Roll Cam­era… and Ac­tion! Video as an In­ter­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tool

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Communications And Public Relations - Writ­ten by: Drew Row­land

Dusty chalk­boards, wrin­kled flip charts, il­leg­i­ble hand­writ­ing, old 35mm slide pro­jec­tors and mo­not­o­nous Pow­er­point pre­sen­ta­tions – all th­ese have one thing in com­mon: the in­escapable te­dium as­so­ci­ated with the oblig­a­tory com­pany pre­sen­ta­tion.

Most com­pa­nies are very adept at us­ing video for mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing pur­poses, but more and more com­pa­nies are turn­ing to look in­ward to­ward video as a way to en­hance their in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and just in the nick of time.

Gone, or should be gone, are the days of a busi­ness man­ager read­ing slides out loud while you strug­gle to stay awake un­der the daze- in­duc­ing flick­er­ing flu­o­res­cent lights. Many years ago a com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sor of mine had be­come some­what no­to­ri­ous for fre­quently stat­ing, “The mind ab­sorbs as much as your butt can tol­er­ate.” In his not so sub­tle way he was ex­press­ing the idea that to gain and keep an au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion you must keep them en­gaged be­fore they start to no­tice how un­com­fort­able they are in that hard of­fice chair.

WEL­COME TO THE 21ST CEN­TURY

The dig­i­tal age is ex­plod­ing all around us and video has be­come a key, dy­namic and re­lat­able ve­hi­cle for all in­ter­nal cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Let us look all the way back to the oft quoted in­for­ma­tion pro­cess­ing the­ory from Tre­ich­ler ( 1967): “peo­ple gen­er­ally re­mem­ber 10% of what they read, 20% per­cent of what they hear, 30% of what they see and 50% of what they hear and see at a time.” When we in­tro­duce video into this equa­tion, we can as­sume that the im­pact that is pro­duced through view­ing a video to gain in­for­ma­tion is many times higher than the mostly sin­gu­lar meth­ods of older forms of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Videos may con­tain text, nar­ra­tion, in­ter­views, vis­ual stim­uli, top­i­cal im­ages with sound and mu­sic that make the ex­pe­ri­ence much more im­mer­sive and mem­o­rable and well, fun and en­joy­able. This is not your grand­fa­ther’s tri- fold com­pany brochure.

With a well- pro­duced video you can share your busi­ness prac­tices in­ter­nally in a con­cise and per­sonal man­ner. Video, in con­trast to the tra­di­tional meth­ods of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, al­lows the com­pany to craft their mes­sage pre­cisely and de­liver it seam­lessly through their in­tranet or web­site, email links, work sta­tions or through large au­di­ence pre­sen­ta­tions. Video has be­come ubiq­ui­tous, from our smart­phones to dig­i­tal bill­boards. We have be­come con­di­tioned to ab­sorb large vol­umes of in­for­ma­tion through this medium. Youtube boasts that hun­dreds of mil­lions of hours of video are watched daily on their site alone. Video has be­come the most pop­u­lar and in­flu­en­tial form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in our so­ci­ety and har­ness­ing its power for the suc­cess of your com­pany only makes sense.

Let us ex­plore the many fla­vors of in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions through video.

TRAIN­ING AND NEW HIRE VIDEOS

New hires and ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ees can ben­e­fit greatly from the abil­ity to view the ma­te­ri­als in their own time and in a va­ri­ety of en­vi­ron­ments. Re­cent stud­ies have shown that the com­pre­hen­sion and re­ten­tion rates through the view­ing of video is 50% greater than from live pre­sen­ta­tions or writ­ten ma­te­ri­als. Th­ese videos can be used to cross- train em­ploy­ees, pro­vide con­tin­u­ing education and wel­come new em­ploy­ees to the com­pany’s poli­cies.

Gone, or should be gone, are the days of a busi­ness man­ager read­ing slides out loud while you strug­gle to stay awake un­der the daze- in­duc­ing flick­er­ing flu­o­res­cent lights.

IN­TER­NAL BRAND­ING CAM­PAIGNS

Get the mes­sage out by get­ting the mes­sage in. Build­ing and un­der­stand­ing a com­pany’s mis­sion, goals and brand is tan­ta­mount in cre­at­ing the frame­work for a suc­cess­ful team. An in­ter­nal brand­ing video is an ef­fec­tive way to ex­press the com­pany’s val­ues to en­sure that the em­ploy­ees are all on the same page in re­gard to the com­pany’s mis­sion and at­mos­phere. Well- crafted in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion keeps em­ploy­ees en­gaged and fo­cused on the op­er­a­tion of the com­pany.

