They have a relationship with the council which has since broken down and as a way, as using the club as a bargaining chip they’ve locked them out of their ground. Because of this, a fan campaign was set up called “Save Dulwich Hamlet” who have come together to fight for the future of the club.”
- In that case, what came first - the community or the idea?
“I have thought for some time how Seenit could help the Dulwich Hamlet community in general. And it’s been the back of my mind for a few years. With recent of the Save Dulwich Hamlet campaign it’s kinda pushed me towards doing it, looking at how it can give the community a voice at a time it needed to have its voice heard. So, I would say it was community first & then there has been a cause to explore it.”
- How did you get your contributors/filmers? How many of them were there?
“Going out to the community, I did it purely on social media. I created a graphic which had sign up instructions, how to download the app, how to sign in, & a brief filming tip. Posted it on our Dulwich Hamlet fan channel I have. It has about 2,500 followers. I posted the call out on the Saturday morning as there was a big rally & march of fans planned for Saturday lunchtime.”
“So posted on the Saturday morning & 3 hours later, just before the march, we had between 50-60 people sign up - which is pretty unheard of uptake of Seenit just through a social media call out. That was a moment when I realised just how engaged the community was & that we might be onto something. “
- Were there any big challenges?
“I suppose the challenges were the same ones Team Seenit experience day-to-day, anyway. Getting people to actually to take the time to film. People might feel passionate get enough to get involved with the cause, but hitting that record button & actually doing it is another step. As I said, 50-60 signed up only had 11 record, but they recorded amazing content. 11 is more than enough!”
The challenge is I think is just, people weren’t particularly briefed on what Seenit does & that we were using it to get the behind the scenes experiences of the rally day. It was just like, BANG here’s a graphic, straight in there, new to people. Despite that challenge, the take up was incredible. “
- How did you use the Seenit Studio?
“I sent one or two messages through the Seenit Studio to the filming community at key points during the day. Just before the coming together of fans happened I said ‘Remember to film’, ‘Capture yourself in front of the big crowd, ‘Let us know how you’re feeling’, and asked them to get great footage of those speaking at the event. Also, I told them to show us the journey there show us the journey home. So, various at points there was chance to message them. I think that works really well as they come up as a push notification on their phone. Messaging through the studio is a really key way of engaging people & directing them to film want you like.
- How many shots on the shot list did you have?
” I think 4… yeah, think it was actually four”
- What was the most rewarding part? Was it in the making ? The outcome? The video?
“Good question. Think the making of the video & watching people upload content, just since this Seenit was all still pretty new to me. Also, it was great reading the tags & comments below. They ranged form, “Oh my god, I love this club it needs to be saved!” to “How have you got this video out so quickly?”. As this was my first experience of Seenit, it was really nice to see.”
- Where did you distribute the video?
“I posted the video on Facebook & Twitter on two different Dulwich Hamlet accounts I run. One is the fan account, the other is the actual “Save Dulwich Hamlet” campaign. Both of them have 2,500 followers on Twitter, and the Save Dulwich Hamlet page has 1,500 likes on Facebook, the other about 500. The reaction was mind blowing. When we posted from the Save Dulwich Hamlet Facebook account & I think it got 280 shares, & 350 likes. I knew that the content was perfect for Facebook. With the audience we have, it was perfect. I was really happy with the edit.”
“We posted the final edit on social media so quickly. We had an editor in New York editing the clips from the Seenit Studio together all afternoon, meaning we finished filming probably about Saturday 1pm then able to post the final edit at half 7pm that evening. The Save Dulwich Hamlet situation has attracted a huge amount of media, worldwide. So at this rally we had CNN, Al Jeezera, BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Copa 90, London Live, so these huge media outlets covering the day, & Seenit content went out half 7pm on the Saturday, and the first content filmed by any of those outlet went out on Monday. “
- So what happens next? What’s happening with Dulwich Hamlet? What’s the outcome of the video? Has it pushed it forward?
“The property developers who own the club & kicked them out of their stadium, actually got in touch with Suffolk council and said “Can we meet? Can we discuss the situation?”. I don’t know if that is a direct result of the content we made with Seenit, but I would like to think considering how far that content travelled, how many people watched it, the amazing comments we got on it, & the sound bites we got from Dulwich Hamlet fans old & young, I would like to think it had an effect. There is no way it wouldn’t have been viewed by the property developers. There’s no way. They rely on social media for all Dulwich Hamlet activity & news. I also felt like it helped drive the campaign forward, by that I mean it attracted loads of new campaign supporters.”
“The video broadened & amplified the message of the campaign. On social media someone in Scotland can watch it, some can be in Italy & watch it, and feel like they are part of it as it was a behind the scene video. It made people feel something. I think a campaign trying to save one of England’s oldest non-league football club in the face of multinational property developers with no care for London community is something that resonates with a huge amount of people. Being able to amplify that message & get it in front of people is hugely valuable.”
1. Get the community right
“It’s so crucial & you can do it in a few ways. You can pitch the idea of seenit to begin with & introduce people to it, you might have a particularly engaged section of your community who are already happy to film, or identify & chat to who you think are gonna be great contributors. If you don’t get good contributors, you’re not going to get good content.”
2. Have that first great impression
“When you first contacting or finding those you want to film, get that message right. You have to get that message right. It is a completely new thing to a lot of people to film yourself, to film & record user generated content. People don’t tend to find it natural. There is a barrier there, so getting the first communication there right by giving a clear understand of where the content is going, why you setup the project, why they need to get involved with it, plus making them feel like it’s an exciting thing to be apart of, it’s not too scary & show them that it’s easy. Basically, just getting them on board with Seenit from an early stage.”
3. Keep up with them
Don’t feel like you set up a project, get your team of filmers & ask them to film stuff then leave it to run. You have to keep in contact by giving them a push to record more content by sending messages via the Seenit studio like “we need this kind of content” , “this content is really amazing, or ‘have you thought about doing this?”. Also, give them updates about how the project is progressing. This makes them feel apart of it & not like they’re giving video over - and they are totally apart of it!
The content is about them, & they’ll feel that through Seenit’s messaging service, keeping them engaged, & making sure they don’t feel like they aren’t getting further away from the project after they’ve been introduced.” Here’s a follow up video 10 days after the rally.
We asked #DHFC fans to tell us why @DulwichHamletFC needs to be saved. This is what they said. Thanks again to @_seenit for the support and to all the fans who got involved. We’re determined to help you have your voice heard. #SaveDHFC 💖💙💖💙 pic.twitter.com/baGb6Z16Tj — Forward The Hamlet #SaveDHFC (@ForwardHamlet) March 27, 2018
Thank you Ben! What a handy read for those who want to totally boss making video with Seenit. Looks like an awesome call out to an active community with an important cause enabled awesome content, while the rapid editing for quick distribution caused strong engagement online.
Can’t wait to champion the next Seenit Project Manager & investigate how our tech has instilled creative confidence in their community & made awesome video.