Thursday, August 4, 2011

Communicating in the YouTube era

In today's global economy, most corporations have employees scattered in various geographic locations. As a result, video has become an increasingly popular tool for communicating with employees.

Here are some best practices for using video to communicate with employees:
  1. Find the hook. Employees will decide in the first few seconds whether they will watch a video or not. Draw them in with an interesting hook.
  2. Entertain. People love entertainment. A fast-paced and visually interesting video will keep employees' attention to the end.
  3. Keep videos as short as possible. Use only the minimal amount of time necessary to get information across -- in general, the shorter, the better. On average, videos for employees should range from two to five minutes.
  4. Synchronize with the IT department. Know what the capabilities are of your company's computer network and of employees' computers. Employees will not watch even the most exciting video if technical problems make it difficult to view.
  5. Remember that video is a visual medium. Go beyond the talking head. Explore the palette of options that video provides to "show" the story.
  6. Think small (in size). Most employees do not watch videos in full-screen mode on their computer. Use close-ups and ensure that the images are clear even in a small format.
  7. Draw attention to the videos. If possible, place videos on the intranet home page. A video needs to be within two clicks for employees -- buried videos will not get the message across.
  8. Provide alternative ways to get the content. To reach employees who do not have computers, also offer the information in text form, on a DVD, or work with their managers to communicate the information to them.
To read more about communicating with employees via video, read the full article that I wrote for the PR News Employee Communications Guidebook (opens PDF).
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