Short course: Using video to communicate policy research

Organised by On Think Tanks
Event type Courses
Location Online
Start date 17 May 2017
End date 14 June 2017

As our global media landscape changes, think tanks that hope to have an impact on both policy decisions and public opinion must engage their audiences in diverse ways. Video has become an increasingly critical part of a comprehensive think tank communications strategy. When used well, video can be an effective way to communicate ideas through powerful stories and images that influence a wide range of audiences – from policy makers and experts to the general public.

However, due to a lack of internal capacity and limited resources, many think tanks struggle with video and remain unsure how to take advantage of its many strengths. This course aims to arm think tankers and researchers with knowledge and strategies that will allow them to confidently manage the production and distribution of high quality videos about their work.

Who is this for?

This short course is for communication professionals, researchers, and individuals who want to better understand how to use video to communicate their ideas and research.

This is not a production course. It is aimed at communications professionals and researchers who may oversee video projects or want to work with filmmakers to create videos about their work. The goal is to help participants see the policy issues they work on through the eyes of a filmmaker so that they can more effectively incorporate video into their work.


This short course consists of the following:

  • A background paper on effective strategies for creating videos about policy issues;
  • An online forum to share comments, experiences and pose questions with the trainer and other participants;
  • Two webinars facilitated by Michael Kleiman;
  • The delivery of a proposal for a video on a topic you or your organization is working on, and personal feedback to it.

What will we cover?

This short course will cover:

Background note: Effective strategies for creating videos about policy issues

First webinar: the production process

 Identifying your goals and audience;

  • Best practices for narrative development and production;
  • Practical issues – from budget and timelines to equipment and crew;
  • Overseeing the implementation – from production through post-production.

 Second webinar: distribution of your video

  • Targeting your audience;
  • Best practices and effective distribution strategies;
  • Measuring success.

Personal task: Create a proposal – including a strategy for production and distribution – for a video on an issue that you are working on.

Key dates

Kick-off: May 17th, 2017

Webinar 1: May 24th, 2017

Webinar 2: June 7th, 2017

Delivery of exercise: June 14th, 2017

The time of the webinars is 3 PM GMT

 Webinars last 90 minutes


OnThinkTank_Feb 17__CL_9581_Claudia LeisingerMichael Kleiman: Michael is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the founder of MediaTank Productions, a production company that specializes in public policy content. Michael’s feature documentaries include Web (2013), which won the Audience Award at the 2013 Doc NYC Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival, and The Last Survivor (2010), which premiered at the 2010 Oxford Film Festival where it was named Best Documentary and won the Audience Award for Best Film before going on to play over 250 venues around the world. Michael’s short films have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and AOL. Michael was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department. He received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.


The short course costs GBP 125.00.

Early bird registration fee for the course is GBP 105.00 (only for first five registrations).

Join the course by registering below through Eventbrite.

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Check out other Courses in the Evolving Think Tanks Series.