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The video annual report.

The Video Annual Report

Aim to please. Shoot to win.

Is your annual installation luncheon a pleasure cruise of Titanic proportion? You can save yourself and your chief elected officer the misery of an overlong farewell address with a video annual report.

We had hired a production company to make a short video on our new shelter and clinic for homeless men. Knowing the shelter project would be the cornerstone of our annual report, we also asked the firm to produce a video of the year's highlights.

I listed key projects, their chairs, and visuals to illustrate them. We found photos, books, videotapes of meetings, and news clips from our network and PBS affiliates, and identified gaps where interviews needed to be recorded.

The film crew made three trips to our offices to record crucial meetings, special events, and 15-minute interviews with notable players. These fragments practically sorted themselves into a story line reflecting our organizational structure of patient and physician advocacy, peer review, governmental relations, and three affiliated corporations.

I wrote a brief narration for the president, Dr. C. Kenneth Peters, to tie the story line together and introduce interview segments. This five-page script was transferred to Teleprompter for taping at his office. We added cues to help the producers insert interview clips and other visuals during editing.

A hard-hitting opener developed for our monthly PBS program was already "in the can," complete with screaming ambulances, cardiac monitors, and masked surgeons in operating rooms. To personalize the report and convey the people-oriented, family physician style of our president, we followed that stark opener with a close shot of a music box on his desk. A shingle over the door says "Doctor," and a smiling whitecoated figure appears in the miniature doorway as the music tinkles "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down." The title announces, "Dr. Peters' Neighborhood." The audience's warm laugh at our premier assured me that they were now ready for a fireside chat with their leader and colleague.

We paced the report so that the narrator's comments became shorter and less frequent as the story progressed, while a rapid-fire series of brief volunteer interviews and television news clips held viewers' attention.

Our communication director and I reviewed the raw interview footage at the production studio and made editing suggestions. Even so, the result--which most viewers estimated at 12-15 minutes--was 22 minutes long. We spent just $3,400, including $400 for equipment and projection at the meeting. That cost was made up by a supplier who agreed to subsidize that amount of our dinner expense.

Do have a professional tape and edit, even if it costs more. Our few seconds of homemade video were obvious. In-house video is useful for documenting informational programs. Its inherent obtrusiveness also adds an aura of excitement and impact to any event.

Despite our sophistication as television viewers, we still get excited about being television subjects. Even the curmudgeons of the society conducted themselves on a higher plane when they thought they might be on camera. And with so many people and events recorded during the year, attendance doubled as a result at our annual meeting.

Our departing president was satisfied and thankful to have this job made easier. The members were particularly pleased, and we ended up with a versatile tool, easily adapted for member relations, membership development, foundation fund-raising, and public relations through our speakers' bureau.

Lelan K. Woodmansee, CAE, is executive director of the Jefferson County Medical Society and president of the Kentucky Society of Association Executives, Louisville.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Good Ideas
Author:Woodmansee, Lelan K.
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:column
Date:Feb 1, 1991
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