8 ways to make internal video a hit

One might think thatlaying out acompany directivein black and white would be
the clearest and most straightforward means of communicating.

Yet video has taken off as a means of communication for the very reason
that it conveys the subtleties of messaging so well.

“Video offers multiple dimensions,” says Becky
Graebe director of communications at the business analytics company SAS. “If you’re
just reading the written
word, it’s a little harder to interpret, but if you’re watching someone,
and their words are combined with their gestures and their body movements
and their expressions, it’s just a richer experience.”

, different forms of
content reach peopleindifferent ways. At times it can be easy to
glance over a pithy email, but the visuals
of video make it a great way to shake things up and make a greater impact.

“There’s a lot of value in switching the format
that people receive
content in,” says Cheryl
Sansonetti, marketing director at
Merkle Inc. “I receive
200 emails a day and I
am reading through a lot of text, and the
opportunity to change that up gets people’s attention.”

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are some tips for successful video:

. Capture their hearts and minds.

Recently, Intel produced
an inspirational video for 500 of its top leaders internally, says Sabrina
Stoffregen, global communicationmanager for the5,000 -person sales and
marketing employees at Intel. The video
celebrated Intel successesover thelast 50 years and sought to
inspire the leadership for the coming half-century. It helped leaders
better understand how behaviors can amplify—or diminish—growth and
vitality, she says.

The video’s central metaphor was the challenge of building the Golden Gate
Bridge, Stoffregen says. “We wove a compelling story for the leadership team around their vital
and irreplaceable role as bridge builders,” she says.

The message resonated profoundly with the leadership, suggesting several
takeaways for video production:

  • Stoffregen’s team
    took the time to understand what its leaders know about, care about , and want to hear,
    then crafted a narrative to resonate with their needs, she says.
  • It’s not enough to get the facts right. Intel had to make an emotional
    connection as well, she
    says. By helping leaders see themselves as the “heroesin the narrative, it
    fueled their enthusiasm to deliver on the call to action.
  • The message authentically expressed the company’s values,
    engaged the audiences’ curiosity, and inspired leaders to get behind a
    shared purpose and vision.

“It was about capturing both the hearts and minds of our audience,”
Stoffregen says.

. Let employees post video selfies.

Before webcasts with the CEO, SAS has begun requesting that employees post
video selfie questions
for the boss. During the live webcast itself,
preselected selfies are woven into the format, Graebe

For example, if someone has a question about artificial intelligence
and what SAS doing in
that field, employees can see that individual posing the question. Then it
cuts to the live-cast. “We work it in ahead of time so that
he can address them in
the video,” Graebe says.

The webcasts are filmed before a small live audience of 25-30—all that can
be squeezed into the
studio space. Communicators also draw questions from SAS’s internal
platform, The Hub.


. Produce a weekly
video ‘rewind.’

Every Friday,
Metropolitan State University of Denver

enlists an employee
volunteer to describe the top articles posted on its “Early Bird” internal
news site from the
previous week, says Cathy Lucas, chief communications

the video series, called “Roadrunner Rewind” after the university’s mascot,
MSU Denver seeks to get
a broad representation of its employees: faculty, administrators and
classified staff. They also get to highlight the programs they’re working

a recent video, an employee working with
the college assistance migrant program
highlighted stories such as a call for story ideas, atrustee named to the Colorado Business Hall
of Fame, and the faculty center for excellence.

. Engage remote audiences with executive videos.

Folks at the home office
might bump into top
executives bustling down a corridor or at a town hall meeting.
Elsewhere, the chances to see the executives face-to-face are rarer.

This is why there’s still a place for video of the senior leadership,
whether storyboarded and scripted, or less formal. “Our
communication surveys are showing us employees, especially out of the U.S., are enjoying the
chance to see our executives,” Graebe says.


. Conduct ‘man-on-the- street’ interviews.

You’ve seen the puffy-haired anchorperson from yourlocal TV station interviewing
passersby outside a train station or on a busy plaza. Why not take the same
approach within your organization? Man-on-the- street interviews reveal
what employees care about, Graebe says.

Perhaps these could be linked with answers by executives or specialists, offering a way to get at
matters that are bugging your staff, or drawing forth ideas to put to use.

. Tell the tale behind the sale.

the end, profitability is all about persuading customers to write that
check or type in their
credit card number. So, how does agood salesperson make the

SAS has a video short
series called “The Tale Behind the Sale,” which informs viewers about a
creative sales situation. The videos weave together comments from three to
four people, each talking for 20-30
seconds, “letting thepeoplewho were involved in that tell it from
their perspective,” Graebe says.

. Allow employees to share video.

SAS employees can upload video to The Hub, just as one can to YouTube or other
platforms. Employee-generated content carries an authenticity that can’t be
replicated by the organizational voice, Graebe says. Employees know that
it’s not just spin. “It’s also important to draw out all the voices that
contribute to the success of the company, and that’s one
way of doing that,” she says.

She adds that some communicators from other companies say, “Wait,
you just let employees upload a photo, and it’s going to be on the home
page, and you’re not going to review them, and there’s not going to be some

Precisely, she tells them. “There’s a level of trust that’s communicated
that’s kind of an undercurrent,” she says. “And that’s what we want to be


. Appoint facilitatorsin local offices.

Merkle Inc., designates
facilitators whoact as point-persons to helppeoplein local offices share
video through the Dynamic Signalapp, says marketing director
Cheryl Sansonetti. These facilitators are staff members who contribute
frequently and can encourage technophobes or shy colleagues to get

can upload to the platform straight from their phones, including an
explanation of the content. The community manager tags
and publishes the video. The same goes for events at which the company’s executives or
experts are speaking.

“We find that people
love to share what’s going onin the office culture, … to
share, ‘Hey, this is our holiday office party,’”
Sansonetti says.

This article is in partnership with
Dynamic Signal.


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