Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.
The combination of written profiles and video interviews as well as beautiful professional still photography was the ideal way to show several dimensions of the impressive women who were profiled. - Variety Team
What’s the elevator pitch for your project?
For the biannual Power of Women feature, Variety profiled five women -- Emma Gonzalez, Lena Waithe, Tiffany Haddish, Natalie Portman, and Regina King -- taking a cross-platform look at how they're using their clout to support the charitable causes they're most passionate about.
What was the impetus for this project? What real-world challenge were you trying to solve?
Instead of the usual subjective (and judgmental) rankings of powerful women, each year Variety picks several prominent women in entertainment, media, and beyond who are committed to working with vital organizations for women, children, literacy, environmental activism, and social justice.
Seeing the outpouring of positive emotional responses to the speeches and emotional interviews about the Me Too movement and the Parkland shootings made all the tricky coordination of so many elements and different platforms well worth the effort.
Once you settled on your idea, what was your first step in moving it forward?
Our editors spent months identifying a diverse group of women to profile across television, music, film, and activism, while also planning a special event where they would be honored. We then worked to coordinate the photography, video, print, digital, and event execution for the feature.
Was there a moment during the project where you ran into a hurdle; or faced a problem you didn’t know how to solve? Take us to this moment, what happened and what did you do next?
Emma Gonzalez wasn't originally comfortable taking the spotlight away from other students who had survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But Variety wanted to honor her heroism and boldness in the aftermath of the tragedy. The challenge was that not only was Emma not part of Hollywood, her particular story was unique in that it was extremely sensitive and emotionally raw. Editor-in-chief Claudia Eller worked hard in her interview to get her to feel comfortable and trusting enough to reveal the details of what she personally experienced on that awful day on campus, and the emotional aftermath she suffered as a result of the trauma.
Did the real-world impact meet your expectations? Can you share an example?
With more than 185,000 views for just the Natalie Portman video alone and hundreds of thousands of impressions across Wordpress and social media, the response was stellar. Our coverage of these issues was picked up by dozens of outlets including the Associated Press and the Financial Times.
What technologies/media did you use to develop this project (AI, Social Media, WordPress, etc.)?
Our WordPress site Variety.com hosted most of the stories and videos, while we made the feature landing page using Storied with original studio photography from the print issue. Video interviews were integrated into the landing page and posted on YouTube, while all the content was promoted on Twitter with Snappy, Facebook, and Instagram.
Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?
The combination of written profiles and video interviews as well as beautiful professional still photography was the ideal way to show several dimensions of the impressive women who were profiled.
How did this project defy your expectations?
Variety has been working hard for several years to make sure the Power of Women content is integrated in a cohesive way across WordPress, video, and social media. The elegant and persuasive 2018 Power of Women campaign shows how these goals are being met and exceeded with help from several teams at the publication.
How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?
Variety's increasingly rich use of bonded internet technologies and live-to-social capabilities will allow us to connect and engage our audiences in real time, furthering the conversations around gender equality, inclusion, LGBTQ rights, and beyond.