Create one YouTube video of people asking one of your congressional leaders to support a poverty-reduction bill. The video should address only one congressional leader. Your leader already knows they are receiving phone calls from their call reports – The purpose of these videos is to explain WHY the leader should support the bill or International Affairs Budget. Be creative and make sure people aren’t just reading off of a script or calling and leaving their leaders a message! Ask yourself, if you were the leader or staffer viewing your video, would you be engaged? If the answer is no, create a new version before publishing it online.

Why this matters:

Congressional offices monitor when the leader is mentioned online. These videos will be seen by the leaders’ Communications Directors and often the leader as well.

Maximize your impact:

1. Come up with a creative idea. Pick a bill or ask your leader to support the International Affairs Budget. Draft out what you’ll want people to say in the video. Be sure to include WHY your leader should support the bill or International Affairs Budget.

2. Include other people to be in your video – friends, family, neighbors, other students, etc. You want to show strength in numbers.

3. Film footage and edit the video. The shorter the better (think 1-3 minutes).

4. Create a YouTube account if you don’t have one and upload the video.

5. IMPORTANT: Optimize the name and description. Congressional offices receive summaries of where the leader is mentioned online, so it’s key that the video’s title and description name the leader and the bill. For example, name the video “Sen. Tywin Lannister Please Cosponsor the Education for All Act.” In the video description, mention the leader’s name, the bill and that you’re constituents who support The Borgen Project.

6. Use your social media platform! There’s a good chance your leader’s Communications Director will see the video within 24 hours of you publishing it, but just to make sure the message is received, email the video to their office. You can also post the video to the leader’s Facebook page and tweet your message to the leader!

What the title and verbiage should say:

The title and description need to mention the leader’s name and the bill. The script of the video should also mention the leader’s name and ask them to cosponsor a bill.

  • Example of a Good Title: “Sen. Tywin Lannister Please Cosponsor the REACH Act.”
  • Example of a Good Description: “Sen. Tywin Lannister, we truly believe that you have the ability to make a difference in thousands of lives by cosponsoring the REACH Act. As your constituents and supporters of The Borgen Project, we believe that the values of the district are best represented when we’re improving the lives of those born into extreme poverty.”

This is how it’s done!

Why this video is a huge success…

Here’s another good video example, focusing on the International Affairs Budget: