5 Free Resources To Help Your Online Outreach
The key to changing anything while on a budget is People Power. No matter where you work- activism, politics, independent media, or small business; you need to get your message out to humans. The internet has made it easier to organize. However, the Progressive Left is experiencing some signal squelch on several large platforms, harming outreach and organization efforts. This may force outreach managers to shuffle their limited resource.
There has never been a lot of money in organizing on the Left. Funds through Patreon and PayPal are a big help for many people and organizations. But, a shoestring budget is still the norm. That is what makes this article critical. Anyone that is starting a project, works in activism, or suffers from serial entrepreneurship knows that every penny counts.
To succeed in any endeavor, you need to be able to share ideas. People need to see and hear about your project. These five resources can help you do just that:
1. Video Editing
Video is the medium-of-choice for this generation. If you aren’t doing video, you are hurting yourself. Whether your effort needs presentations, promotional vids, or you are doing an online show; video is a must. Hiring people to shoot and edit video is expensive. HD webcams are much more affordable nowadays. Cousin Pookie may or may not be able to provide the award-winning production for a cheeseburger, as promised. It’s on you!
The best answer is DaVinci Resolve from Black Magic Design. The free version is so feature-rich you will likely never have to upgrade (do not tell them I said that). It may be the most generous freeware in the industry. If you have used Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas in the past, Resolve will be a bit of a shock. “Intuitive” is a bit overrated. It’s about what you are used to, like anything else in life. Get some training and take advantage of this fantastic software.
2. Audio Recording and Editing
Podcasting has taken over the world. No matter what you enjoy doing or what you are promoting, there is a podcast somewhere out there for you. For your outreach efforts, a podcast would be an excellent vehicle for you. The difference between the big guys and the also-rans is continuity and quality. The continuity is up to you. But, quality audio is entirely workable on a budget. A quality microphone setup will not break the bank anymore.
The best solution Audacity. This FOSS will take care of all your essential audio editing needs. It’s not fancy like Adobe Audition or other more famous products. But, it gets the job done. Audacity is a high-quality, free and open source software and we all should support these efforts- please donate whatever you can.
Bonus Resource: If you have decided to have a YouTube show, turning video into a podcast is easy if you keep the show below one and a half hours. You can use this link to convert your youtube video into an mp3 audio file for FREE (use a pop-up blocker).
3. Graphic Design
If you want to go viral, you need to be able to generate shareable media. It can be graphs, quotes, infographics, cat pics, etc. Whatever it is, you need memes to get the buzz going.
To make this happen, graphic design is essential. Most people immediately think Adobe Photoshop when it comes to images. Then the uninitiated (like me) open the software, take a look, click around and then quit. The interface is anxiety-inducing. I apologize to all the Adobe-based lifeforms out there. But, if APS is your thing and you don’t like the price tag, I have just the thing for you.
(Are they gone?)
For the rest of us, Canva is the best possible option. It is elegant and easy to use. It has templates for every use and platform. If you need a beautiful presentation, Twitter header, business card, logo, etc.- Canva is the answer. You can whip up stunning graphics in no time.
4. Stock Photos and Videos
One thing that can decimate your outreach or marketing budget is stock photos and videos. Going to places like Getty when your resources are limited, will end your project before you get started. For Creative Commons images and video footage, the best place is Pexels. The quality of these products is just as high as paid services. You may never need another resource.
5. Music and Sound Effects
Music and Sound Effects can put a real dent in your budget. Even though Cousin Pookie says, he makes hot beats; audio can still cause you some severe problems without taking proper legal precautions. We tried to avoid the big players for this article, but Youtube’s Audio Library is a game-changer.
They have a fantastic library of no-cost, royalty free music. Make sure you follow the rules when you use the audio files. The sound effects are also free. This Outreach Video Cost ZERO Dollars using the resources above, except for one element.
Actify Press Outreach Video