Thursday, June 03, 2010

Reviving an historic speech online: The Marshall Plan

When clients want to generate new content for social networks, mobile apps or other online ventures, I like to remind them to "shop in your closets"--to put those archived and existing materials to work in newly available formats.  It's a great way to stretch your social media budget, and to provide a fuller picture of your company or organization. 

That's why I was pleased to see this new offering from the George C. Marshall Foundation -- a special online presentation of the Marshall Plan speech that syncs the audio with a slideshow of photos of postwar Europe as well as pictures from the commencement ceremony where the address was given.  The audio dates from June 1947--that's a deep closet of archival material--and the well-paced visuals add context and make the delivery more compelling.  The foundation uses the online presentation to remind us of the plan's size and scope, and for those of us who focus on speeches for a living, shares details about the speechwriter, the size of the crowd and even the fact that no one was expecting a major announcement that day. (The plan turned out to be a $13 billion recovery effort.)

The project also is a reminder that "visuals don't just mean video."  You can use programs like SoundSlides to achieve a similar effect; find out more about those options here.  What are you reviving online from your archives?

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