Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting the Word out with YouTube

In the NM Business Weekly:
Power of YouTube helps out City Homeless Agency

Like many nonprofits, Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless saw the potential of the Internet for finding new supporters, but how to do it was another matter, said Jennifer Metzler, co-executive director of Healthcare for the Homeless, or HCH.

"It was all a bit of an unknown for us," she said.

Then Mudhouse Advertising proposed doing a short video on Art Street, an affiliated program of HCH that offers art classes. The idea was to send the link to Mudhouse clients explaining that the agency had donated to the program in their honor. Mudhouse posted the video on YouTube (, with a link through its Web site, and pledged $1 for each unique view the video received over the holiday season.

The effort resulted in nearly 5,000 unique views during that period, plus at least another $1,500 donated by viewers to HCH. Donations have come from 15 states, including Alaska, Hawaii and North Carolina, and viewers have come from around the world, even Indonesia, said Mario Burgos, president of Mudhouse. Some 18 blogs have posted the video on their sites as well.

Behold the power of viral marketing.

That's ad speak for passing a message from one person to the next, and so on. Burgos said a traditional gift would have gone to 25 clients and stopped with the message "A contribution has been made on your behalf." They might pass it on to two or three people.

"With viral, we send it out to 200 people on an email list. They sent it out to 400 people," he said.

The video continues to get hits every day and by Jan. 6, had reached 5,815 unique views. And while Mudhouse ended its own donations after the holidays, the video has a link at its close where viewers can donate.
The video was produced by Rebecca Elise Productions, Luis Molina and Half-Life Digital.

Art Street was founded in the early 1990s as a project of Leadership Albuquerque, Metzler said, but it dovetails well with HCH. Many people who could use HCH's services are isolated and don't connect well in a social services setting, which might be highly structured.

Read the full article here: Power of YouTube helps out City Homeless Agency
See the video HERE.

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