Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Video - bringing the power of the personal to internal communications

Hands up anyone who remembers the traditional office memo? Remember when a printed text-based memo would arrive in your department in a brown envelope which you signed to say you’d read and understood it? Often impersonal edicts from the folk at the top.

It’s easy to sneer but back in the day what was the alternative? Occasionally everyone would gather in the staff canteen (in the days before it was called a restaurant) to hear a few wise words from the Grande Fromage. But that meant everyone had to stop what they were doing at the same time. But at least it was personal.

Today there are myriad ways to communicate with the troops. An all staff email is probably the most obvious but does that really make an emotional connection that might change behaviour, inspire or inform in a way that will be retained?

Live webcasts are an alternative of course and these allow some modest level of interactivity. But most are too long, badly planned and executed and nowhere near engaging enough. And then you’ve got the same old problem of everyone having to stop what they’re doing to join in, often in time-zones where the hours involved are hardly ideal.

So video is unarguably the most powerful and personal way to connect properly with an internal audience. Agreed? After all, people now watch at their convenience, on any device at any time. Using the right tools, you can also see who has watched and (perhaps more importantly) who hasn’t. Which is all good.

But sometimes (well, often actually) internal messages are just that. Which means you don’t want people outside of the organisation watching them. If you use the right platform then there’s no need to worry. Everyone you want to see your video gets to watch it and everyone that you don’t, can’t. Or something like that.

But then there’s the thorny issue of filming and editing the thing – essential if you want it to look half-decent, right? Wrong again. Using the right platform (cough…vCreate) you can get your top-dogs to self-record using the onscreen autocue prompting, all at the click of a button. So when the mood strikes, and thoughts from the top need to be shared, it’s no tougher than writing an email and far more effective. You can get your message across quickly in a way that sticks.

It’s worth noting that people in the 18-34 age group spend 50% more time watching online video than they do TV (Google Industry Trends). They’re used to it. What’s more, if collaboration and democracy is your thing, the right tool will also allow viewers to add comments and share ideas.

So whether it’s the CEO wanting to inspire and lead even greater success or a trainer delivering some top-up tips, or an important issue of compliance from the legal team – video is best.

What’s more, one of our customers, a sizable organisation with several thousand staff, tried video for their bi-weekly updates on the state of the nation from their CEO and asked the recipients which form of update they preferred (email as previous or video) the answer was a resounding 100% in favour of video. Surely worth thinking about?

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