The Q4 2020 simplytrends update highlighted some stark warnings. Trust is ebbing away in the digital workplace as restrictions rise. People are feeling fatigued. We have lost handshakes, watercooler conversations and reading body language in meetings. What can we do with the technology we have now to make it a better experience for all team members?

This article looks at how video can help meet some of these challenges. Everything here can still be produced, with the right procedures in place, under current UK restrictions.

Why video?

Stories well told with video engage audiences and build trust like nothing else. They fight screen fatigue caused by endless video calls, and bring your business purpose to life with authentic human narratives.

Business challenges are huge, but the good news is that even with reduced options for film production under Covid-19, four styles have emerged as go-to, safe production methods.

1.    Small production crews

Future Matters for Fortnum and Mason looks stunning, but was shot with a crew of just three over 1.5 days. Made to reinforce Fortnum’s purpose during the lockdown, the film emphasises the timelessness of their core values, whatever the circumstances. The four pillars – People, Product, Packaging, Planet – underpin the script and give context to facts like the minimal gender pay gap at Fortnum’s, the absence of palm oil in their products and the reduction in plastics.

2.    Zoom/Teams only

If Fortnum’s seems a world away from the everyday needs of your business, there’s plenty you can do to lift Zoom or Teams video to a new level. A straightforward, authentic style keeps people connected without the hassle of getting everyone together at the same time.

The vlog for Provident Financial was one of a series presented by CEO Malcolm Le May. This edition featured front-line colleagues sharing their views on talking to customers during lockdown. It generated overwhelmingly positive feedback from its internal audience, with comments like: ‘Absolutely loved your vlog, it means so much more to see a face instead of just the written word.’

This is the essence of how video builds trust. Seeing each other is highly valued because we respond instinctively to non-verbal signals like body language and facial expression. In the vlog, we can see that Malcolm really means it, and he doesn’t speak for long before handing the floor to colleagues around the business. It’s not about him, it’s about everyone in the business, including customers.

If you want more creative ideas on what you can do with Zoom and Teams, user-generated content and animation have great potential – if used well. Kaptcha made this film to show some of the options.

3.    Hybrid/virtual events

There’s a big difference between a group video call and an experience. Video calls are functional and can build trust through transparency and visibility. But is a video call an immersive experience? Is it inspiring and memorable for all the right reasons?

For this reason, interactive events have become a popular tool to bring colleagues together in an interactive, shared experience that builds trust. There’s a huge range of options as new technology comes on stream and audience expectations evolve with working from home.

A good starting point is to adopt a programme format that lands well with your audience. Broadcasters have reinvented their productions for distanced participation, so most formats can provide a ready-made model.

When designing your virtual event, it’s worth building a checklist of items like these:

  • Live or pre-recorded interviews, presentations and films – much like a live TV broadcast.
  • Interactive elements like polling, word clouds and Q&A sessions.
  • Attendees can begin engaging early. The microsite or app can go live in advance for trailers, the agenda, questions submission and downloads.

4.   Global filming

https://vimeo.com/457798282/bc87580444

Yes, you read that right. Your film can still go global in the pandemic. Capgemini commissioned this film on Perform AI with zero travel and social distancing at every step.

Perform AI has a commercial purpose, but it is still fundamentally about trust. Trusting that AI is a constructive force that enhances human work, and that Perform AI can deliver solutions to enable businesses to survive. It uses body language consistently to visualise a narrative which, due to the nature of AI, can seem impenetrable.

Budgets

All these production styles, in the right hands, will deliver engagement safely. None of them should break your budget, even when it is stretched.

The biggest savings compared to pre-Covid times, both financially and in terms of carbon footprint, will be delivered by the global filming style. For Perform AI, local one-man crews were directed by a UK-based producer/director who managed the whole project without leaving their home office. It’s an example of how the pandemic has accelerated an existing trend.

The evidence we are seeing in the simplycommunity and elsewhere indicates that some colleagues can handle homeworking more easily than others. But for everyone, the absence of face to face contact, and the trust it can generate, is a critical issue. Over the coming winter, that probably means more engaging video will be an essential element of any successful communications mix to build and maintain trust.

Not sure which option works best for your needs? Sign up here for regular updates on video from Kaptcha, our video partner. Or click here for expert advice tailored to your project.

THE AUTHOR

Steve Garvey

Founder, Moving image

THE AUTHOR

Richard Thomson

Managing Director, Kaptcha

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