Posted in Marketing/PR
12/9 2013

Faces of Austin – Are you in?

Hello Friends!

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I wanted to announce that the Faces of Austin 2014 Call to Filmmakers is now open!

Films selected for Faces of Austin Film Fest in 2014 will once again have a Premiere Screening during the SXSW Film Conference Community Screenings in March 2014. The films will also be shown at on Channel 6, on the City of Austin website, and at special screenings throughout the year!

Also for the first time, Faces of Austin will be accepting digital applications with online links to your film so there is no need to burn DVDs and pay postage!

Finally, we are very excited to announce that Austin’s own Richard Linklater will be selecting this year’s Judge Choice.

All submissions due by January 21, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

Film Requirements:

  • 10 minutes maximum length (optimal length is 1-5 min.)
  • By an Austin-area filmmaker or commissioned through an Austin organization
  • Original non-fiction or fiction work no more than 3 years old
  • Filmed in Austin or highlights Austin-area topics or organizations
  • Does not violate copyright laws
  • Does not solicit funds or a particular political call to action
  • May not be selected by SXSW as part of its other Short Film Exhibitions

Examples of Film Submissions:

  • Documentary about a local organization, place, issue, or historical event
  • Music video featuring Austin bands
  • Student film by Austin university, secondary, or elementary students
  • Narrative set in and/or filmed in Austin
  • Artistic video montage that highlights Austin


Download the application. Email completed applications to or mail/hand-deliver to 201 E. 2nd Street, Austin, TX, 78701. In addition to this application form, your submission packet may include a filmmaker biography, professional resume (for film professionals only), and either a link to an online video or a DVD for each submitted film.

Selection Process:

A Selection Panel comprising project advisors, media experts, and City staff will review each artist’s work and associated materials submitted by the project deadline. Selected submissions will meet all of the requirements and demonstrate a high quality. The City of Austin reserves the right to disqualify materials deemed offensive or inappropriate to show in a public setting. A “Judge’s Choice” will be selected from among the panel’s top-rated submissions

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05/26 2011

How are returning Veterans using Social Media?

How are returning Iraq and Afghanistan war vets using social media and online giving? The answers may surprise you. This prezo was done for a group of nonprofits that serves this ever growing and under served group.


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Posted in Marketing/PR
12/9 2010

Social Media Serving Society Part Two

:: Special guest post from our friend Melissa:: This is part Two:: Part One is here::

“It’s crazy. Sometimes I’ll post something and there will be 100 comments by the time I got home from work,” Weinstein says.

While she says that catching up is relatively easy, it’s the writing process that is so timely. Gathering information and pictures to write stories for the blog and Facebook takes time, especially when it’s the product of volunteers.

With so much time spent updating and posting, Weinstein admits that thinking about evaluating the different social media is overwhelming.
Likewise, Neff agrees that time is the biggest challenge when adapting to social media. He currently works with various nonprofits at Ridgewood :: Ingenious Communications and claims that understanding various social media is not the problem.

“I think everybody gets it, it’s just a matter of fitting it in,” Neff says.
He points out that social media calls for a constant effort with replying to people and actively engaging, which is on top of everything else the organization does like running campaigns.

Replying to people is important to maintaining an active presence in social media. But how should nonprofits deal with the opposition they face?
Neff gives advice for handling negativity online and says the first step is to talk to the person. Talking will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether or not they are a “troll,” which he explains as internet slang for people who love to argue.

“If you can really tell that this person can’t be reasoned with, they’re a troll and you should probably just ignore them, and definitely don’t feed the trolls,” Neff says.

He admits that sometimes a valid point can be presented with statistics, but cautions against getting into an argument with the other person. It’s best to make your point and leave it at that.

As a monitor of APA’s Facebook page, Weinstein has experienced the danger of confrontation and understands the importance of dealing with it firsthand. She told me about a particular instance with frustration as she described a Facebook page she has reported multiple times.

The profile has a picture of the APA logo with a no-symbol through it. The person behind the account began messaging people from APA’s Facebook page, and one of the negative messages was re-posted to their wall by a recipient.

Weinstein deleted the post, explained to the woman why she did, and thanked her for bringing it to their attention. “We didn’t want our volunteers going to him and starting this online battle, we try to avoid that,” Weinstein says.

With all the constant monitoring, it’s easy to see how social media can be time consuming. As a result, the day-to-day of public relations practitioners like Weinstein have changed.

“Time that would normally be spent thinking about the bigger stories and overall public relations goals, I’m spending on the daily stuff,” Weinstein says. “So, sometimes we get so caught up in the daily things that a month later we’re like ‘wait we wanted to send this out’ about some story with a larger scope.”
Additionally, the way people send out press releases and communicate with media contacts have changed. The traditional communication process has been sped up by social media.

“I’m not calling people…instead I’m just doing mass e-mails, and sending the press releases, and following up in social media and tweeting them,” Neff says.

Weinstein and Neff agree that press releases are still important given the advent of social media, because they reach a different audience. Hence, it’s important for an organization to strike a balance between different media.
While it’s evident that social media should be a staple in any public relations programs, it’s increasingly important for organizations lacking social media to jump on the bandwagon.

Organizations struggling with social media need to find a way to implement it, and Weinstein recommends giving more responsibility to volunteers as a start. APA operates almost entirely off of volunteers, and Weinstein is a volunteer herself.

Additionally, Neff says that organizations without social media in their public relations programs are in trouble, and he encourages them to catch up soon as technology is moving quickly.

It’s doubtful that social media will become obsolete anytime soon, and Neff claims that video is the future for nonprofits as it is a powerful tool for calling people to action.

“The ability to sit down and watch this two minute clip that explains exactly what your mission is and what your nonprofit is doing is just revolutionary,” Neff says.

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11/12 2010

Beyond the Basics : Social Media and Activism 201

Beyond the Basics: Social Media and Activism 201 is a presentation given by Matt Glazer of GNI Strategies and myself, David J. Neff of Ridgewood : Ingenious Communications Strategies. We have presented this at the University of Texas, The AMA National Nonprofit Meeting and Texas Nonprofit Summit so far. (HINT: We’d love to present to your group as well! Just contact us )

The presentation covers the groundbreaking campaigns we are running for political and nonprofit campaigns in 2010. It provides bleeding edge case studies of how to run social media campaigns in 2011 and beyond. Enjoy and I would love to hear any and all of your comments:

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