Introducing Video to the suite of mySidewalk storytelling tools
Ready, set, play that video! mySidewalk is introducing a new way to enhance data storytelling: the ability to embed videos directly into dashboards and reports. Whether you’d like to explain the impact of a particular project, spotlight a community member, or post a public meeting, mySidewalk’s video tool will help you do it.
There are so many ways you can experiment with video storytelling, but here are four that we recommend you start using right away. After reading these ideas, you’ll want to set up a meeting with your PIO and communications department to start strategizing on how to work together to tell powerful stories.
4 fun ways to use mySidewalk’s new video feature
Spotlight an elected official or community leader involved in a strategic initiative
A video spotlight on individuals who are working to advance strategic initiatives is a great way to bring out the human element of your data narrative. For example, you could feature the owner of a new local startup on an Economic Insights Dashboard or share a clip of a local health professional explaining the importance of access to healthy food on a Community Health Report. Embedding spotlight videos can draw interest to and increase familiarity with sometimes complicated or in-depth topics.
Provide easy access to meeting or announcement videos
Your community members are busy and don’t always have time to make it to community meetings. Some citizens may not have access to transportation to get to a meeting and some are even homebound. Don’t let packed schedules, lack of transportation, or health issues get in the way of community involvement. By embedding video of your latest council meeting or other public forum, you ensure that all community members have a way to stay plugged into what’s happening in the city. Informed citizens feel empowered in their communities. Check out Data KC’s KCStat Dashboard as an example of how to incorporate public meetings on strategic plan progress directly into their Strategic Plan Dashboard.
Drive home the narrative behind your data
mySidewalk helps you get the most out of your data by empowering you to tell compelling and beautiful data stories. Video has the potential to really drive home your narrative, when used in strategic places. For example on a Strategic Plan Update Report or Dashboard, you could share video of a long-planned initiative finally coming to fruition. Or, has a downtown revitalization project started in your city? Create periodic video montages of the progress to keep community members and stakeholders up-to-date and excited about the project. Is your fire department initiating a fire safety program? Film a short video highlighting key fire safety practices to share with the community. One of our partners, the Kauffman Foundation, holds an annual mayor’s conference and provides each attendee access to an Economic & Innovation Performance Dashboard. This year, the Foundation could embed one of their impressive Kauffman Sketchbook video, like “Zero Barriers to Startup”, to educate mayors on the issues impacting outcomes in their communities.
Flyover footage to showcase Opportunity Zones, downtown, the city or beyond
Drone footage is all the rage right now. It can be seen everywhere from the news to wedding videography. Photos and descriptive words can’t quite translate the atmosphere and beauty of your communities. What better way to showcase the vibrance of your community than with a high-flying, majestic video? Maybe you want to highlight your city’s downtown, a beautiful public park or wildlife area, or a bustling entertainment sector. Does your city have an annual festival or event that shows off the vibrancy, uniqueness, and culture of your area? Featuring drone footage can really capture the excitement of living in your community.
No matter how you do it, including video in your dashboards or reports is a great way to communicate with community members and stakeholders. It can add interest, context, and value to your data. To learn more about using video you can visit our help desk article.