video

So much information, so little time

Remember a little while back when you couldn’t go to a workshop or a conference on change, leadership, strategy, innovation or communication without the keynote quoting the Shift Happens/Did You Know? research?

I certainly used those numbers on more than one occasion with leaders trying to understand the shifting nature of communication in the social era, and the #futureofwork in a post-global economy. The 2015 version from Erik Qualman has updated references to social marketing and we see the exponential scale of social shift.

But if you want to immerse yourself in the real-time version of this, then interetlivestats.com is your go-to resource.

Watch this number rise for each social platform, realtime.

Watch this number rise for each social platform, realtime.

Here you can watch the sheer overwhelming volume of online activity tick over.

With so much data being created, accrued, shared and stored, it prompts a few questions:

  • how do we focus on the most useful things instead of getting carried with the current?
  • how do we add value to the volume, through interpretation and insight?
  • how do we maintain a voice while recognising ours is one of billions?
  • how do we make sure we are not just adding noise?

These aren’t questions just for communication professionals. They are core questions for us as people in the age of mass data.

The 5P Business Case – Part 2

Video is an important part of the communication channel mix for employees, but building the business case can be a challenge. To build the case for including video as part of your overall communication infrastructure, cover these five points.

  1. Pain. Find the right opportunity that is causing pain: what challenges need attention, what change is under way, what results need to shift? Is the pain at the top, or is it your employees who need help?
  2. Partners. Find internal sponsors: who has the greatest stake in addressing this issue? What will they invest to see the situation change?
  3. Potential benefit. Put a price on success: What is the value of addressing this issue?
  4. Pilot. Before a TV series is made, producers invest in a pilot to test the concept. This is a solid approach for internal video. Start small to test capability, appetite, and audience.
  5. Prove. Measure the impact of the initiative to build momentum

In the last post, we covered Pain and Partners. Now lets look at Potential, Pilot and Prove.

POTENTIAL BENEFIT

What is the current situation costing the business? What will solving the problem contribute to the business?

At an enterprise level, doing anything that improves communication pays dividends. Companies with effective communication financially outperform those with ineffective communication. A long-term study has demonstrated this can mean that over a 5 year period, a company with effective communication would return 1.7 times higher shareholder returns.[1]

The same study showed that 70% of highly effective organisations agree that “The use of internal social business/collaboration tools for work-related purposes has a positive impact on employee productivity at my organisation.

In order to build the case, however, it will be necessary to get specific.

By clearly defining the change in knowledge or behaviour, you can calculate a return.

  • Will sales increase with better training? Will the time to learn new products reduce?
  • Will safety improve? Will incidents reduce? What is the current cost? What would an improvement mean in terms of days lost?
  • What is the current cost of all staff town hall meetings?

Not every initiative will have a definite dollar positive outcome. Other organisational outcomes may be valuable too. However, in seeking investment for an initiative, it can be useful to target opportunities where there are both financial and non-financial benefits to demonstrate the result.

In defining the potential benefits, work with your partners from Finance to ensure your calculations are relevant and acceptable in your business.

PILOT

Based on the problem and the potential benefit, where can you start?

By clearly identifying the business outcome a communication activity is designed to solve, measurement becomes a simpler task. In each of the following examples, identifying the costs of the current state, and quantifying the outcomes provides a simple method of targeting benefits.

Potential Benefits

Potential Benefits

PROVE the case

What just happened? What changed as a result? How did people use the new approach?

Effective measurement is a perennial topic in communication. While top marketers are comfortable with demonstrating traffic, leads and conversions, internal communicators sometimes struggle with clearly demonstrating the return on initiatives.

However, if you have clearly identified the business outcomes, been clear about how video will help contribute to the solution, you are in a strong position to measure the impact.

Analytics packages allow for detailed viewing behaviour to be measured: who watched for how long, where and what did they use to watch, when did their attention shift. These data help shape the approach and provide essential information for looking at the impact of video content. Combined with audience feedback, this information will contribute to the evaluation of a pilot.

