Better Communications Through Video: Corporate Communications Videos
November 13, 2018
We’ve talked a lot recently about creating videos for better internal communications. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll focus on tips for specific areas in the organization. This week: Corporate Communications. How can we use video to better communicate the messages and decisions of the company as a whole to all the individual employees?
We’ve talked about some of the advantages of video in general. One of the nice things about using video for corporate communications is that it helps give a feeling of greater transparency and personalization. Announcements don’t just appear in an inbox with no context; they’re delivered by someone with a face and a name, so employees remember there’s a human behind them.
Announcements are one of the really great opportunities to use video, specifically. You can record a quick video and include it as part of an email when you tell the organization about changes, whether they’re big or small ones. New initiatives, changes in leadership, new policies, cheerleading, even breaking bad news – it all comes over as more open and nuanced when it’s delivered by a real human talking instead of cold text. Superlatives that seem cliched and insincere when written out are a lot more believable when delivered with a smile. Which is more believable – an email saying that the company is excited to roll out a new initiative, or someone actually looking excited?
That doesn’t mean that video should be limited to breaking news, though. Employees feel more in-the-loop when they get regular updates on what’s going on. It also makes big announcements less of a shock, if there’s a pattern of regular communications. In fact, establishing a schedule and sticking to it is a great way to engender trust and help people feel safe and secure. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – just a few minutes once a quarter or once a month letting people know what’s going on and what they can expect in the future.
Now, for important news, live events really shine. Most companies have periodic town halls. But in today’s increasingly globalized and remote environment, it’s really hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Using video for webcasting is a really great way to keep that personal connection, and include some interaction with Q&A and polls, even when your workforce is spread out. When you no longer have to get everyone in the same space at the same time, it’s also easier to do events more frequently.
One big yearly review always ends up being extremely high stakes. Plus, it’s hard to cover anything in depth. Instead, you can have more frequent events that can be more focused and so more productive. You don’t have to cram a year’s worth of material in there. Just include the highlights from last month and the challenges that are coming up in the next few weeks. You can also have a shorter event, which helps people stay more focused. Again, giving people more frequent communications in a more personal format goes a long way towards building a culture of transparency and collaboration.
FAQ on VOD
Not everything has to be time-driven, though. Sometimes, it’s just as helpful to build a library of materials on the intranet that are evergreen and always available. Giving employees resources they can access whenever they have questions—including the middle of the night—helps people feel like they understand what’s going on. It also goes a long way towards reducing the number of repetitive questions corporate communications has to answer. Instead of having to give the same explanation over and over, you can just send people straight to the video that covers it all. Eventually, they’ll start finding the materials on their own, and won’t even have to come to you!
Tips and Tricks for Corporate Communications Videos
What are some things you can do to make your corporate communications more effective?
If you’re a large organization, then you may be sending out communications across multiple locations, maybe even multiple countries. It’s not a bad idea, especially for information that will be available as video-on-demand on the intranet for a while, to keep in mind different regions’ different needs. Translations can be done relatively easily using automated captions and subtitles, if you want to localize content. Even if many of your employees are multilingual, it’s still a really nice gesture to offer content in the local languages. You can also set up specific channels on your video portal for different regions, so people can easily find the information that applies to their local office.
Who’s Delivering Your Message?
Another useful tip – video can be easily recorded anywhere and then played back when it’s convenient. When you’re not confined by schedules, it’s a good idea to give some thought as to who should deliver a particular message. It doesn’t always have to be the same people talking, and it doesn’t always have to be the most senior person. Sometimes, messages can be more effective coming from the people they affect, or from an unusual viewpoint.
For example – if you want to deliver a safety message, who is going to be more compelling? The head of the learning and development division? Or a worker who recently had a preventable accident or a near-miss? You can do a lot to get people’s attention by choosing the right person to talk. And who you choose can send its own messages.
Opportunities for Interactivity
One really important way to get and hold people’s attention is to stop thinking about video as a lean-back experience. You don’t want them to sit and passively watch the information you’ve sent them. If you make video experiences more interactive, you’re going to get people much more engaged.
There are a ton of great ways to do this. A very simple one is to make your video portal a social experience. Allow people like and comment on video posts.
Another relatively easy one is to use multistream videos. Include two synched feeds, of both the presenter and of a screen share or presentation. Let the viewer focus on what they’re more interested in.
But interactivity can get richer. In live events, you can make sure you include live polls and answer on air for the Q&A, so people have a chance to interact with the speaker. You can embed questions within videos, asking for people’s opinions and testing to see if they were paying attention.
You can even build branching videos, where the video changes based on what the viewer chooses. These are all great ways to pull people into engaging with the material.
So how will you make your internal communications videos more effective?
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