Archive for the ‘HR’ Category



Videos to Level Up Your Healthcare Communications

Videos to Level Up Your Healthcare CommunicationsBeing in healthcare is no picnic. While it can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be rough. However, those of you who work in healthcare communications have it easy in one respect. 

Your industry is made for video.

When it comes to spreading a message, video is one of the best (if not THE best) way to share it. Hubspot tells us:

  • 94% of marketers agree that videos have helped increase user understanding of their product or service
  • 87% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI
  • 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads

Whether you’re marketing to the general public, within the medical community, or internally at your own organization… video gets the job done.

As a video producer, I can attest some industries have it easier than others. It’s pretty hard to beat manufacturers when it comes to video. People and machinery churring out interesting products.

While that’s great, I don’t think anything beats healthcare. Not only is the raw video itself interesting… from inside hospitals, clinics, labs, et cetera. It’s also hard to beat the stories healthcare professionals can tell. In many cases, we’re talking life and death.

That’s compelling stuff!

Compare that to… accounting. Having produced some accounting-related videos in my time I can tell you, it’s not easy making them look interesting and the content compelling.

Which is why I love producing healthcare videos. The passion and professionalism of those in the industry never ceases to amaze me, and the stories are second to none.

Healthcare communications pros like you are no stranger to video. Look around and you’ll find everyone from health systems to health clubs producing videos. And with all this video content out there, it’s important for you to produce quality videos to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

It’s not good enough to pull out your smartphone, throw a doctor on-camera and have them talk about themselves. And a patient testimonial is no good without a storyteller to help craft the story and the proper visuals to support it.

In other words, it’s never been easier to produce healthcare videos, but it’s not easy making them interesting enough to move your audience.

That’s what I’m here to help with. I want to make sure you’re producing the types of videos that will have your customers and/or employees feeling good about you and your healthcare brand.

Where Video Can Help

Let’s start with the basics. Video can help healthcare communication pros in a few key areas:

  • Attracting patients/customers
  • Community relations
  • Employee engagement

Let’s look at each one individually.

Attracting patients/customers: I once had a health system CEO tell me, these people might be our patients but they’re also our customers. Enter marketing videos.

Patients have plenty of choices for where to turn for their healthcare needs. You need to make sure they know you’re the best choice.

The key here, as is with most videos, is to put yourself in their shoes. Too many times, companies/organizations end up producing videos for themselves. They get so wrapped up in what they think customers should want, they don’t focus on what their customers actually want.

For example, you might be super into a treatment process, so you produce a video detailing every step. You interview doctors, present compelling data, and demonstrate why this is the most logical approach to treatment.

Blah!

Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion. You need to make an emotional connection with your audience.

Forget the data and logic. Focus on your patients’ feelings. They’re looking to you for reassurance. To make them feel good about choosing you. It’s not about data. It’s about being more human.

Thankfully, video is a medium that can deliver this!

Community relations: while the individual patient is important, healthcare is about more than that. It’s about caring for an entire community.

Chances are your organization does more for the community than simply provide a place to treat sick and injured patients. You provide wellness campaigns, are constantly innovating, and providing services outside your walls to improve the health of the entire community.

Whatever it is you’re doing in these areas, you should be producing videos featuring those efforts.

The videos will provide a couple of benefits. First, by promoting those community efforts, more people will find out about them. The more people who know about them, the more will participate. The more who participate, the healthier your community will be.

Second, letting people know about all the things you’re doing in the community will endear yourself to them. Remember, video is about emotion. Showing people what you do outside your facility demonstrates that you not only care for people, you care about them.

Employee engagement: no matter what you call them… employees, team members, whatever… the people who work for your organization are the heartbeat. They are ultimately what makes everything go, and if you want a healthy workforce you need to communicate with them.

No doubt, you send company-wide emails. You also might produce a newsletter. I’m sure you have posters on walls and cards on tables. You share information in all sorts of ways.

Great. However, you can do ever better.

It’s not just customers who like video, so do your employees. If you have something important to share with them, video is a great way to do it. If you want to praise their efforts, video is a great way to do it. If you want to inspire them, video is a great way to do it.

In short, video is a great way to improve employee engagement.

