NPCommunicator: MMC Notepad – Threadless Tells Nonprofits about Its Wild World of Video

Charles Festa, Community Manager at Threadless, speaks to the importance of branding and community engagement during his keynote speech at Making Media Connections 2011

This notepad courtesy of MMC Scribe Tanya Stanfield.

Thursday afternoon’s keynote speech at Making Media Connections 2011 introduced nonprofit communicators to the crazy online world of t-shirts.  In typical lively fashion, Threadless Community Manager Charles Festa shared his online video and community engagement tips that helped pave the way to online success.

An early Threadless video screened by Festa proved that videos with low-quality production values can still be successful tools of engagement.  In fact, Threadless’s grainy and sometimes pointless videos created quite an online following, appealing to designers and young, hip customers.

Eventually, Festa and his colleagues realized that proper branding and promotion could help grow their community even more.  They incorporated simple touches like the company’s name and URL into the beginning frames of each video and even asked its own community to complete scripts for videos to be featured on the Threadless website. While Festa wouldn’t describe Threadless videos as “viral,” he acknowledged that these activities along with cross promotion across marketing channels like Twitter and its newsletters helped spread the Threadless brand and grow its devoted community.

Since its early days of posting silly and random videos online, Threadless has developed a successful online video and engagement strategy that can be applied to nonprofit goals.  Festa encouraged the audience to begin with simple online videos and involve their entire organizations in production process.

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For more notes from this summer’s Making Media Connections conference and the latest insights on communications strategies for nonprofits, visit the Nonprofit Communicator blog.

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Category: Making Media Connections

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