THURSDAY 5 MAR 2015 11:34 AM


“Make it about operational excellence,” says Rentokil’s communications director Malcolm Padley about corporate video. “Make it simpler...Know your audience,” says Charles Fenoughty, digital director at Sequel Group. “When you need to learn something, use video to learn it,” adds Chris Chiampas, general manager of video platform Kontiki.

This week’s Visual Content for Internal Communications conference covered the ins and outs of creating, planning, producing and distributing video for the internal corporate audience. Headline speakers from some of the world’s biggest companies and experts in animation, 3D technology and infographics, among others, provided their insights and experience to delegates.

Speakers shared their stories from a range of different sectors and points of development in using video for internal communications. Cisco’s head of communications for the Middle East, Africa and Russia, discussed the development of the company’s use of video and showed clips of its successful internal campaigns around the world. She said videos should be genuine and authentic as well as sensitive to local cultures and language – even on the micro level.

HSBC Now’s managing editor Jenny Varley wowed the room with a presentation of the bank’s internal news programme that has been popular among employees and the external audience since its inception. She addresses the key to the programme’s massive success, “We gave the microphone back to employees,” which allowed for a culture shift within the organisation. “An open and honest culture is about taboo subjects that are important to employees,” she adds. HSBC Now has covered everything from the Arab Spring to gay pride to charity adventure achievements – all focusing on and carried out by employees.

For companies that are still developing their video capabilities internally, user-generated content is often the first step. For Manchester Fire & Rescue, firefighters are on the literal front lines of fighting fires. The community, says digital manager Alex Flahive, wanted a way to express itself. Video became a means of expression, community-development and a way for communications to reach firefighters. Key to that process, however, was the appropriate equipping and training of people to produce quality content. “You give them the tools and the equipment and the training. That’s the key,” says Flahive.

He was joined by Padley in a discussion of user-generated content. Padley pointed to the ability for internal video to be useful for both employee-created content and corporate content to reach disparate or non-desk-bound workforces.

Chiampas pointed out that the development process for corporate video often begins with user-generated content and evolves to the more professionally produced videos churned out by the likes of HSBC Now. He says having an effective, searchable and modern platform for both uploading and displaying that content is key to its effectiveness. To encourage employees to create video and engage with existing video communications, there must be a way in which to both submit and access videos.

Last, the conference examined the ways in which alternative visual content can enhance the communications experience for employees. 3D hologram technology – a modern marvel that is making its way from entertainment into the corporate world – can allow for CEOs to be ‘present’ at meetings or events around the world without the time and cost inherent in shipping the actual person to those locations.

Infographics and character animation allow for the ability to communicate complex topics to a language-diverse audience and to use video content across the internal comms spectrum. Characters and imagery from infographics works well on social media and on internal communications content, both Fenoughty and Dean Beswick, creative partner of video animation firm Gorilla Gorilla say.

For more on visual content and internal communications, see Communicate’s research and feature story here.