What’s it like to be our client?
So recently I was talking on twitter to a friend of mine, Tyler LeCompte, who is the Internet Marketing Director for Bizzuka, about what I should write about here. He sold me on going for the blog when he shared a great blog post from Bizzuka about what a blog did for them. Tyler suggested I write about what my clients want. Well to find out what they really want I gave one of my clients a call to see what they thought of us. What did they want when they hired us, and did we fulfill their expectations?
So today I talked to Joseph Susanka, who is the Assistant Vice President for Advancement at Wyoming Catholic College and was our “boots on the ground” leison throughout the video process for Wyoming Catholic. (side note: I also stalk Joseph’s blog Summa This, Summa That, you should check it out). It was great to get an idea after working with them on how they thought the process went, what were their needs, how did we meet them, and what kind of impression did we make?
A little back story: The president of Wyoming Catholic College, Dr. Kevin Roberts, is a man whom I respect a great deal, I had worked under him when he was the headmaster of a private Catholic School he had founded here in Lafayette, Louisana. When I heard that he was going to WCC I said call me if y’all need video. And he did. Wyoming Catholic College was our first client who had spent any significant amount of time and treasure on video work before we worked with them. In 2011 they did a tremendously epic project with a great company out of New York, Grassroots Films. We knew that we had big shoes to fill, but we were mostly excited at such an awesome opportunity. So what was the whole process like? Let’s hear it from the client’s perspective.
Me: I guess the first question is why did Wyoming Catholic College want to do a video in the first place?
Joseph: We did the Grassroots piece about 3 years ago. At the time we did that, that was largely to raise awareness about the college with the larger Catholic community in the United States. But we were still kind of finding our way, finding our identity in a way; and we had progressed to the point, in the past few years, where we felt that a new video would be more reflective of who we are as an institution.
Joseph: In the social media world that we live in now things have a shorter shelf life than they would have, you know, 20 years ago.
Me: Sure. When I saw the Grassroots video, I thought that it was amazing. Really epic and big. What did you think when we first spoke of our idea of getting more visceral and personal? What did you think of our approach?
Joseph: I thought that it very much corresponded with what we were thinking ourselves. We wanted something that was a little closer, a little more personal. That was kind of the driving force behind the idea at the start. When you folks said that that was what you brought to the table we were pleased by that. That was the direction we wanted to go.
Me: Great! So what did you want most from us? Besides lifelong friendship and loyalty; and great laughs. What were you hoping to achieve the most when you started in this direction and not really knowing who we were?
Joseph: Well I guess there were two things we were hoping to achieve. To get a sort of promotional piece that captures what Wyoming Catholic College is today. That was one part of what we wanted to do. The other part was, in keeping with the same kind of get closer to the ground, to the people on the ground, the ideas on the ground, we wanted to share with the outside world who is here. So we wanted those short interviews. Wyoming Catholic College isn’t just a, you know kind of an abstract institution, its the people that work here. So it was both of those parts that we were hoping to achieve. We got both of those and we’re very happy with them.
Me: So what did you think of the final product? Was it what you had imagined? Was it what y’all wanted? How have y’all been able to use it since?
Joseph: I don’t know what people where imagining. It was certainly what we wanted. I think it met our hopes in many ways, but there was more there than I certainly had hoped for. One of the ways in which that’s true was that it does still retain some of that epic scope, some of the outdoor stuff kind of lends itself to that. Some of the shots really are epic, I mean just rock climbing, there’s something epic about that, actually interviewing somebody in the cave at Sinks Canyon. I would say we kind of got both worlds in a way I was not expecting, that I was very happy with. And we haven’t finished using it certainly. People will keep looking at that stuff for a while. We’re still releasing the interviews, people can find them on our site, but we’re releasing them on social media one a time to keep kind of people’s interest up. All of the responses we’ve gotten are very positive. So we’re very pleased by it.
Me: Awesome! What did you think of the fact that we both had beards? Was that a selling point?
Joseph: Well it wasn’t really a selling point, because I din’t know you had beards when we hired you, but once you got here and I saw that you had beards, as a bearded individual myself, it gave you a level of gravitas and it made me much more confident in our decision.
It was really cool to have this conversation with Joseph. I think we’ll do it again. A very special thanks to Joseph for talking to me and for working with us! If you haven’t seen it yet please check out our video on this crazy awesome school:
When we first were talking to Wyoming Catholic College about producing videos for them we knew we had big shoes to fill. In 2011 Grassroots Films, an awesome New York based production house, produced a film for them of epic proportion (with crazy helicopter shots and all), it was all about where they had come from and where they were going. While talking to them about this project we really saw how great the school is now, and there was a lot more to say than where they came from or where they were going. So we suggested that we bring the camera out of the sky and up close and personal. We wanted to portray what it meant to be a student at this amazing college,we wanted viewers to get to know all the amazing people involved, we knew we needed to make something visceral and personal; and they were excited to see what we could do.
So we packed up our bags, flew out to Lander, Wyoming and spent the next week interviewing the 30+ staff and faculty members, climbing mountains (at one point I was 40 ft. up a cliff with a camera in my hands leaning over trying to get close up shots on the mountain, not bad for a Louisiana boy), caving, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. We really fell in love with WCC, and with Lander, Wyoming. We knew that it was really important to help them show the world who they were, and we feel that we did just that.