10 Questions to Answer Before You Film

Though you may be excited and feel ready to start filming and getting the content you want, here are 10 key questions that you should be able to answer before you even pick up a camera.

  1. Who has the power to create the change you want? (This is your primary audience.)
  2. Do you have access to this primary audience?
  3. If not, do you need to engage allies or an intermediary who has access (eg: someone who knows the person or organization you want to reach)?
  4. What do you want your audience to do? (Provide some direction.)
  5. What will convince them to take action?
  6. What will be appealing, persuasive or interesting to your audience (i.e.: factual information, potential people who can be interviewed or featured in your video, any experts you may want to include on the video or in accompanying material)?
  7. Who will your audience listen to – and why? (This should be the messenger [or messengers] in your video.)
  8. How will your video be integrated into your campaign or advocacy plan?
  9. When should your audience see your video?  (If your video is about water rights, for example, you may work to release or screen your video on International Water Day to take advantage of an existing, related event to increase the potential impact.)
  10. What is your distribution plan to ensure your audience sees your video? (Developing a distribution plan will help ensure your audience sees the video when and where you want.  See Section 5 to learn more.)


Be very clear at the beginning of your advocacy plan who the target or primary audience is for your video. Though you can have more than one audience, the primary audience should be the person or persons that have the power to create the change you want to see.  Though this is often an elected official or representative of an organization, it can also be citizens you are trying to engage to get involved to help strengthen your advocacy work.

For each audience, you will want to chose the best message and messengers (people that appear in your video) to move your intended audience to action.  Moreover, some of the most successful advocacy plans have multiple audiences, which are often targeted in sequence.  For example, a video may first be screened with community members and leaders to inspire their engagement with a campaign and ultimately to help pressure the key or primary audience.  Analyze your situation carefully to design the best plan of action to support your advocacy.

What Next? Research to Know What is Out There

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