Does video feature in your plans for the coming year? Are you looking for opportunities to showcase your frontline employees and leaders via film to share their stories?

Today I take a look back at a guest article from January 2014 that examined this topic and highlighted how professional communicators are using video. This is part of my Advent series to countdown to Christmas. If you’ve missed any posts, check out the Advent tag.

Internal Comms pros shape the broadcast agenda

At the end of 2013 I highlighted a new event I’d been made aware of that encouraged corporate communicators to think like broadcasters during two free workshops.

I was contacted by lots of people in my network who had read about them on my blog and signed up. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go myself, but was pleased to hear such positive feedback from people who went along.

They were held by ITN Productions, which is the creative hub of ITN. If you’ve not heard of them before, ITN is a British-based news and content provider made up of three divisions: ITN News, ITN Source and ITN Productions.

Here Lorraine Hambleton @hambletonl writes for my blog to take a look at what happened when the communicators stepped in front of the cameras. Lorraine hosted the show and is in the blue shirt in the photos.

Further reading via my blogDiscover how HSBC bank is using video and social media to share internal stories externally.

Over to you Lorraine…

Inspiring Corporate Comms Pros to think like broadcasters

worshopOver two weeks, 50 leading communications professionals joined me and the ITN Productions team at the set of ITV1’s The Agenda.

Produced by ITN, it is the first panel show of its kind featuring top politicians sitting alongside celebrities and opens up politics to audiences in new ways.

As well as producing TV programming and commercials for brands, broadcasters and agencies, they have a corporate video production team who are keen to open up broadcast techniques to internal comms teams.

Working with together with Simon Baker, @simonthebaker, Head of Corporate Production, we’ve been on a mission to inspire individuals and teams that using familiar TV formats should be seen as a strength for internal communication videos.

In the broadcast world, TV formats are commonly reused because they are tried and tested at achieving ratings. It makes audiences comfortable too.

However in the corporate communications arena we don’t really see these formats used as much.

Employees are similar to external broadcast audiences and yearn the familiar.

By applying the stuff they see on telly to internal videos:

  • audiences get straight to the point of the programme and look forward to it
  • communicators can think like broadcasters so that viewers no longer have to re-learn a format every time they hit Play
  • messages and calls to action have more impact because unnecessary distractions have been removed

As part of the workshop, we explained the key elements make up a panel debate show like The Agenda. We could have covered other formats from magazine shows, reporter lead films or documentaries. But we couldn’t ignore our fantastic location.

The elements included:

  • Stories – topics that audiences care about
  • Characters – real people who resonate with viewers and are credible
  • Videos – to bring stories alive and set a tone for the debate
Bringing these together in a debate show means variety and pace, keeping audiences hooked to the end.

It also overcomes the challenge of handling multiple messages, enabling presenters to move quickly through serious and lighter issues.

To help prove the concept, participants had the chance to film their own show, thanks to the help of The Agenda production team.

The debate topic centred around the use of social media thanks to an infographic recently shared by the Headlines team and survey findings by Rachel Miller @AllthingsIC (Glad it was thought-provoking – Rachel).

Sifting through the feedback, it’s clear that our attendees found the experience valuable. But I did too. ITN Productions prides itself on having easy access to extensive resources and experienced directors to make compelling content for the corporate sector. They make things happen.

Proving the format works
When I approached John Keyes, Production Manager for The Agenda I asked, “We’d like to invite communications professionals to ITN and prove how broadcast formats work for internal audiences. Please can we use your set?” “Of course, we’re One ITN,” he replied.

If that’s ITN’s approach for helping to run a 90 minute comms session, which quite frankly may not rock everyone’s boat, imagine how great it is working alongside them on a corporate video.

The workshops attracted professionals across a range of industries who provided their thoughts on using TV formats and the future of internal video.

You can watch the recordings below and on YouTube:

Post author: Lorraine Hambleton

Thanks for sharing your story Lorraine, I certainly spotted lots of positive feedback online after the workshops.


First published on All Things IC blog January 2014. Republished December 2014.

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