An integrated communications plan is critical in today’s world. CEOs and business managers are constantly searching for the right mix of a multi-channel approach to keep employees engaged, increase donor outreach or to keep shareholders informed. A key piece of that outreach should be video.
Because it works. Visual learning is more effective than any other form of learning. This Vimeo article here explains the science behind information retention versus other forms of communication. A short video can present pages of complicated material and the viewer will retain a larger percentage of the information than if they read the material or sat through a PowerPoint presentation.
Video Is A Leading Communication Tool
The average person watches more than 200 videos every month. It is the way people prefer to receive information. It is the reason YouTube is the second largest search engine used today. Your employees, donors and shareholders are watching videos several times a day, communicate with them on a channel they are comfortable using and it is more likely that your message will be heard.
The Power Of Video
Versatility? Check. Entertaining? Check. But the real power of video is emotion. Video allows the viewer to look the CEO in the eye, hear the sincerity in their voice and incorporate all of the non-verbal communications without consciously realizing it.
Incorporating Video Communications
There really is no limit to the ways video can be used to enhance corporate communications. This Ortec Communications article here has eight suggestions. The easiest first step is a CEO interview format but you need to decide what issues the interview will cover and what you want to communicate to the audience.
Preparing For A CEO Interview
Assemble the team. It could include the communications department, senior managers and trusted advisors. It’s important to narrow the focus of the interview to the most important two or three ideas you want to disseminate. It may seem counterintuitive but choose the goal first, the questions and answers will be a natural by-product of that goal.
Writing The Script
Once the goals are set and the questions and answers chosen someone needs to write the script. Yes, that is obvious but how it is written is very important. The writer should be aware of words and phrases the CEO uses in everyday interactions. The main concern of the writer should be the comfort level of the CEO. In video, visuals matter – more than they probably should but messages fail if the viewer is distracted by a visibly uncomfortable speaker. Using words and phrases the CEO is accustomed to will help put them in the right frame of mind. More importantly, those same words will ring ‘true’ to those viewers who are familiar with the CEO.
Ok, The CEO Is Freaking Out Right Now
Remember with video you control the message. One take, two takes, whatever it takes to get a comfortable, confident CEO with the proper tone in his/her voice – the control rests with the CEO and communications team.
The easiest way to present a CEO interview is to use a graphics screen with the question written on it. As far as time it should remain up before the answer, a good rule of thumb is to read the question to yourself three times and round up.
Choose a space where the CEO feels most comfortable. Their office is the most common background. It can be behind the desk or at a small table in the office. It should be message appropriate. The optics of the interview must match the tone.
Don’t be afraid of difficult questions or contrary views. A reasonable answer will go a long way to inoculating the organization or explaining why another option is not in the best interest of the company at this time. Maintaining a hard company line without addressing alternative views or ideas could just increase resistance to change.
Changing shots (wide, medium and tight) should complement the answers. If the CEO is saying something of extreme importance the camera should ‘push-in’ on the face of the CEO. It conveys a greater sense of importance to the audience and they will respond with greater concentration and pay closer attention to that part of the interview.
For additional assistance in creating and implementing videos, the aJuxt troupe is here to help.
Written by Gary Smollen
Gary Smollen is a former reporter with more than 25-years experience covering state government, police and sheriffs departments and county, state and federal courts. He transitioned to being a Communications and Social Media Specialist in 2014 and is currently working as a freelance Social Media Specialist with aJuxt Media Group.