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WiLDCOAST & Mitch Yost Use Social Media for Clean Water Fight

Border beaches around Imperial Beach were closed 198 days last year due to sewage contamination from our amigos just south of the border. Sewage flows from the Tijuana River and new sources of pollution all along the Baja coast have been major causes of the beach pollution crisis for years.

WiLDCOAST has teamed up with Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood), from the new HBO series John From Cincinnati, to launch a series of public service announcements on YouTube to fight for clean water.

In the videos, Mitch Yost, the legendary Imperial Beach surfer is calling on surfers to ask congress to clean up border beach pollution.

“As a surfer I come to the ocean for sanctuary. It’s my church,” says Yost in the video filmed in Imperial Beach and Tijuana. “You wouldn’t want somebody dumping sewage in your church.”

So far the fight for clean water has been effective. Last week, WiLDCOAST scored a major victory when Senator Diane Feinstein publicly supported providing federal funds to have an additional sewage treatment facility built along the United States side of the border. Big thanks to all the letters, faxes, and calls from surfers from California and Mexico.

I think it’s great that WiLDCOAST is using social media to help with this fight. However, each of the videos have only received a few hundred visits each so far which means it hasn’t been nearly as effective as it could be. Its not uncommon for videos on YouTube to reach several million views fairly quickly. With that kind of exposure this campaign would make a much bigger splash.

Because I’m such a nice guy and I care so much about this cause I want to offer WiLDCOAST a few tips to help these videos spread using social media.

1) Tags & description – these videos on YouTube don’t use a very good description or tags. There are a lot of people searching for video clips from “John from Cincinnati” on YouTube and I would leverage that by including those keywords in the description and tags. I would also use surfing related keywords as those are highly searched as well. There probably isn’t too many people search for Mitch Yost or Imperial Beach.

2) Blog & press relations – WiLDCOAST should be leveraging their industry contacts to have the larger surfing websites and blogs post these videos. Press releases sent through mass newswires aren’t very effective because they’re often ignored and they don’t reach the masses. This could reach far beyond surfing websites as well, there are a couple of very large environmental blogs that would eat this stuff up.

3) Social media – Where is the MySpace page that’s been set up for this campaign? What about submitting the videos to social news sites like Digg & StumbleUpon? These would be great ways to reach huge masses of people to help spread this campaign.

4) SEO – YouTube videos are very easy to rank on Google. All you need to do is use proper titles and descriptions on your videos and then throw a small link building campaign at them, which wouldn’t even been necessary with steps 2 & 3. The video would then start showing up when people search for keywords like “John from Cincinnati”, “clean beaches”, and so on and so forth.

5) HBO – Surely there is some way that WiLDCOAST could partner with HBO to show these clips at the end of the episodes and direct them to a special URL where people could sign up and take action for this cause.

Hopefully WiLDCOAST will see these tips and implement them so this campaign will make bigger waves (pun) and we as society will wake up and realize the damage that’s being caused to our beaches and oceans.

Posted by Cameron on Friday, July 20th, 2007 in Surfing.

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4 Responses to “WiLDCOAST & Mitch Yost Use Social Media for Clean Water Fight”

  • Anonymous Says:

    Mitch Yost (John from Cincinnati) & Wildcoast Use You Tube for Clean Water Fight…

    WiLDCOAST has teamed up with Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood), from the new HBO series John From Cincinnati, to launch a series of public service announcements on YouTube to fight for clean water….

  • Richard Higgins Says:

    I applaud you all for your efforts in trying to do something about the waters like “Imperial Beach” and many others like it. I am on “disability” so I can’t donate any money, but I do work (my wife who happens to have a B/A in Commercial Art, and myself are “Graphic Artists”) all equipped with over $20,000 in State of the Art Technology. If we can help in any way please let us know. We live on the “Shore” 20 minutes North of A.C. in N.J.,so we know the ramifications of not taking action. We all want our children’s children to enjoy what we did growing up. Call us!

    Rich & Denise Higgins
    Image Design

  • Serge Dedina Says:

    Thanks for the tips and comment. Unfortunately the clips are controlled by HBO–I agree with your analysis of the tags. We are hoping that they will be part of the DVD. We tried to take advantage the best we could given our total lack of control.

    We have worked closely with HBO and were featured in episode 5 and our clean water now signs are in the surf shop in the show.

    FYI–our clean water campaign is in PSAs with a lucha libre star, El Hijo del Santo, in movie theaters across Northwest Mexico and next will be all over Mexico.

    Our clean water campaign has been featured front-page of Wall Street Journal, AP worldwide etc.

    We appreciate the feedback and the offers of assistance.

    Serge Dedina
    Executive Director

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