Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why a great team is all you need

From Daniella Russo's moleskine.

Our support is growing and this brings great energy into the entire team. Today Passionfish joins in as a major sponsor of the festival. Other sponsors to date are Oceana, Indian Summer and the Monterey Peninsula Waste Management District. It is terrific to see so much excitement in the community for this - first - film festival in honor of Oceans Day.

A key element of the strategy for the campaign all along has been engaging non-profits and grass-roots organizations who are already working on the dangers of plastics and marine debris. Their access to the community, their "feet on the ground" are really important for the success of the campaign. We could offer excellent outreach materials, film and CDs to support their efforts. So, with these great partners on board, we march towards a great film festival. I hope we get the word out and people attend the event.

As I write about the team, it is important to mention Blaise Douros, our post-production assistant extraordinaire. In the film business post-production assistants do everything: from bringing coffee and making copies, to editing and burning CDs. Not at Sea Studios. Here we treat post-productions with some reverence, because they hold the key to our successful outreach campaigns. They produce all the material that ends in the hands of the public. Blaise came to us with a degree in music and skills in lots of technical areas. He has a great attitude, he is always ready to help, and we ask him to do everything - from producing the outreach CDs, to setting me up with a portable audio system for my keynote presentations, to researching stock footage, to selling stock footage, to creating the music for some of our podcasts, to actually getting sponsors signed up for the festival. And this is just a glimpse at his tasks. This week he did a tour de force along Cannery Row and got quite a few businesses to support he film festival.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Think Beyond Plastics keeps growing

From Daniella Russo's moleskin

It is truly amazing to see how our campaign is growing. We launched it at the end of 2008, with a Facebook cause, a viral film hosted by Edward Norton, and a destination page Our goal was to capture the interest in Edward Norton (Bring Your Own Bag), and send viewers to the portal web page that would help direct their interest. Soon we found out that there is no singular web site that organizes news, information and social activism around plastic bags, or The Garbage Patch. So we created the pages: and To get people to visit, we added a call to action at the end of Edward's Video Bag The Bag. We also launched a Google keyword campaign, linking certain words to the web sites. Slowly, but surely, traffic began to flow.
Today, about 14 months after we started the campaign, our Facebook cause is almost 17,000 strong and continues to grow. Traffic to both web sites is building up.
Key to our efforts now is partnering with grass-roots organizations to reach out to the communities live, not just online.
Next I will write about working with the partner organizations.