Okay, there are a lot of you right now who are saying, Tony, hold the phone. We have seen HR and internal communications videos in the past. THEY’RE TERRIBLE! Nobody is going to watch those videos.

You’re right. HR and internal communications videos are traditionally awful. And if you produce videos in that fashion, nobody will watch. But you’re not going to produce videos like that.

I want  you to look at your HR and internal communications videos as marketing videos… because they are. Only instead of marketing your services to customers, you’re marketing your internal programs to your employees. You have simply changed audiences.

When you produce a marketing video that is intended for the general public, you make it as engaging as possible. You tap emotions and want to leave people feeling good about your organization. You should go into your internal communications videos with the same mentality.

That’s when your employees will start watching and start engaging.

Types of Videos to Produce

About Us

Okay, you’re onboard with all of this? Let’s talk about different types of videos you can produce.

If you don’t already have an About Us video, you should probably start there. Think of it as your introduction video. You’re telling people who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

I love the About Us video because it’s so versatile. You can insert it into any part of your marketing funnel or flywheel.

It’s also important because for many people, it might be their first contact with you. They have come to your website wanting to learn more about your organization, and this video will be their first impression.

So make it a good one!

Making a Difference/Innovation

Make sure everyone knows about all the different ways you’re providing healthcare. Whether it’s the services you provide, products you offer, or how you’re innovating and improving all of the above.

You want to produce videos that demonstrate all the ways you’re making a difference to patients, the community, even healthcare in general.

Technology is an easy thing to feature. Everyone wants to know that their healthcare providers have the latest and greatest when it comes to tech, but don’t stop there.

What are some of the programs and initiatives you offer that might be unique. If you offer all the standard stuff, what makes how you do it better than most?

Let people know.

Highlight Your Stars

One of the biggest difficulties marketers and internal communicators share with me is their struggle to find stories to tell. Sometimes I think it’s the old saying about not being able to see the forest through the trees because every business has stories to tell.

A great place to turn is to the people who work at the company. Every person there has a story worth telling. The easiest one is to simply ask them “why” they do what they do.

The reason team member stories are so great to tell is that they show your audience that there are real people working at your business. Real people who care deeply about what they do.

This is so important because we are far more likely to do business with someone we know and trust than a total stranger. Employee videos start to break down that barrier. Getting to see and hear your employees’ stories is a good first step towards building trust.

And I don’t care what position they hold. Sure, doctor and nurse profiles are great, but my favorite hospital profile we have ever produced was on someone in “environmental services.” She was the custodian.

Everyone matters. Everyone has a story.

Community Partners

We discussed how great it is to produce community relations videos. It’s natural to focus on things you are doing in the community, like programs and initiatives you offer folks outside your walls.

Something else you can do is highlight your community partners. Maybe you run a wellness clinic at a homeless shelter. Maybe you go into schools to teach kids hygiene. Maybe you promote physical fitness by sponsoring the local little league. 

What I’m getting at is that you have partners out in the community doing great things, so shine the spotlight on them. The video doesn’t have to be about you at all. That feel-good the audience gets from what that partner is doing rubs off on you when they realize how you’re helping them care for the community.

Events

If your company or organization is hosting or sponsoring an event, you should produce a video about it. Event videos can do a few things that provide big benefits.

First, they are a great way to promote the event to boost attendance. A video will catch more eyeballs and help generate more interest in your event.

Second, producing a video to play at the event itself is a great way to reinvigorate the audience. It catches people’s attention and allows you to draw them into the reason for the event.

If it’s a fundraiser, using video to help tug heartstrings is also an excellent way to encourage people to open their wallets.

Finally, a video shot during the event and shared with people afterwards is a great way to keep the event alive after it’s over.

You can share it with the attendees, people who couldn’t make it, even the general public. The idea is to show people what the event was all about, and why it was important.

And when next year’s event rolls around, oh look, now you have a video you can use to promote it!

Testimonials

Last, but certainly not least, are customer testimonials. You are doing amazing things. You are literally saving and changing people’s lives. Tell their stories.

I don’t know if there is anything more powerful than a customer testimonial, and in healthcare communications you are often blessed with extremely grateful customers.

Sure, there will be plenty of people who might not want to share their highly personal story with the public at-large, but you know there are plenty who are willing.

