Social media plays a huge role worldwide in getting the epilepsy awareness message out to the public. We’re encouraging everyone to share their stories on International Epilepsy Day (Monday, 10 February 2020) through video advocacy.

When we say ‘advocacy’ we mean the process of bringing about change in policies, law or people’s behaviour and attitudes. ‘Video advocacy’ is about using visual media as a strategic tool to engage people to create change. Remember that video is the medium, advocacy is the purpose, and change is the goal!

Making an International Epilepsy Day video message

The most important part about making a video message for the International Epilepsy Day campaign is to share your story. We want to increase understanding of how epilepsy affects people’s everyday lives and reduce stigma against the condition. Everyone’s story is unique and different so please tell it in whatever way is most comfortable for you! The only thing we would ask is that you don’t make medical recommendations when sharing your story.

1. Plan your message

It’s best to plan your video’s message and make notes of what you would like to say. Choose one theme for your video and identify the key message you wish to share.
Your video could focus on one of many themes. Some examples include:
(i) something you would like people to better understand about epilepsy, (ii) the story of your diagnosis, (iii) the importance of International Epilepsy Day, (iv) how epilepsy has affected your work or education.

Practicing your message before recording will help you keep on point!

2. Keep it brief

People have quite short attention spans, so they are less likely to watch longer videos. Video for Instagram should be a maximum of 1 minute long. This could be limiting, so if you have a number of points to communicate you might consider creating a series of short videos.

If you are working on a longer video we would recommend a maximum length of four minutes. This can be shared on YouTube and Facebook.

3. A Quiet Space

Find a calm and quiet space to record your video message, not only will this make things more comfortable for you, but it will also mean that the audio is nice and clear.
Make yourself comfortable too! And try not to speak too quickly.

4. Framing the Shot

You can use whatever you like to record your message, whether it’s an iPhone, Webcam, etc. It’s always best when using a camera phone to place it horizontally as it will look best on Youtube this way.

If you find it awkward to hold the camera while recording your message, ask a friend or prop it up on a desk or shelf. Webcams can be a good alternative.

Remember that you do not have to feature in the video if you prefer not to; instead you can have a background image(s) such as a scenic shot of the countryside or city that you live in with your voice recorded while the video captures the scenery

5. Language

Videos can be created in any language. If creating a video in your own language please also consider creating a version in English, if possible. For videos created in languages other than English we ask you to send us a transcript of the video that can be converted into subtitles by our team.

6. Sharing your video

We would like you to share your videos on International Epilepsy Day (Monday, 10 February 2020). They can be shared through your personal social media accounts, if you are happy to do so.

Videos can be shared directly to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can also upload your video to YouTube.

Please make sure you tag your video with the ‘#epilepsyday’ hashtag. You may also like to include other keywords such as #epilepsy, #epilepsyadvocate, #patientexperience, and any other words you find appropriate.

Where possible, tag the appropriate International Epilepsy Day social media account (@intepilepsyday – Twitter/Insta, @epilepsyday – Facebook), so we can find and share your messages!

If you are not a social media user, but would like to be involved, you can email your videos directly to us here. We will not share your name or personal details, unless you give us specific permission to do so.

Find a calm and quiet space to record your message
When using a camera phone it's best to turn it horizontally

IMPORTANT! Please make sure that if your video features other people that you have their permission to share the video

Video message examples

‘Olivia explains the different types of seizures’

(By Epilepsy Society UK)

University student, Olivia Salvati, explains the different types of seizures she experiences and why you shouldn’t let your emotions get the better of you. This video is a great example of how to share our personal story in a concise and engaging manner!

TIP: Notice how the uncluttered and well-lit setting makes a great backdrop.

‘Olivia explains the different types of seizures’

(By Deminique

Deminique was diagnosed with epilepsy at 19 years old. In this Q&A style video Deminique answers some of the questions that she is frequently asked about her condition. She says:
“I often get asked the same questions regarding my epilepsy so I thought this would be a good platform to answer some questions I commonly get asked as well as being able to talk about it without getting emotional.”

‘Hailey’s Story’

(By Epilepsy Foundation Kids Crew)

Videos can illustrate a personal journey or that of a sibling or friend. In this video, produced by the Epilepsy Foundation Kids Crew, Hailey Scheinman tells the story of her twin sister Libby, who was born with epilepsy. Hailey also shares some great tips for you to create your own advocacy video!

TIP: Advocacy videos can be created by anyone who wants to raise awareness, not just those living with the condition themselves. Why not share your experience as a relative, friend or carer?

‘Georgina Higgins discusses epilepsy medication’

(By Epilepsy Society UK )

Film Director and Writer, Georgina Higgins, shares how she keeps on top of her medication while working in the film industry.

‘Living with Epilepsy | Partial Seizures’

(By Annie Bean)

Annie Bean is a travel and fitness blogger who lives with epilepsy. In this video Annie explains her thoughts and feelings about living with partial seizures. The video educates viewers about what partial seizures are, how they affect Annie’s life and risk factors that can increase her seizure frequency.

TIP: It’s fine to create your video in a personal space, like your bedroom. It’s a good idea to follow Annie’s lead and make sure that the space shown is clean and uncluttered, and to frame the shot with the minimum background included.