Corporate communicators everywhere are doing videos, or at least, want to do them. Occasionally I meet people who work in communications who don’t do video, or if they do, they’re struggling with approaches they should use to engage their audiences. Because I’ve done so many corporate videos, I’m sometimes asked for advice about what kind they should do.
If you’re one of these ambitious communicators who’s ready to add video as one of your internal channels, or looking to expand your video repertoire but might not have accrued much experience, here are some ideas to get you going. In future posts, I’ll discuss other types of videos, as well as tips for execution. But for now, let’s just review a few easy approaches.
These are one of the easiest to do and usually perfect for organizations with a more formal culture. Just get a video camera, tripod, a lavaliere microphone (hopefully), point the camera at the subject and start asking questions. The structure will be established in your questions and fleshed out in the editing process. If your subject knows what he/she is talking about, you should have plenty of content with which to work.
Check out one of mine. Here, I knew the message I wanted to convey, the questions I would ask, and the structure the video would ultimately take. This kind of planning makes creating your video much easier.
Man On The Street
Typically, you just need a camera (and an external microphone if possible) for this kind of video. Simply approach employees (ask their permission) or customers (have a release form ready), and ask them a question. It could be something company-related like, “What’s the best part about working here?” or “What do you think of the new Intranet site?” If it’s a lighter piece, ask them where they’re going on vacation or what gifts their kids are asking for the holidays.
Here’s an example of a Man-On-The-Street video I did during my former company’s United Way campaign. These employees were featured to inspire others to donate to the United Way.
Here’s What We Saw (Recap)
When your company holds a big event ̶ whether just for employees or one that’s open to the public ̶ one of your communication specialists should be there with a camera, recording footage and doing interviews. The recap video you post later will reinforce the mission behind the event and its effectiveness. This is one of the first videos I did for a health insurance company when we held a Walk-At-Lunch event for employees to promote the benefits of physical activity during the workday.
Another easy one. Put your camera on a tripod and point it at a particular area ̶ preferably with a neutral backdrop and good light. Then ask people to answer one or a few questions. The idea here is to get several perspectives on a specific topic. For an internal video, it could be what working at your company means to them, or how they can deliver a great experience for the customer.
The effect comes with the editing. Each clip ̶ one after the other ̶ should be 5 to 20 seconds. It’s like the Man-On-The-Street style, but a bit more uniformed. Here’s one video (not mine this time) that demonstrates this style.
Walk and Talk
You see a lot of these videos on YouTube or Facebook. People point their phones at themselves and speak while they walk, giving their thoughts on a particular topic. The idea is to convey a sense of, “Hey. I just had something really important to say, so I thought I’d turn on my camera and record before I lost the thought.” This would be a really unique approach for an executive (walking to the office or walking between meetings) that would make him/her seem like a “real person” to employees. Here’s an example of a lone-subject Walk-and-Talk video.
If you think you’re ready to take a stab at a short script, storytelling is a fun and engaging way to convey a message. If you don’t think you’re ready to write an original script, just recreate a commercial or a scene from a movie, changing the dialogue to fit your purposes. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s one I did to convey to employees the importance of completing training regarding changes to health care via the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The idea was to illustrate how lack of knowledge regarding the ACA could come back to haunt them. Here’s another one I did when the Actuarial team asked me to do a video for them to make, Actuarials seem more “cool.” For this I parodied the “World’s Most Interest Interesting Man” commercials.
Of course, there’s an almost endless variety of styles from which to choose when it comes to videos. I’ll get into more of them in the future. But let’s hear from you. What are some of your favorite styles? What have you done in your organization that’s been effective? Or what have you seen that you admire for their creative approaches? Let me know in the Comment section.
PS: Word to your mommz. I came to drop commz.