Four Challenges in Creating Advocacy Videos – and how to overcome them

Guest Blog Post: Willie Matis, Development/Marketing Coordinator with HealthNet Community Health Centers, located in Indianapolis, Indiana

While working on my final project to complete NACH

C’s Advocacy Leadership Program (ALP) – and this is where I brag about being a part of the VERY FIRST ALP CLASS EVER – I encountered a few challenges. The video was due on a Friday – I had pictures, captions, and a storyline ready the previous Monday, worked on creating a slideshow early in the week, and planned to video myself speaking about ‘My Health Center Advocacy Story’.

I thought, “This should be easy right, just talk about your past year working for HealthNet, Willie. That can’t be too hard!”

IT WAS HARD! If you ever want to feature yourself in your own video, beware of over thinking. This was one challenge I had while creating my video and it occurred to me that I couldn’t be the only person to face challenges while creating an advocacy video. So I
wanted to share some the challenges I faced and some ways to overcome these challenges:

1. That point when the camera starts rolling and you can’t decide your tone – professional or personal….. It’s a tough balance, especially in advocacy. You have your own passions but you also need to keep your health center in the forefront of your mind! Solution: Think about audience. Do you want a Member of Congress to see this? Do you want other potential advocates to jump on board after watching? Let your audience affect your tone.

2. That point when you figure out what you want your video to say but don’t know what the next step is… It’s frustrating when you have that light bulb go on about what you want your video to look like, but then you don’t know what to do next.

Solution: Think in bullet points. Bullet points are your best friend while creating video. They can be specific or they can be vague, but bullet points will keep you on track to reach your end goal.

3. That point when the person you are interviewing gives you great information, but it does NOT follow your bullet points… The reason this is so challenging is that it is so tough to find the one staff person or one patient that you think will do a great job in an interview and actually agrees to the interview, but then doesn’t give you exactly what you were expecting.

Solution: Be flexible, your editing software is great. Use the great info that you just received and edit your video to fit what your interviewee has said.

4. That point when you are finished shooting and editing, then you look at your elapsed time and it says 5 minutes, 23 seconds (or more)… You have seen the research, you have criteria to follow, and you have to dial down that 5:23 to 3 minutes even. SO FRUSTRATING because your 5 minute and 23 seconds tells everything you want to say!

Solution: Eliminate background information, introductions of the people being interviewed, and your closing. All three of these categories can be taken care of by captions or YouTube bubble links.

Video CAN BE a very effective advocacy tool, and I think that is why, as health center advocates, we can get frustrated when creating them. We want the video to persuade EVERYONE to become an advocate and ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS to hop on board and support our health centers.

So, when you meet these challenges, don’t get frustrated, just remind yourself that it takes an array of tools to gain support to save our CHCs and your video will be a great addition to all your other advocacy efforts.


Interested in submitting a guest post for the Campaign For America’s Health Centers blog? Contact Lindsey Ruivivar at


  1. Amanda Pears Kelly says:

    Well done, Willie! Great tips all the way around and extremely relevant to creating a successful video – advocacy oriented or otherwise. Great job!

Leave a Reply