For some corporate communicators, beginning to produce internal videos can be a major milestone. Once you have your camera, tripod, editing software, etc., then what? Of course, you need some basic starter ideas for the kind of videos you want to make. But once you’re getting your Spielberg on with regularity, you want to take it to the next level with regular related content.
When I first began making my corporate cinematic masterpieces, it was really cool to have a video here and there. But the novelty eventually dissipated, and, like all of our communication campaigns, we realized that focus and consistency would be key.
Corporate initiatives are fertile ground for video series. Whether it’s an employee health and fitness endeavor, open enrollment initiative, or a volunteer campaign, regular videos need to be a part of your communication plan. (along with articles, posters, flyers, etc.) Think of it as your own television series, like a cooking show devoted to Italian cooking. There’s an overarching theme that connects all episodes and that viewers expect to see every time they tune in.
Of course, official, top-down projects don’t need to be the driving force behind a series. As a communicator, you should take the initiative to build engagement with regular valuable content. So whether you’re tasked by your leaders to help deliver official messaging, or you want to launch your own campaign, here are some ideas of the kind of video series that can make your internal engagement endeavor successful.
Employee Success Stories
These videos are perfect complements for a mission/values/principles reinforcement campaign. Focusing on successful employees who incorporate the organization’s values or mission into their work gives an inspirational profile of what others can accomplish with the same approach.
Here’s one of my blasts from the past…
Outside the Office
It’s great to see our coworkers achieving success in the office, but it can be fascinating to see what they do beyond outside the walls of Office Land. Employees involved in volunteer work, community organizations, athletics, or entrepreneurial endeavors make for truly engaging video stories.
As an example, I give you this video I did about an employee who created his own iPhone game:
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
With the employer-provided health insurance in a costly health care environment, companies are making employee health a top priority in efforts to keep their workers healthy and keep costs down. Relaying healthy lifestyle messages to employees, however, needs to be handled just right. You want to encourage beneficial habits without sounding preachy or judgmental.
Providing valuable content from health experts can be the perfect approach. If you have a health expert employed in your organization (if your company has a fitness center, for example)… bonus! Having him/her offer tips on healthy eating, exercise, etc. on a regular basis helps achieve your goal while giving knowledgeable value. If your company doesn’t have a health-oriented position, then seek employees who live healthy lives and can credibly testify to the benefits of exercising, good food choices, etc. It gives that real-person, I-can-do-it-too flavor that can make a video especially engaging.
Underused Tools or Process Demonstrations
Sometimes employees aren’t aware of the tools they have at their disposal. In one organization I worked for, we redesigned our intranet with Microsoft Sharepoint, which has a lot of collaborative tools that can give employees a centralized resource to work together on projects (among other benefits). The problem was, people weren’t using the tools. Not because they didn’t want to or didn’t see the value in them, but they simply didn’t know they were there.
When companies make investments in resources, they want employees to use them. Highlighting valuable yet underutilized tools (demonstrated on a regular basis by an IT representative), can help solve this problem ̶ and it reinforces the idea that leadership wants to make life easier for workers.
Weekly (or Monthly) Executive Messages
I’ve written before about executives who won’t blog, and unfortunately, getting leaders on camera with consistency can be just as challenging. The same tips I offered before on getting executive buy-in can apply here, so I won’t go into that any further in that respect.
Like blogs, videos from organization leaders can be an effective tool in building engagement… even more so. Unlike a blog ̶ which employees might figure out is ghostwritten in some instances ̶ a video features them actually delivering the content and giving it a more personal flavor.
The kinds of videos your executives should make I’ll tackle in greater detail in a future post, but to start, try easy, regular messages (ideally weekly, but monthly is fine) thanking employees for their hard work and/or providing updates about the company. Something as simple as this can create a huge engagement opportunity.
Employees who aren’t customer-facing often aren’t aware of the impact their work makes. A consistent video series highlighting grateful customers or clients can provide a true sense of worth and accomplishment to workers.
These can be somewhat complicated in that you have to get consent to use the customer’s image, not to mention syncing up with their schedules. But the special quality and uniqueness of the final product will make it worth the effort.
Of course, there are countless other ideas and themes on which to base your video series. But I’ve taken up enough online paper already. Have you done video series in your organization? What’s been your experience? Let us know in the Comment section.
Continue being awesome!