 

Prove the impact

Prove the impact

It’s a wrap – for now…

Video is an iterative channel. It grows and evolves with your overall business strategy. Great stories have a way of capturing people’s attention. If you find the right opportunity and take a strategic approach, people will take notice. You can transform a tactic – a broadcast, a leader message, an employee story – into a powerful strategic tool. Taking a planned approach to building the case and demonstrating the outcomes is the first step in making video an integral part of your engagement agenda and delivering valued outcomes to your business.

 

[1] Towers Watson 2013 – 2014 Change and Communication ROI Study Report http://www.towerswatson.com/en/Insights/IC-Types/Survey-Research-Results/2013/12/2013-2014-change-and-communication-roi-study

 

The 5P business case for video

Building a case for using video in your organisation is simpler if you follow the 5 P model.

The 5P Business Case

Click the image to view the short video on Adobe Voice.

To build the case for including video as part of your overall communication infrastructure, cover these five points.

  1. Pain. Find the right opportunity that is causing pain: what challenges need attention, what change is under way, what results need to shift? Is the pain at the top, or is it your employees who need help?
  2. Partners. Find internal sponsors: who has the greatest stake in addressing this issue? What will they invest to see the situation change?
  3. Potential benefit. Put a price on success: What is the value of addressing this issue?
  4. Pilot. Before a TV series is made, producers invest in a pilot to test the concept. This is a solid approach for internal video. Start small to test capability, appetite, and audience.
  5. Prove. Measure the impact of the initiative to build momentum

 PAIN – Find the right opportunity

What are the major business challenges you are seeking to address through your communication strategy?

Don’t limit this to communication challenges. What are the issues that keep the executive team from sleeping well?

The most effective communication strategy is linked directly to business outcomes. As with all forms of communication in organisations, new channels and approaches will only be successful if you define clear outcomes. Some communication challenges benefit from the use of video more than others.

Effective communication, change, training and leadership can contribute directly to:

  • Better customer experience
  • Increased sales
  • Reputation and trust
  • Safety
  • Turnover
  • Productivity and efficiency

Identify the changes in awareness, sentiment or behaviour that are required to support this outcome.

The mix of communication activities will be different based on the goal. The role of video in your strategy will also vary according to the outcome required. Some examples include:

Dispersed workforce creates engagement gap

Face-to-face interaction is an essential component of leadership and engagement. Finding ways to ensure employees hear first hand from leaders and experts is a consistent challenge due to the investment in travel and time.

Quick responses to market changes

Hearing information from customers or the media before hearing it from within the organisation reduces trust and disengages employees. Many organisations struggle with employees feeling that they are kept informed about things that affect them, a key factor in most engagement studies.

 Shifting culture and embedding values

Finding ways to share the stories that reinforce the culture, change agenda, key values or operational excellence is an essential way of embedding change. Video provides a platform for doing this in original and engaging ways, providing an immediacy and richness that engages and connects with audiences in ways that other channels struggle to achieve.

Unlocking employee ideas and innovation

Collaboration is one of the differentiators for organisations in the fight to be responsive and innovative. Information and experience is sometimes trapped in pockets of the organisation. Providing a means to draw out and share this information creates value.

PARTNERS

Who can provide support through resources, funding, or expertise to develop the case?

 Identifying key business issues will mean enlisting partners in the process. Few communicators have deep pockets; most need to find sponsors for new initiatives. In movie-making, a producer is someone with a financial interest in the movie. They are the backer. In corporate communication, whoever stands to gain from the effective use of video as a platform to solve their challenge has the potential to be a ‘producer’ or project sponsor.

In addition to internal partners, choosing production partners who will make the most of the available budget and resources is an important decision. Even with the advent of cheap cameras, better bandwidth and simple editing tools, there are some risks with a total DIY approach for an initial project. Video is an emotive medium. People will remember what they see and hear, and if it misses the mark, it can leave a lasting impression for the wrong reason.

In the next post, I’ll cover the final 3 Ps in detail.