Like it or not, video production has found its way onto the internal communicator’s plate. In fact, according to a Newsweaver & Melcrum report, 72% of Internal Communicators are already using video and another 19% plan to start utilizing video. But as our Candidio team works with internal comms pros and asks why their companies aren’t using video (or aren’t creating as much as they want), we typically hear that one of four challenges prevent them from creating video for their organizations.
Despite these challenges, one of our favorite stories (and a great tip that came with it) comes from an organization that went from producing only a dozen videos one year to over 100 the next! And, they added no new team members. How? “We cleaned up our plates!” shared Lisa Arney, former Internal Communications Manager at SAS Institute. Arney referred to how her team discovered activities they were performing in their organization that they could cut back on, so they weren’t trying to cram video onto already “full plates.”
In keeping with the “plate” analogy, I’ll draw from my expertise in perfecting portioning my plate during our American Thanksgiving dinner. Every 4th Thursday in November, Americans come together with our loved ones and celebrate a meal with food like turkey, ham, corn pudding, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, baked beans, yeast rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, pecan pies, and more. With so much good food, it can be difficult to put everything you want on your plate.
Imagine that Thanksgiving dinner plate is your job. You’ve got staples like turkey and mashed potatoes (your email newsletter), sides like green beans and stuffing (employee surveys and events), baked beans and rolls (town halls), and, for dessert, pumpkin pie (social media). Everything on the plate is important, so how do you make room for something else that you really need to add in (like video)?
Other than the turkey, the mashed potatoes are perhaps the most iconic part of Thanksgiving Dinner. They’re absolutely a must-have, but how much do you really need? Three massive scoops of mashed potatoes may be delicious, but it won’t leave much room for everything else you want to eat.
For many of the internal comms pros we meet, their mashed potatoes are their email newsletter. Email is an essential part of communicating with employees and it could be disastrous to eliminate it, but what if you cut back from writing six articles in each newsletter to four? Maybe replace one of the articles you spend a few hours writing up with a video containing the same information? Take a good look at what you’re sending in your email newsletter and decide what’s most effective as a written article and what might be more effective as a video.
Ok, I’ll admit that cranberry sauce can be a little weird. Many people buy the canned version and, I kid you not, when it comes out of the can, it looks like a can.
Lucky for me, my mom makes a homemade version of cranberry sauce that is amazing. While her cranberry sauce is delicious, it’s still just a sauce. For some reason I think many of my fellow Americans think cranberry sauce is intended to be a side dish all its own – not really folks, that’s why they call it sauce.
When it comes to your role, you can use video as a supplemental piece to work you’re already doing. You don’t necessarily have to produce a three-minute, story-drive video every time. Consider creating a short video clip to add to a blog post you’ve written. Shoot a short single-take video and tweet it out or link to it from your email newsletter. There’s a time and place for longer videos, but if all you need is thirty seconds to support a point you’ve made with another piece of communication, then do it. Don’t make a side dish out of a sauce.
The Parent Play
This move is one of my favorites, and it’s easy for me to get away with three sons. What I can’t fit on my plate I make sure to add to my kids’ since there’s a good chance I’ll be helping to ensure none of their leftovers go to waste. 😉
What part(s) of internal comms video could you shift to someone else’s plate? With our video production platform, Candidio, we help communicators from all over the world save time and money by collecting smartphone video in one place and letting professionals edit it for them. Maybe you could get employees to submit their own videos and photos so you don’t have to record them? Some organizations, through more proactive surveying and by simply fostering a culture of using video in communications, have even discovered expertly-produced videos from other departments hidden within their own intranet.
Adding video to your plate isn’t as scary as it seems, and we’ve even put together a short guide that details the five must-have videos for internal comms you can create that can have an immediate impact on employee engagement.