Yes, this is a video that ultimately promotes your business, but it’s also an opportunity for your customers to help other people like them. Sharing their story could encourage someone else to do the same to improve their own life.

Remember, stories move people to action.

Wrapping Up

I’m really just scratching the surface here. When it comes to the types of videos you can produce, you’re only limited by your own imagination.

You work in healthcare communications. Take people behind-the-scenes. Show them the important work you’re doing. Introduce them to the people who are doing it. Make sure they know you’re a part of their community. 

– Tony Gnau

Case Study: video for internal and external communications

When you absolutely need to get an important message to a community… email isn’t your only route. As a matter of fact, you should be using multiple methods.

But I mean, hey, you’re a communicator… you know that already!

Okay, here’s something a lot of communicators miss.

Again… if you ABSOLUTELY need to get an important message to a community, you better be using more than the written word.

You should be using video as well.

Now, I specifically wrote, “as well.”

I’m not suggesting you don’t write something and that video should replace the written word.

What I’m getting at is you have an audience that will prefer to read, and one that will prefer to watch.

And the one that rather watch is probably bigger than you think.

Case Study: Alverno College

Alverno College is a private women’s college located in Milwaukee.

Like many businesses and organizations, school leaders were challenged with getting critical information out to two distinct communities about all the changes taking place due to COVID-19.

Alverno needed to make sure its faculty, staff, and students were all up-to-date on everything taking place to combat the virus and keep everyone safe.

Think about that for a second from a communicator’s perspective.

That’s two distinct audiences.

  • Faculty and staff: so… college employees, an internal audience
  • Students: aka paying customers, an external audience

Those groups ar

e pretty different from one another, especially from an age perspective.

While written emails and social posts were certainly part of the mix, their leadership knew they needed to use something else as well to ensure as many people as possible would get the message.

Enter internal and external communications videos

Having produced several videos in the past, the communication staff knew many in their two communities might not read an email, but they would watch a video.

So producing videos during the pandemic became an important part of keeping people informed and reassured that school officials were working hard to protect everyone.

They also recognized while a pandemic might be going on, the job of marketing the college to new students needed to continue.

Current students got the same updates the faculty and staff were receiving, but prospective students also began receiving special communications with a revised marketing message that took COVID-19 into account.

And you guessed it… it included a newly produced recruiting video.

Give me the stats

I know, all of this is pretty self-serving, I am a video producer after all.

But as my friend Andy Crestodina says, “Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight.”

In this case, there is a TON of data supporting how important video is to your communication strategy.

When it comes to delivering an important message, you want to remove as many barriers as possible, and video is a great way to breakdown walls of text many people won’t read.

We all send email.

We all use social.

But if you want the most amount of people possible to get your message, video helps.

A lot.

According to Campaign Monitor, video can increase email open rates by 19% and click rates by 65%.

And social media…

The bottom line is video catches people’s attention.

They click, they watch.

So write and share your message, just make sure to include a video as well.

I don’t have the budget for video

You might be thinking… AWESOME IDEA!… but how am I going to pay for it?

True… a good, professionally produced video will cost you something. You should definitely do a cost-benefit analysis.

How important is getting your message across versus how much money do you have in your budget?

Our most popular blog post happens to be How-to Figure Out Video Production Cost, so if you need some help in that department we have you covered.

We also created a video to go along with it.

We walk the walk.

The DIY Video Option

Beyond that… I’m going to make a radical suggestion.

Well, radical because again, I’m video producer.

You could DIY your video.

See… I’m not totally self-serving. The truth is I believe DIY video has a place.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been know to help people improve the quality of their DIY videos because I want to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward.

I do have some criteria for producing any kid of internal and external communications corporate videos, so let’s take a look at those first.

  • No budget: if you truly don’t have any budget at all. I mean, you don’t allocate any money for marketing or internal comms… no budget… if that’s the case, you can DIY your video.
  • Kitschy company: if you have a company culture that is kind kitschy, and your employees and customers know this about you, I actually encourage you to DIY your videos.
  • Short social media videos: if your message is simply something short you’re going to post on Instagram or maybe do a Facebook Live, you don’t need a professional video.

If you don’t fall into one of these categories, hire a pro to produce your video.

Why? It’s simple.

You probably work really hard to ensure you’re a trusted company/organization. You want customers and employees to look at you and have confidence in what you have to offer.

