WORKING WITH DG ECHO VISIBILITY | 2014 - 2020
Credit: ©2019 European Union (photographer I. Valencia Romero)
The aim of audio-visual products is to highlight to EU citizens the tangible impact of EU-funded humanitarian aid. The European Union’s role must be clearly emphasised by integrating it into the story line and by including, for instance:
- images of items displaying the EU emblem;
- images of an ECHO expert at work in the field;
- an interview with a Commissioner, a senior official or an ECHO expert in the field.
For videos made for social media, the format, duration and edit must be in line with the current standards and best practices of social media dissemination (i.e. one minute or less duration, square or vertical format, edited for watching without sound, with large text/subtitles, no acronyms, etc.).
In videos for social media, ECHO should always be referred to as the EU or the European Union (as relevant).
Videos must display the EU emblem with the accompanying text “Funded/Co-funded by the EU” at the end. The narrative should also mention the EU early on, such as by saying: Thanks to EU funding/support, XXX has managed to help XXX people affected by floods.
Before production: submit to ECHO a (1) draft storyboard describing the themes to be covered in the video and (2) information about the intended means of dissemination, target audience and estimates of the potential reach.
During production: submit a draft of the video before the end of the project – at a point where it is still possible to make changes based on ECHO comments.
Upon completion ECHO must be informed of the actual distribution of the video. If the video incorporates music, ECHO shall be made aware of the title, author and type of license. Whenever feasible, a signed permission of the person(s) featured in the video should also be submitted to ECHO.
Audio-visual productions on humanitarian actions funded by the EU are eligible for visibility funding. ECHO does not finance audio-visual productions whose sole purpose is to promote another organisation.
©    The European Commission is entitled to use or reproduce, wholly or in part, audio-visual productions made by a Partner under a grant or delegation agreement.
SOME HINTS ON PRODUCING VIDEOS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
- Always produce the videos in square or vertical format when producing videos for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is best to film the videos with this format in mind.
- Produce social media videos to be watched with sound OFF. 85% of viewers watch without turning the sound on.
- When using text in the video, make the text big, bold, simple and as brief as possible.
- Try to give your video a cinematic look to grab attention.
- Always use subtitles when there is speech. Make the subtitles big and easy to read (and simplify what is said to make it easy to read).
- Make the video edit as short as possible – fifteen-second videos are the most popular on Facebook. Aim for one-minute productions maximum.
- Tell simple, engaging stories with attractive footage. Try to make them relatable. The video should give people a small idea of what we do, not explain it to them in detail. Never use any jargon or acronyms.
- You only have 2-3 seconds to catch people’s attention on social media with your video. Use it well and start with the most exciting part of the story (not with general footage or long explanatory text). Statistically, videos that show a person in the first couple of seconds retain viewers best. You could also start with an intriguing emotional soundbite.
- Try to include ECHO’s emblem/branding in the first part of the video, not only as a final slide in the end - the vast majority of viewers do not watch that far. Branding can be an EU emblem at the top corner that disappears after a few seconds, people dressed in EU clothes, etc.
Partners should ALWAYS refer to us as the EU or the European Union in external communications, never as ECHO, which is not understandable for average EU citizens.