Case Study: PBS feature documentary “Into The Night”
Strategic communications plan and social media campaign for PBS feature-length documentary, broadcast nationally in March 2018.
Campaign Overview and Unique Challenges:
design engaging campaign on topic still taboo for many American viewers: human mortality
connect with millennial death positive movement, linking to best-selling author Caitlin Doughty, featured prominently in film
highlight astrophysicist and bestselling author Adam Frank, featured in film, using awe-inspiring NASA footage and photography to highlight elevated film aesthetics
build social media sites from scratch, generate community dialogues and interest, while training Director and documentary team on social media effectiveness and documentation at all screening events, including Austin Film Festival premiere
art direct freelancers on cross-platform branding materials and motion graphic
create upbeat, engaging social media content, leading up to live events, broadcast, subsequent screenings, Hulu streaming and DVD sales, tracking innovations in the field of death positive movement, including green burials, art installations, death salons, 'fun' in funerals, mushroom suit tech, and burial pods
generate 15-30 second clips from “Into the Night” profiles for use across social media through Vimeo, curate collection with descriptions
coordinate all media outreach, including press packet, press release and photos; collaborate with PR consultants on press targets and maximize audience awareness of all key coverage
innovate partnerships, outreach and collaborations, including live screening events and panel discussions at Green-Wood, Brooklyn, and KQED, San Francisco with live and follow-up social media documentation
craft compelling e-blasts, testimonial generation, produce final overview report
train assistant on social media and e-blast communications to continue ongoing campaign at end of consultancy
Motion Graphic animation designed for Facebook ad campaign and cross-posted on all social media channels. This video alternated with official trailer provided by filmmaker as well as trailer produced by PBS, bringing in significant viewership for the film in targeted geographic areas.
Partnership Generation and Screening Events
The Order of the Good Death - connected with huge social media network for movement spearheaded by Caitlin Doughty (featured in the film). Invited East Coast members of movement to participate in Green-Wood event. The Order of the Good Death focuses on reinventing mortuary practices, advocating green burials, personalized memorials, rituals, costuming, poetry readings and death salons.
Quote Cards and Announcements
Testimonials from “Into The Night” producers
Sweeney was an invaluable asset on our recent documentary film launch. She took the lead in crafting a unique outreach strategy, bringing fresh, innovative ideas to the table while also understanding and building upon the priorities of the project leadership team. She built a robust social media community from scratch and took care of all writing and engagement across multiple platforms. Her messaging was impeccably crafted and creatively curated. She brings to her work a collaborative spirit and infectious sense of humor that makes her a welcome addition to any team.
—Katie Taber, Senior Producer, “Into the Night”
Kathleen Sweeney was the social media consultant for my PBS special, Into The Night; Portraits of Life and Death which aired March 2018. Her work was superb and went far beyond her job title. She was involved in every detail involved in launching the film and contributed a great deal to its successful premiere. She writes beautifully and is a first class editor. Remarkably well organized, she always helped a meandering meeting to become focused, sharp, and effective, including press releases of unusual eloquence. Through exhaustive research, she identified and targeted particular members of the press and opinion makers who had a special interest in the challenging subject of the film --mortality -- and then found ways to entice them to write about it. She had excellent advice in preparing for the interviews, and for the Q and A following the screenings. In addition -- and of equal importance -- Kathleen is a pleasure to work with. She possesses a spirit of fun, a graciousness -- and an unusual intelligence that makes her a wonderful companion for this critically important part of the journey in the life of a film.
–Helen Whitney, Director, “Into the Night”
Matthieu Ricard: Book Launch Events, Social Media Expansion, and Meditation App
Comprehensive Digital Strategy from 2014-2017, for three successive book tours for Humanitarian, Author, TedTalks speaker Matthieu Ricard (Altruism, A Plea for the Animals, Beyond the Self). Documentation and social media curation, coordination and outreach for meditation talks and events, including press coverage coordination and live social media broadcasting. Substantial social media expansion (300%). Training and consultation for Karuna-Shechen.org staff, NGO established by Matthieu Ricard providing health care, sustainability and education programs to 200,000 individuals in underserved communities in Nepal, India and Tibet. Produced fundraising videos, book trailers, Quote Card series, and Instagram launch of extensive photography collection by Matthieu Ricard.
Imagine Clarity Meditation App
Launch Campaign (2016-17)
Bilingual meditation app produced in collaboration with Matthieu Ricard and Imagine Clarity LLC, based in Finland. Comprehensive content management for website and videos prior to launch; press packet, digital media strategy and outreach; social media campaign (English and French); online community-building; documentation of live events; representing start-up at conferences, including Power and Care, Mind and Life Institute Conference with the Dalai Lama and luminaries, Brussels, Belgium, 2016). Photographs © Matthieu Ricard.
Art Direction: Infographics
Postcards, Post-Sandy infographics on climate change and Superstorm Sandy. Project received a Civic Engagement Grant Award for multimedia online journalism administered by the New School for Public Engagement, funded by the Ford Foundation. Featured at AASHE conference on Sustainability, Nashville, and SXSW.
Kathleen Sweeney Blogposts
This Garrison Institute mission statement video, produced for its 2017 Insight + Impact Benefit, evokes its core values of Science, Wisdom and Action weaving compelling photography, motion graphics, and music by Zoe Keating and Philip Glass.