Well, there are few things that can crush your reputation and credibility like a bad video.

All of a sudden you go from respected to being laughed at.

Don’t let this happen to you.

A video professional is going to produce a video faster and better than anything you can DIY in-house.

If this is a serious message you want to get out, make sure the quality of your video matches the importance of your content.

Wrapping up

We all have important messages we need to deliver.

No doubt, video adds some work… and expense.

However, if that message is mission critical, then you better consider producing a video to go along with your text.

–Tony Gnau

HR Videos: what you need to make them better

HR Videos: what you need to make them betterLet’s start by being honest with ourselves. There are countless examples of terrible corporate videos. Irrelevant About Us videos, boring product videos, uninteresting testimonials… but the crown jewel of them all are HR videos.

Whether it’s the company culture video or a department training video, there might not be a better way to put people to sleep.

Another moment of honesty? In many cases, it’s nobody’s fault. Well, it might be legal’s fault. I’m fine with blaming them.

But in all seriousness, there are contributing factors that lead to boring HR videos that are beyond your control. Maybe the biggest factor is asking highly trained human resources professionals to do something they don’t have any background in… producing a video.

We can change that. I’m going to help you make better HR videos.

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way!

You’re not in human resources anymore

Let’s start with something that could be cringeworthy for some of you, but once you accept it will make the process much easier.

When you accept the responsibility of helping produce an HR video, you are no longer in HR. You’re now in marketing.

Your job is to deliver information about HR issues, but if you want to deliver it well… in a way that people will pay attention to and dare I say enjoy… you have to take off you HR hat and put on your marketing hat.

I know, it’s not what many of you want to hear, but thinking like a marketer in this case is going to help you make a better video.

Again, your job isn’t just about delivering the information. You want to deliver a message that’s going to be received, understood, but more importantly… you want buy-in.

In short, you need to market your ideas and policies to team members.

Need some help getting into this mindset? Go make friends with the people in your marketing department! Doing so can benefit you beyond making better videos.

One of our customers is Prophet, a global growth agency, and they have written about why a teaming of HR and marketing makes sense.

“Career change” will benefit your HR Videos

Marketers (at least the good ones!) understand that video isn’t about facts and figures. It’s not about information. Video is about emotion. It’s a medium that allows you to tap people’s emotions.

Now, you might be thinking… I don’t need to connect with my audience on an emotional level, I just need to communicate what our policies and programs are.

You’re right. That is what you need to do.

However, if you want people to take notice of those policies and programs and remember them, then you do need to connect with people emotionally.

As humans, we are widely guided by our emotions. They influence what we buy, and in this case they impact what we buy into.

Is it starting to make sense?

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!

Keep in mind, you don’t need to tap big emotions. It’s great if you can create videos that make people laugh or cry… yes, as a video producer I work in one of the rare fields where we relish making people cry! But you don’t need to do that to make an emotional connection.

Your goal should simply be leaving people with a specific feeling.

In the vast majority of corporate videos we produce, we just want the audience to feel good about the company. We want them to feel confident in the company.

You can achieve both of those emotions with your HR videos.

Another good one for HR might be understanding. You want people to understand why the company has a certain policy. You want people to “get it.”

What’s awesome is once you produce a quality video, all that information you’re trying to get to people will sink-in and they’ll retain it. And the more quality videos you produce, the more people will attach those emotions to your information. It snowballs from video to video.

OK, let’s produce an HR video

Now that you’re an honorary member of the marketing department, let’s talk about the videos themselves.

We’ll cover a few types of typical HR videos, but really you can apply the lessons learned later to just about any type of video.

About Us Video

The About Us video is the one video I say every business/organization needs. It’s the video that tells people who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

And good news… you might not even need to produce it! Marketing might have done it for you because it’s a terrific marketing asset.

If they haven’t, start talking with them about producing one.

Look at you working between silos!

Regardless of whether you or marketing produces it, this video has multiple uses for HR. Need a recruiting video? Check! Need an introduction video for new hires? Check!

Company Culture Video

The company culture video is sort of the cousin to the About Us video. It’ll probably have a similar look and feel, but might be a bit more focused on the who you are as opposed to the what you do.

Recruiting? New hires? Again, these audiences are ideal for this type of video.

