Over the past few years, businesses have placed more and more emphasis on the importance of their mission and expressing their company values. Perspectives such as those expressed by Simon Sinek are gaining more traction in the workplace. And that’s a damn good thing. Clearly articulated missions and expressed company cultures lead to a more driven and satisfied team. However, this emphasis also creates a tremendous need for organizations to clearly articulate their mission, culture, and values not just to prospective clients, but to their prospective talent as well.
In order for any business to be successful, they need to attract the best and brightest talent. And once that talent is in the door, they need to keep that talent driven and motivated to work there. Video offers the ideal platform to connect with that talent in a genuine and authentic manner. It enables companies to clearly articulate their vision. But what makes the most effective culture video?
It’s not easy to talk about how wonderful you are without sounding pompous. Describing a company’s virtues can quickly start sounding fake, fall flat and just feel downright cheesy. But because authenticity is so essential in connecting with an audience, we thought we’d explore a few approaches that can help your organization connect with viewers on a more relatable level.
One of the strongest ways for viewers to connect with your company is to hear directly from the people who work there. While it’s certainly good to hear what leadership of an organization thinks, it can be even more effective to talk with folks who are on the front lines. Capture their stories and their perspectives about what matters most to the organization. For example, we had a ton of success capturing how essential Safety is to the culture at Clark Construction. Find out what drives your team and keeps them coming back day after day. Show them collaborating with colleagues, bonding with clients, or performing their daily tasks. You might even want to highlight their hobbies that personify what motivates them to stay driven and relate to your company’s culture. That opens up a ton of visual possibilities. But whatever you do, try not to put words in their mouths. Ask them genuine questions that drive at what you want the video to express, and let them say it in their own words. Have them describe the challenges they face and discuss what motivates them to solve your clients’ problems. An open and honest dialogue like this will go a long way towards attracting like-minded applicants.
But sometimes it’s a little difficult to round everyone up, or you might just be reticent to feature employees on camera. This is the perfect time to write a script and layer on moving visuals. But keep things simple. Pick one main message that you’re trying to get across. Think about a visual theme matches your message, and show – don’t tell. This means that you shouldn’t have the script try to say everything – let some of the visuals do the heavy lifting. But be authentic. For example, consulting companies may not consider themselves the right fit for video, but the Savan Group had a little fun with it and playfully captured their company culture and still kept things professional. Don’t only have executives appear on camera saying something vague like “We volunteer with a local food drive…”. Be bold. Have someone who does the actual volunteering describe why volunteering’s important to the company, and show visuals of them at the event. And if you simply don’t have the visuals, or what you do is simply too hard to capture visually, like in the technology or healthcare sector, think about using animation or motion graphics. Animation provides an excellent way to describe complex processes. This video created for the Mercatus Center explains how this complex healthcare policy, the scope of practice law, works.
And make sure this sentiment feels genuine. Don’t force things in there that are stretched. That means if your company only did one company outing to give back last year, it’s probably not best to push community involvement as a core value of your organization. And be selective about what you focus on. If you’re trying to capture your company’s culture, pick just the most important areas to focus on. A great place to start is your company’s core values. Spend a brief amount of time focusing on each of those, and explain why they are so important to your organization. And keep it simple. If you try to say everything, you won’t say anything. Guernsey focused on the theme of accountability for their company’s mission video. If you try to force a ton of different thoughts into the video it will quickly lose focus and you won’t connect with your audience. Less is more. Whatever direction you take, keep the script tight – to about 200 words, or 90 seconds.