Case study: The Bureau of Meteorology's Annual Climate Summary 2012 video — ASN Events

Case study: The Bureau of Meteorology's Annual Climate Summary 2012 video (7814)

Erin Clark 1 , Erin Dale 1 , Andrew Watkins 1
  1. Bureau of Meteorology, Docklands, Vic, Australia

More and more people around the globe are receiving their information through online video. In April 2013, 11.6 million Australians streamed 1.85 billion online videos. On average, Australians are spending 7 hours and 22 minutes watching 160 videos each month (Nielsen 2013).

This lifestyle trend and a growing desire from the public for the Bureau of Meteorology to supply some of its scientific information in new, easier to understand formats, led to the production of a trial two-minute Annual Climate Summary online video. The summary is the Bureau’s official historical record of the previous year's climate and provides a national overview of Australia’s significant weather and climate events.

While everyone is affected by the climate, a 32-page Annual Climate Summary is generally too detailed for the average Australian to read. As such the trial video produced in early 2013 aimed to expand the reach of the summary by providing a more digestible version of the information for the general public.

To ensure that the first-ever Annual Climate Summary video was of a high quality and stayed true to the technical content, it was produced with the assistance of an external agency and utilised internal talent and scriptwriting. Summarising complex science and the climate of an entire continent over a year proved to be challenging. However, the use of a green screen allowed maps, graphics and vision to be dropped in behind the anchor and tell the story in a simple and engaging manner, illustrating points far better than words alone.

The video successfully expanded the reach of the Annual Climate Summary 2012, receiving over 20,000 views in its first three months. It also increased the physical downloads of the Annual Climate Summary report and visits to the Annual Climate Summary webpage and was used as a marketing tool at high-level conferences and events. Additionally feedback from both Australian users and from staff at international weather services was overwhelmingly positive and the video elicited high quality online interaction and engagement.

The success of the Annual Climate Summary 2012 video appears to have had a positive impact on the Bureau’s brand and highlights the appetite for this popular medium. As a result the Bureau is exploring the expansion of its internal video production capacity.