It provides you with an opportunity to show people what makes your organization special. Whether it’s a certain leadership style or company perks, you can use video to highlight aspects of the business that make it unique.

This is a great opportunity to take people behind of the scenes of what it’s really like to work there.

Company Program Videos

Whether you’re launching a new company program, or highlighting existing ones, you can use video to spread the word.

It goes from being an easily missed (or ignored) email, to something that will grab people’s attention.

Training or instructional videos

Ugg… the dreaded training video. We’ve all seen how awful they can be, but even a training video can draw people in.

I’ll admit, you’ll really have to stretch your creating thinking here. It can be done though.

My favorite examples come from the airlines. They have gotten increasingly creative in the videos they show passengers to teach them in-flight safety procedures.

In many cases, they use big budget productions to facilitate their creativity, but you can be creative on a modest budget as well.

Highlight team members

I LOVE THESE VIDEOS! Do you have an employee of the month, quarter, or year? Don’t just highlight them in the company newsletter, produce a video about them.

But don’t stop there… I highly recommend finding ways to produce stories about your team members on a regular basis. One of our customers features employees who demonstrate the company’s core values.

And while you can certainly do it to highlight professional achievements, don’t shy away from producing stories about who they are away from work.

The more your employees learn about one another on a human level, the better they will function as a team.

By the way… this can be another joint effort between marketing and HR. Employee profiles are useful for both departments.

Before you begin

Now, as you start your video project, let’s really start thinking like marketers.

We’ll start with some pre-production questions.

  • What are you trying to communicate? Simple.
  • How are you going to communicate it? Video… see this is easy!
  • Where are you going to post the videos? Intranet, email, digital newsletter, social media?
  • What’s your goal and how are you going to measure it? You can certainly count the number of views and time spent viewing the video, but be more tactical about it. Try to attach an action to having watched the video. For example, tracking many people signed-up to take part in a new program after having watched the video.

I haven’t scared you off, right? These are simple but important questions to ask before you start producing any video project.

The most important question

There is one thing I didn’t list there and it’s because it requires extra attention. Dare I say it’s the most important question to ask.

Who is your audience?

It seems obvious, especially from an HR perspective, but you’d be surprised how many people glance past the answer to the question or over-simplify it.

When it comes to HR, the answer is usually employees, or team members, or whatever way you like to refer to the people who work at the company/organization.

And in some cases that’s good enough because the video is meant for everyone at the organization. However, depending on the size of your company, you might have specific videos for people with specific roles, or maybe it’s intended for managers only.

It’s very important to get as specific as you can about your target viewers, and I’ll explain why.

It’s not about you

At the end of the day, you need to realize the video you’re producing isn’t for you. It’s not for managers. It’s not for the company, per se.

The video is for your audience. Every decision you make regarding the video, from the content to the look and feel, needs to take into account your audience.

Ask yourself…

  • What to do they really need/want to know?
  • How would they like to receive the information?
  • Are they loose? Buttoned-up?

And brace yourself, the answers to some of those questions might not align with your wants and desires. You might have to set your ego aside… or worse… have to tell someone higher up they need to set their ego aside.

When in doubt, do this

Being a temporary marketer is starting to get a bit more daunting. I get it.

Well… when answering those questions gets difficult, here’s a universal guidepost to follow.

Be authentic.

I don’t care whether it’s an outward facing marketing video or an internal company video… my advice is the same… be authentic… be genuine.

If you’re excited about something, be excited, and don’t be shy about spreading that enthusiasm.

On the flip side, if you’re trying to communicate something you know isn’t going to be popular, don’t be a phony.

Don’t try to sugarcoat it and fool people. Treat your audience with respect and treat them like adults.

The more you do that, the more respect your videos (and policies) will receive. When your audience knows you respect them, they’ll continue to watch video after video.

It all sounds great, but…

I hope all of this sounds good to you. I hope you’re thinking to yourself, yeah, I want all of those videos for our department! And I want them all to be authentic and respectful!

But you might also be thinking… how are we going to pay for it? Or… there’s no way we have a budget for any of it, so how can we DIY it?

Let’s make a deal

Let’s start with the best case scenario and go from there. If you have a budget for video, use it. Hire a professional to produce them for you. Let them guide you through the creative process.

