|Friday, 10 December 2010 14:49|
Video has evolved, and internal communicators must keep apace if they are to make best use of it. Rebecca Richmond, research & content director at training agency Melcrum gives her advice
It’s unquestionably true that video is not a new channel for internal communications. That said, the interest that Melcrum’s Strategic Communication Research Forum members have shown in this topic over recent months prompted us to conduct a “re-exploration” of the medium – with good cause. Both our case-study-based research and our quantitative survey of around 1,000 communicators across industry and geography suggest that video is an increasingly hot topic.
The traditional ‘head and shoulders shot of a scripted senior leader does still exist – but video as a medium has evolved, thanks to the external resurgence of video on a global level, with an ease that has never before been possible (think YouTube, for example – we all know the stats!). 53.6% of respondents agreed that employees now expect to see video internally because of wide use externally, whilst 92.4% agreed that visual communications are more important in internal communications.
As our own companies explore new ways of working (teleworking, flexi-time, etc); as our workforce diversifies both in terms of how employees receive and absorb key messages, and the channels via which they choose to do so; and as we grapple with economic constraints that force shrinking travel budgets (meaning less face-toface time with global teams) while also making employee engagement more important than ever before – video can often seem like an increasingly viable channel. 69.8% of those surveyed envisaged their organization devoting more time and budget to video in the future.
But here are the five factors we must consider if we are to maximise the business impact of video: Purpose: How can we evaluate when video will add value to our overall communication strategy? What’s the business case? How can we counsel internal customers on when to use video (and when not to use it?)
People: How can we leverage audience segmentation to maximize the impact of video investments? How can we support distribution and access across a globally-diverse employee base?
Production: What can be done to ensure consistency of quality and impact? How should those steps differ for corporate versus User Generated Content videos, and can the two mediums be blended to reinforce messages? How can communicators best work with external suppliers and/or internal IT teams?
Practice: What tactics for embedding video into other channels are appropriate for different organizations? What governance issues should be considered?
Proof: How can companies track usage and outcomes? Does the ROI justify expense?
Our research suggests that these form the stepping-stones to successful use of video in internal communications and the aim of our study was to provide case studies and advice, as well as actionable tools to support any company in these five areas.
A closing thought. Perhaps one of the most powerful business cases for video is that its emotional connection and face-to-face element can bring clarity to some of the more intangible elements of corporations. Take values, for example. It can be difficult for employees to truly engage here; to see any real connection between those stated “morals” of the organization and their day job. Video can bring a more human element to company values, especially if we can leverage user generated content to bring them to life – employees talking to other employees about what it means to them to be part of Company X or why they believe so strongly in the corporate mission based on their own experiences. We found examples of companies in very different industries and geographies enabling that very real connection to happen across the workforce, through video.