New York’s video, Underage Drinking Prevention: Taking Action
in New York, is broken up into six distinct segments. Why did you choose this
We had a lot of topics we wanted to cover, and we wanted an efficient tool we could
use in a variety of settings like THMs [Town Hall Meetings] and in formal training
with law enforcement officials. Working with the producers, we broke down our 16-minute
video into segments that could be used separately or as a whole, and we ended up
with a versatile, manageable resource that lets us target specific messages to a
wide variety of audiences.
How has the State of New York benefitted from participating in this
We shared the video with our State partners, with State police, and with prevention
professionals. Because New York is so big, the video is a great way to show professionals
and coalition members across the State what we’re doing to reduce and prevent underage
drinking and explain how we’re enforcing underage drinking laws. It also helps people
understand how environmental strategies can be applied in their region and discover
other ways of dealing with the problem that they may not have been aware of.
As a novice to video production, how did you find the experience?
It was a very positive experience. We knew what we wanted to say but didn’t know
how to say it. We learned how to conduct interviews, how to ask the right questions,
and how to be patient during each phase of production! It really helped that the
production team was fantastic. They took our ideas and helped present them in a
way that would tell our story by helping us craft the message, figure out the order
of information, and decide what to emphasize.
What advice do you have for other States that are in the early stages
of preproduction on their own videos?
Make sure you have a contact list of key organization representatives who are involved
in underage drinking prevention in your State, and get them to the table early
to develop a consensus. To sum it up, we’re very proud of our efforts. The whole
process showed that a coordinated, comprehensive approach can really help combat
“The importance of B-roll—the supplemental footage we
use to show what’s being talked about in your video—can’t be overstated.
For example, if there will be talk in your video about compliance checks, we’ll
need arrangements made for us to shoot a mock compliance check. If parental responsibility
will be covered, be sure to set aside time for us to film teens and parents engaged
in a variety of activities. Without B-roll, all you’ll have is a string of
‘talking heads,’ which won’t hold your target audience’s attention.”
—Video producer and State/Territory videos project coordinator
Oregon wanted to make a video that could serve as an underage drinking discussion
starter in middle school classrooms. For the group of adults planning this video,
the challenge was how to make sure the message would resonate with students.
The State reached out to Oregon Partnership, a local group that works with youth
on both prevention and treatment issues. This collaboration created the opportunity
to conduct several informal focus groups with middle school youth, who said that
the most effective prevention video for them would be brief (3–5 minutes), feature
high school youths (a demographic they look up to), and be built around real-life
testimonials. You can see the result
Public service announcements (PSAs) are a great way to spread your message about
underage drinking prevention. Several States have created PSAs while making their
State videos and then worked with local media outlets to broadcast them. If you
want to make PSAs part of your plan, be sure to talk with your producer early in
Take advantage of local and national awards programs. A Delaware public relations
Time To Re-Think: Teens and Drink, the State’s underage drinking
prevention video, to the
2011 Communicator Awards, and it won the award of Excellence! Consequently,
the award brought Delaware and its underage drinking prevention efforts a lot of
positive publicity. Check with your production team for information about awards.
State videos were instrumental in getting a new underage drinking law passed!
Cody’s Law, or Oklahoma’s House Bill 1211, was recently signed
by Governor Fallin and will go into effect November 1, thanks to the tireless efforts
of Serena Greenhaw. Greenhaw lost her 16-year-old son Cody to an alcohol and drug
overdose at a party where parents were present. In the video, she talks about the
tragedy and her fight to get social hosting laws passed. Her younger son also spoke
movingly in a youth video about the impact of his brother’s death.