Need help with that? Check out our Milwaukee Video Production Buyers Guide. It has great tips that apply to any city you live in.

Stick with me

I’ll give you one quick suggestion from the guide. Share you budget with the production company.

I know, everybody wants the best deal possible. It seems counter-intuitive to share your budget.

The problem with video production is you’re not dealing with an apples to apples comparison when shopping for a video company. They’ll each provide you with a video at the end, but you’re not buying a widget. It’s more like buying a piece of art.

Each video company has a different style, different capabilities, different thoughts on video production cost.

So instead of looking for a deal, look for value.

Contact a few companies that interest you, share your budget with each of them, and see what they can do for you at that budget.

DIY HR Videos

Now, the other less desirable option. You can DIY these videos.

It’s not the best option because you’re an HR professional, not a video production expert.

So… the first thing you need to do is manage expectations and cut yourself some slack. Nobody should expect your video to be perfect. Heck, your organization should simply be happy you’re making the effort.

The next thing you need are some basic DIY skills. Again, we can help with that. We like helping. Check out our DIY video guide.

That’s a wrap

I hope this helped you on your journey to better HR videos. You can do it! Internal company videos don’t have to be lame. They don’t have to be boring.

If you think like a marketer and treat your audience with respect, you’re well on your way.

—Tony Gnau

Best Internal Communications Video Idea… Ever

Best Internal Communications Video Idea... EverAttention all human resources professionals or others in charge of communicating with team members. I have an internal communications video idea for you. An idea that will have everyone in your organization buzzing.

What I propose is to start featuring employees… at random. Not the employee of the month, not someone working on the latest company product or initiative. No, I’m talking about selecting people at random, and I’ll layout my case for why this is an awesome idea.

Some background

I’ve blogged in the past about my TV news mentor, CBS feature reporter Steve Hartman. He’s just flat-out one of the best in the biz. Back when I was a cub reporter at my first real TV job in Kearney, NE, I called Steve out of the blue one day while he was working at KCBS-TV. As a USC student, I watched his stories and loved them. As a new working professional, I wanted to know how he got into features. Not only did he take my call, he spoke with me on the phone for more than 30-minutes. For the eight years that followed, I sent him tapes of my stories and he critiqued them… even after he moved on to work for the network.

I eventually landed a job in Cincinnati working at WLWT-TV. I was developing a feature segment for myself, so I called Steve to brainstorm. I wanted to do something like what he was doing at the time for CBS. His segment was called, “Everybody Has a Story.” The concept was simple. Throw a dart at the map and go there. Open the local phone book, start flipping pages and blindly throw a finger in to select someone to feature in a story. All of it done on-camera for the audience to see.

Had I been at a CBS affiliate we could have just followed suit, but WLWT is an NBC affiliate so we came up with a similar idea. I wrote down all of the city’s neighborhoods and suburbs on slips of paper and put them in a hat. We would select the place from the hat, go there, stop into a local business, then we’d ask people if they knew someone we should feature.

As a feature reporter, it was more fun than you could imagine. The photographer and I never knew what we would end-up with, and frankly, neither did the people who selected our subjects. I can’t tell you how many times someone would suggest a person for one reason, yet the story we told about them would end-up being something different.

What I learned along the way

It was a total blast and it taught me something. Something Steve already knew, which is why he encouraged me to do the series. Everyone really does have a story. Many times it takes a great storyteller to uncover it, but that’s part of the fun.

Steve’s stories were amazing. I recommend watching some of his best, which still live online. I like to think my stories were a success as well; I won an Emmy Award for the series.

Your internal communications video series

Which all leads me back to my idea for you. Businesses can do this type of series as well. Here’s how you do it:

  1. hire a professional storyteller. Okay, a bit self-serving, but if you really want to do this right you should hire someone who knows how to draw-out people’s stories. Storytelling is a skill honed over years, so it’s worthwhile finding an expert.
  2. use your company directory to randomly select the people you feature. A side note, I love the idea of asking the current person being featured to select the next person. Bring the company directory on the shoot and have them make the random selection.
  3. don’t go for the obvious story. It would be easy to pick out a story related to their job. That’s fine, but also ask them questions about their life outside of work. You’re bound to uncover some amazing stories.
  4. whatever their story is, look for a way to make it relateable. If they have an amazing collection, that’s only the start of the story. It’s that everyone has passion, or obsession, or something his or her spouse can’t understand. Look for universal truths the audience can relate to.
  5. this is an awesome internal communications idea, but don’t be afraid to let marketing have it. A series like this is a great way to help customers get to know your company.

