Social Impact Entertainment, or SIE, is defined as “a variety of mainstream entertainment forms, predominantly films and TV, that intend to have social impact next to great entertainment value.”
SIE is at the core of our mission at Prodigium Pictures. We take social impact into account on every project we produce, and we are always looking for new, innovative ways to help our clients integrate social impact into their marketing videos.
One of the best sources of research and information on SIE is www.TheStateofSIE.com, a website run by UCLA’s Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment. Below are the Skoll Center’s 5 Key Components of Social Impact Entertainment, featuring additional insights from Head of CSR Communication for SIE Society, Frank Connelly.
The Five Key Components of SIE
1. Focus on the Story:
Tell the best story you can to reach your audience. For video projects, this is where an eye for how a story will convey requires the mind of a filmmaker, guided by what message and audience is the target of the story. Building with the end in mind is part of the “story mining” process. Good authentic storytelling is critical.
2. Know Your Issue:
Understand the real world of your story and determine your intended impact from the start. This is where “getting it right from the beginning” is so important and easy to overlook when caught up in telling a story. The story mechanics, and particularly identifying the impact you intend (awareness, education, advocacy, activation, trust, loyalty, social behavior change) need to be developed thoroughly.
3. Find the Best Partners:
Identify and partner with leading organizations and people working on your issue. A reason d’etre of the Society is to take the mystery out of this process through the variety of advisors and collaborators who can circle around the strategic development of story and metrics of impact from the start. A great example of this would be our SBCC experts who can be engaged to advise best practices to make SIE more cognitively effective and inspirational.
4. Think About Distribution Differently:
The age of multiplatform digital distribution allows for strategic builds of quality audiences, and the ability to collect the feedback metrics that measure the impact. Creation of a distribution plan that activates the relevant shareholders, stakeholders and communities of action is critical to an SIE campaign.
Metrics matter more than ever. A key part of SIE is the ability to access what you have done and pass on your key findings to other SIE creators. Organizations are increasingly being held to higher standards of performance on social issues. Calls-to-action or other activators can be built into the distribution plan giving a company the ability to collect and report findings that their SIE actually “moved the needle” of change.
The metrics you use to evaluate your impact should be tailored to your specific project and goals, but using pre-set metrics and guidelines can be a great place to start. Some common metrics and guidelines that companies use to track their social impact and Corporate Social Responsibility are the Employee Satisfaction Index, the B Impact Assessment, and the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.
The 5 Key Components in Practice
If you want to learn more about how these key components can be applied practically, check out the comprehensive case study we wrote about our experience creating an SIE marketing video for Ava, a speech-to-text app targeted at deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
Also, if you are interested in learning more about Social Impact Entertainment as it relates to marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an early copy of our CSR Video and Communications Guide.