The Many Faces of a Corporate Video and 3 Reasons You Should Create One
The hottest new tool in human resources, the corporate video, gets two thumbs up from the HR pros who have learned to apply it in increasingly creative ways. And with technological advancements, the smallest companies can afford and benefit from the creation of a professional video.
Traditionally used for training purposes and produced only by the wealthiest corporations, videos have evolved into a tool used by a vast spectrum of industries - increasingly delivered online. Businesses of all sizes use these videos for employee orientations, ongoing training, and communication of corporate messaging, all in entertaining or riveting ways previously unimagined.
For example, a corporate video can demonstrate how new employees should fill out paperwork; can deliver a motivational message from the CEO; or can cover procedures explaining what to do in case of a fire or other emergency.
A restaurant-chain used video to conduct training for employees including line cooks, wait staff and dishwashers. The video producer considered the demographics of the audience and used an MTV theme, with a clever, game-show script designed to engage employees and help them retain the information. A 'Pie Game' was played to teach employees the many different pie flavors available; and the video producer made the transition from subject to subject with the appearance that someone in the background was changing channels on a television. The video was created as entertainment, not training, which captured the attention of the employees more effectively than a text-book lesson or classroom setting. The biggest challenge creating the video was working around the restaurants' long hours, but producers solved the problem by shooting in a test kitchen or during the middle of the night.
In another example, a recycling company decided to use video to showcase their high-tech recycling plant. To appeal to the broadest possible audience, the producer came up with a script that tells the story of a rubber duck trying to survive the recycling process with a hungry crocodile on his tail - perfect for school children and bound to get a chuckle out of adults. A combination of music, sound effects and 'facial expressions' communicated the duck's dire circumstances. A voice-over provided the basic information about the plant, while the video held the viewer's attention with its entertaining approach.
These creative uses of video leverage the medium's impact. With a well written script, trained actors and appropriate sound or music, videos can convey emotion and urgency. They can elicit response far superior to a memo or 'talking head.' Professional videos use elements such as graphics, voice-over, and camera zooms to make the presentation more lively and engaging.
Videos take on many different faces that mesh with the needs of the organization. A company with multiple locations or a large, traveling sales force could use video to reach every employee. A large bank's corporate headquarters, for example, can send a video to a bank manager to share with the staff at their branch; or headquarters can post it online where an employee can log in to hear it or it can enhance online training.
Videos are applicable for a wide range of needs, including the following:
- Communication in multiple languages
- Repeat performances
- Introduction or review of company policies
- Safety rules and regulations
- On-going training
- Annual report
- Motivational presentations
There are generally three reasons to use video: consistency, cost-effectiveness and increased productivity.
No two people will deliver the same message the same way. You can work off the same notes or the same presentation, but the detail or time you devote to a subject varies.
A video allows the company to have complete control of the message. It is always delivered with the same enthusiasm, the same information every time. Employees in turn get more value out of the information delivered.
A well-written and well-produced video can be cost-effective and provide immeasurable benefits to a company. It can eliminate the need for company trainers to pay for travel. And with digital technology, corporate videos can be created for a fraction of the price with more creative effects -- compared to even five years ago.
3. Increased Productivity
A video that conveys corporate messaging, healthcare benefits or emergency procedures can increase productivity in the long run. A video can cut down the time employees devote to preparing for and delivering a presentation. And a video can reduce employees' errors in their new benefits paperwork, thanks to the film's thoroughness.
A well written video can help eliminate questions, so a training session or presentation requires only one hour rather than two. And the company vice president and his assistant can devote time to improving operational efficiencies rather than traveling to multiple sites to deliver the quarterly update over and over.
In such a visual society that relies heavily on the Internet and television for information, a professional video is a sure-fire way to leave a lasting impression. Rather than talking about how to use the new machine at the plant, video takes employees inside the plant to show the machine and how it works.
Video is an evolving medium, available to businesses with the smallest budgets from as low as $1,000, and in today's digital world it is growing in popularity in business. Video has many different faces and every day a new company adopts the technology to share, educate and inform employees. Small, medium and large businesses are taking advantage of video and discovering new and different ways it can benefit employees at their organization.
Dirk Phannenstiel is vice president of MediaPro, a full-service sound and video production company. Since 1988, Denver-based MediaPro has worked with the region's top corporations, non-profit organizations, advertising and public relations firms, and various government agencies to provide quality sound and video offerings such as commercials, interviews, documentaries, product shots and support for Web site audio and video streaming. MediaPro listens to its customers, focuses on their objectives and brings ideas to life onscreen and through audio applications.