Bold plan, good reason to do it

So… the big question… why? Why should you do this? The answer is it’s an incredible way to transform your company. People go about their jobs not knowing how much they have in common with one another. When they start to learn about their fellow team members, they develop a bond. They care more about each other. All of that comes back to the company. It fosters a positive culture.

Do this series right and you’ll have people looking forward to each and every video you send.

–Tony Gnau

How-To Use HR Videos To Inspire Team Members

Marketing videos are so popular these days, but many tend to forget a traditional video that benefits from a modern storytelling touch. HR videos, when done right, are a great way to engage your team and pump them up.

Your human resources team can use a recruiting to get prospects excited about working for your company, an orientation video to acclimate them to your culture, and a training video to make sure they know the way you do things. You can do it all using good storytelling techniques to keep people interested.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

Recruiting videos

You might think that during times of high unemployment you don’t need a recruiting video.  Here’s an important thing to keep in mind:  Do you want candidates who are inspired by your company and its mission, or those who are simply desperate for a job?

A rhetorical question? Yes, but many business leaders really don’t put extra effort in promoting their company to potential team members. They might write a great job description and post it on some employment boards, but that isn’t exactly awe-inspiring.

A recruiting video on the other hand… that’s something that can really set a business apart. Take candidates behind the scenes of your company. Let them hear from team members. Have the CEO talk to them. This is an opportunity to encourage the best job seekers to apply to your company.

Orientation videos

Okay, maybe you’ve already nabbed the top candidates you were looking for and they’re in the fold. Now you just need to assimilate them into your company culture. Instead of having them read about it or letting it trickle down from other team members, an orientation video can set them out on the right foot.

This is your opportunity to let new employees know what you expect of them, and frankly, what they can expect from you. This is an opportunity for your human resources team to shine. Make sure new team members are clear on the dress code, where they can eat lunch, and how they finish their work day.

However, don’t be satisfied with that. Go beyond the day-to-day things they’ll need to know. Tell your new team members about the company’s charity efforts. Highlight team members and their efforts improve the company’s culture. This is your chance to make sure people know their new workplace is awesome, and inspire them to contribute to that awesomeness.

An orientation video like this can bring your company handbook to life.

Training videos

They’ve been hired, they’re squared-away on the company’s culture, now you just need to get them working, or to improve employee processes that are already in place.  A training video can demonstrate how the job is done and answer the most frequently asked questions.

New team members are sure to get all sorts of on-the-job training, but you never know who the source of that training will be.  Video assures consistency as you share important processes with team members.  

Use a team member in your training video who does  things “right.” The majority of people are visual learners, so it’s a great idea to show them examples of your top people and how they do their jobs.

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

HR videos don’t need to be boring

I know, some of you rolled your eyes at the notion of HR videos. The thing is, these videos don’t have to put people to sleep. You just need to apply the same mindset to these videos as you do your external marketing videos.

In a way, all of the HR videos I described are marketing videos. The difference is that you’re marketing to your team members rather than potential clients.

Think about it. How many times have you heard business leaders talking about getting their team to “buy-in” to the corporate mission or culture? That’s why the same storytelling strategy we use to sell customers needs to be used in these HR videos.

Telling stories is the key to it all.  When you have a ton of information you’re trying to give someone, they’re more likely to pay attention and remember when you tell them a good story.

What’s your story?

Get your best storytellers in on the effort. If your marketing team rocks, encourage them to work with your people in HR. The two united teams can look inward to help you sell your policies and processes to the rest of the team.

If neither or those teams have the time, you can always turn to outside pros to help with this sort of thing. Professional video storytellers can help you tell your stories.

HR videos that use storytelling to motivate can be a great way to inspire your team.

–Tony Gnau

 

Extra Work A Small Price

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

When’s the last time you lent a hand to a friend in need? I don’t mean something small like giving them a cup of sugar or a ride to someplace you were both going anyway. I’m thinking something major… like helping them move or giving them a ride to the airport.