COM­PANY CHANGES

Through short video in­ter­views com­pany changes can be care­fully ar­tic­u­lated in a very per­sonal way to com­mu­ni­cate a shift in a com­pany’s struc­ture or phi­los­o­phy. This can al­low trans­parency and a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing with­out cre­at­ing con­fu­sion for the em­ploy­ees. Video can be used to ex­plain what changes are be­ing made and as im­por­tantly, why they are be­ing im­ple­mented. This per­sonal touch can help as­suage any fears or un­cer­tainty that change can bring about.

CEO AND LEAD­ER­SHIP MES­SAG­ING

A per­sonal mes­sage from the CEO or lead­er­ship team en­hances cor­po­rate loy­alty and al­lows up­per man­age­ment to stay con­nected with the en­tire com­pany. It also gives an ‘ open door’ feel to the com­pany set­ting by al­low­ing em­ploy­ees to feel more con­nected to the cor­po­rate man­age­ment team and its goals. This has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on em­ployee per­for­mance and sat­is­fac­tion.

AWARD PRO­GRAMS AND AN­NUAL MEET­ING VIDEOS

Videos can also be used to con­grat­u­late in­di­vid­u­als or teams that have ex­celled through­out the year, mark an­niver­saries, share ac­com­plish­ments and es­tab­lish an­nual ob­jec­tives and goals. Th­ese video pre­sen­ta­tions can boost morale and pro­vide a greater sense of team­work through­out the com­pany. This can be an en­ter­tain­ing way to pro­mote the com­pany to the em­ploy­ees them­selves and also af­fords an op­por­tu­nity for an en­joy­able com­pany- wide gath­er­ing. In­ter­nal corpo- rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion doesn’t al­ways have to be bor­ing. Some­times pat­ting your­self on the back is a good thing.

TEAM BUILD­ING

An­other fun and ef­fec­tive way to use video is as a tool to ac­cel­er­ate and en­hance co­op­er­a­tion be­tween em­ploy­ees while fos­ter­ing an en­vi­ron­ment of team­work. This can in­clude tak­ing video of com­pany ac­tiv­i­ties that en­cour­age em­ployee par­tic­i­pa­tion or by set­ting up goals or chal­lenges that at­tract the em­ploy­ees’ at­ten­tion. Video used in this man­ner can also be a strat­egy to in­tro­duce com­pany de­part­ments to one an­other or al­low mul­ti­ple or re­mote work sites to feel more closely re­lated within the cor­po­rate struc­ture.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Many work en­vi­ron­ments are sub­ject to very se­ri­ous safety stan­dards and healthre­lated mea­sures. By us­ing video to com­mu­ni­cate best prac­tices and guide­lines a com­pany can track, mon­i­tor and doc­u­ment em­ploy­ees’ par­tic­i­pa­tion with­out the need of as­signed staff to man­age this pro­ce­dure. Due to the flex­i­bil­ity in the view­ing of a video or video se­ries valu­able re­sources are saved com­pared to com­pany- wide sem­i­nars to com­mu­ni­cate th­ese ob­jec­tives.

STAY­ING CON­NECTED

An­other way to gen­er­ate em­ployee en­gage­ment is to stay on top of progress re­ports and up­dates through elec­troni- cally de­liv­ered video mes­sages or broad­casts. Sev­eral com­pa­nies that I am aware of even have their own broad­cast style in­tranet.

They make daily an­nounce­ments and up­dates through a news an­chor desk to re­port on the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties. The em­ploy­ees at their work­sta­tions then view th­ese video “re­ports” at a time that is con­ve­nient for them. This is a very novel use of video to keep em­ploy­ees up to date on goals and ob­jec­tives, while also al­low­ing for the abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate a great deal of in­for­ma­tion in a very brief for­mat.

Us­ing video in your in­ter­nal cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions is an in­cred­i­bly per­sonal and rapid method of de­liv­er­ing key mes­sages, pro­mot­ing team­work, pro­vid­ing vi­tal education and defin­ing the com­pany’s cul­ture.

Video can do many pos­i­tive things for your busi­ness and us­ing it ef­fec­tively can make all of the dif­fer­ence in the world when it comes to mak­ing your com­pany and em­ploy­ees suc­cess­ful.

So don’t keep crank­ing out those old ma­te­ri­als year af­ter year just be­cause it’s what has al­ways been done. Try some­thing new and cre­ative and, I prom­ise you, your au­di­ence will ap­pre­ci­ate it, and they might even bring the pop­corn.

Drew Row­land is the owner and op­er­a­tor of Fu­sion Pic­tures. He can be con­tacted at drew@ fu­sion­pic­tures­bkk. com.

Drew Row­land

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