Opening a video communications channel with employees

It’s fairly obvious that online video has become a major part of people’s lives. According to a report from Cisco, IP video traffic will make up 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.

With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder most companies are considering adding video as another valuable channel for  employee communications.

Video production and editing can be time-consuming and expensive, or as fast and cost-effective as taking a quick video clip from your phone.  Chances are, you will need to employ both, depending on the content.

Often vital communications campaigns with broad reach, including change management programs, branding or rebranding, acquisition integrations and the like will need high-production values taking audio quality and lighting into consideration, carefully composed scripts, and multiple takes and camera angles.

More routine management and leadership communications, announcements, training, and employee or customer success stories may work well as recorded Skype or iPhone videos.

In its 2017 article about new internal communications tools, Adweek suggests that interactive video can be a great way to do training and include remote workers. It also recommends a YouTube channel for archiving those videos and perhaps even giving employees the opportunity to upload their own videos.

The new Office365 communications tools from Microsoft includes a corporate video sharing and streaming service, appropriately named Stream.

Adweek also points to utilizing video and links within traditional employee communication channels such as blogs and internal social media.  Add to that the company intranet, and, of course, email, a great distribution channel to link to streaming videos or send invitations and reminders for upcoming live-video events.

TrainingJournal offers these three suggestions for the types of videos which work best for employee communications:

  1. Brand positioning films, which can introduce new employees to the company’s mission and goals or remind existing employees of those things by stirring emotional reactions.
  2. Explainer videos, which can educate employees about tools, initiatives and new workflows so they not only understand how they work, but why they’re important and advantageous.
  3. Case studies, which help employees see firsthand how their work can have a real impact on clients and/or customers, as well as how completing projects can drive the organization forward.

Beyond those suggestions, ThoughtFarmer recommends videos with executives (these are great for live video) and making company-wide announcements.

As for how one goes about making their videos worth watching, ThoughtFarmer provides these tips:

Be brief: Limit videos to three minutes or less

Lose the formal script: Outline your key messages in advance, but use a casual style for a more authentic and humanapproach

Keep it simple: Use devices you have close at hand (your smartphone or tablet will do the trick) to produce videos

Likewise, Sam Howson of Terra Firma pictures provided this advice in an AllThingsIC case study of using video for internal comms:

Think of video/ content creation as an expedition. Very often, business continue to go into the mountain ill prepared without a map or a plan, and get frustrated when they get lost or don’t make it to the summit.

Perhaps it not surprising a professional video firm would make such a recommendation, but unless you have an in-house video production team, it makes sense to hire professions for high production value content.  That said, as YouTube and Skype and other online video channels have trained everyone to accept and appreciate less than movie studio video quality, any communications team should be able to produce acceptable corporate video content on a small budget.

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