Where am I going with this? I got a reminder last week just how nice it feels to help a good friend, and when you can do it through something you’re passionate about… all the better.

Mrs. G and I have a GREAT friend who’s moving soon. Not to like, Minnesota or something… no… she’s moving halfway around the world. 

Anyway, the move means she’s going to miss her little sister’s wedding. We found out she was considering shooting a video to surprise her sister with during the reception, so we basically took it from there.

We insisted on shooting and editing something special for her. Of course, she doesn’t want to “put us out,” but come on… do you have any idea how many times this person has cat-sit for us? I’ll end-up putting in some extra hours working this week, but producing a video is the least we can do for this person.

Well, we shot the video last week and afterwards I was really touched by how appreciative she was. She basically said this is the nicest gift anyone has ever given her. How badly do you think I want this video to turn out well?

My point is this… we all have skills we’re blessed with. To us…  they’re no big deal. They’re just what we’re good at. But to someone without those skills, they’re pretty awesome. Especially when you use them in a time of need.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Top 5 Reasons Internal Communications Needs Video

cameraWhen people think of video, they often think marketing. It’s true… video is terrific for marketing. It also happens to be a great internal communications tool, and there are many subjects that can be covered (video examples).

Here’s the top five reasons you should be using video to communicate with team members…

Video creates interest. Anyone can send out a newsletter or email, but video captures people’s attention. How many dozens of newsletters go unread? How many memos get skimmed, but don’t receive the attention they might require? LOTS! You can communicate the same thing in a video that a memo or newsletter might explain. Detail company policies, feature your latest product or service, maybe even highlight the work of an individual or group. The difference is people will watch and pay attention to the video.

The accessible CEO. If you’re part of a small organization, chances are you’ve met the CEO. On the other hand if you work at a medium or large company, there’s a good chance you don’t know what the CEO looks like much less had an opportunity to interact with them. Putting company leaders out front in videos allows them to speak directly to team members. They are no longer the impersonal name behind a title. They become a real person others can relate to, which then empowers managers to energize the company culture.

Electri-FlexBreaking down the silos. A lot of companies work in silos. One department separated from the other, people don’t know one another and certainly none of them can tell you what the other is doing. Video can change that. It allows team members to provide an inside look at what they’re working on. You can write about a new product or service all you want, but hearing from someone who’s working on that project and seeing them at work takes it to a whole new level.

Storytelling advantage. Using video allows a business to tell great stories. The medium incorporates images, sounds and words to create a rich platform for people to “experience” information. On paper, what’s happening around the company is simply a laundry list of activities. Put that same information into the hands of a skilled video storyteller, and it becomes a narrative that engages the audience. By incorporating information into a compelling story you capture the audience’s attention and make them more receptive to your message.

Leaves an impression. Storytelling also helps viewers retain the information, and after watching something they really enjoy they share it with other people. A company newsletter might garner mild interest. Videos will have people talking about them in the halls. They also have a cumulative effect. The more quality videos you produce, the more viewers look forward to them. They can even become a morale booster. Team member success stories are a pat on the back they’ll really feel.

All of these things add up to a good reason for corporate leaders to use video to communicate with their teams. A CEO vlog, a video newsletter, updates on projects and initiatives… all great ways to get your messages across to people.

–Tony Gnau

This post first appeared at ragan.com.

 Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

HR Videos Can Boost Employee Morale

Dillanos Coffee

A fun HR video is a great way to boost employee morale, and I recently came across some good examples. Dillanos Coffee Roasters was recently featured on Chris Locurto’s blog and the EntreLeadership podcast. The company produces a bunch of videos, but its YouTube channel is mostly devoted to making the company’s employees laugh. 

What a great idea for HR departments everywhere.

I’m not going to build-up the videos into something they’re not. The production quality leaves a lot to be desired, but that’s what you get producing things in-house without professional help. Here’s the thing though…

Who cares?

The videos aren’t meant for me or you. They’re meant for the men and women who work there. I didn’t really get any laughs out of the videos I watched, but I’m sure the people who work at Dillanos love them.

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE

Company leaders are following the first “rule” of video production. Always keep the focus on your audience. They’ve created a culture of fun around Dillanos, and these videos are a flection of it.

When you think about it from that perspective, these videos are winning productions.

–Tony Gnau

Photo: dillanos.com