An increasing competitive financial sector is forcing organisations to look at how they are seen inside and out. Successful businesses do not just focus their communications for the benefit of an external audience, for advertising, marketing and PR; but also on their internal audience: employees and key stakeholders.
The role of internal comms has acquired a new significance as financial organisations try to communicate customer needs, business vision and core values to staff working at every level. This is with the objective of ensuring that everyone within an organisation reflects those standards and goals in all their dealings, both with colleagues and management and, crucially, with customers too. Increasingly, it is this buy-in of those values and ideologies that give financial organisations a competitive edge.
IRS Case Study – Internal Comms Trailblazer!
Financial institutions have had a bad press in recent years, customer trust has been eroded and this is especially demoralising for staff. Therefore internal comms becomes an important part of an organisation’s communications strategy; helping organisations get employees all on the same page so that they can communicate that back to customers.
Back in the 1990s, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the U.S had a similar reputation for customer service as HMRC’s has today. A visionary IRS commissioner, Charles O. Rossotti, wanted to transform a government bureaucracy into a world-class service organisation. His approach was an ‘always engaged strategy’, conveying the message throughout internal comms to treat taxpayers like customers. This involved training sessions, videos, memos, voice mails, all hands meetings and other strategies to modify the attitudes of over 100,000 staff. Within a decade, the IRS was ranked above fast food chains and airlines for customer service reviews.
It is clear that a proactive and targeted internal comms strategy can deliver much more than memos about targets and productivity, but actually change how an organisation is perceived in the marketplace.
Video: A Vital Element Of Successful Internal Comms
What makes video more successful than traditional internal comms?
- Is it the ability to distribute content quickly and comprehensively throughout an organisation?
- Or is it its capacity to convey information in seconds what might otherwise be delivered in a lengthy document?
- Its accessibility from multiple devices?
- Or the personal and engaging tone video content has over more dry and corporate communications?
I would suggest it is all of these and more, and the reason why 75% of respondents in a video enterprise survey conducted by Kaltura, said they felt that the ‘integration of video into a company’s tools (email, social business, instant messaging, etc.) would play an important role in the near future.’
In a previous post I looked at how the financial sector can leverage video for both customers and internal comms, here let’s look at how specific video content can improve your internal comms and deliver great ROI.
Internal Comms Ripe For Video Content
Successful internal comms reflect the business’ core values, ethos and culture throughout their communications and are always targeted and relevant to their audience. Often they’re focused on one core message, like the IRS’s ‘treat taxpayers like customers’ and repeated again and again throughout all communications.
This can be difficult to achieve in an email or an internal report where combining specific information, for example progress updates, with your core message i.e. ‘to treat taxpayers like customers’ becomes disjointed. Typically, a standard paragraph or strapline conveying the core message gets added onto the communication.
Since video can convey a lot of information in a short space of time, overlapping themes and creating multi-layered content, your core message can be integrated into any internal comms. Your video may have the objective of communicating health and safety information but at the same time through the use of imagery, graphics or audio, the organisation’s core message can also be communicated. This reinforces that message and ensures that all employees understand what the business stands for.
Video can be used effectively in all kinds of internal comms including:
- CEO messages
- Corporate change and development
- Progress updates
- Brand re-enforcement
- Health and safety
- Training and education
- Team and morale building
One of the other key benefits of using video to improve your internal comms is that it can be easily distributed throughout the organisation. Once created, video content can be made accessible to employees on any device through email (links or embedded video), online (company website, Intranet and video sharing sites), and through presentations or during meetings. It is also much more likely to viewed and referred back to. A lengthy email might be ‘saved for later’ and then forgotten about, whereas people are much more likely to press ‘play’ when sent a video link.
According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.
Furthermore, it’s also easy to provide employees with a resource to refer back to. Playlists can be created on video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo so relevant content is all in one place: this can be password protected if the content is only for viewing internally, or by a particular department or team.
While video cannot replace every long-winded report or boring presentation, before you open Word or PowerPoint to create another internal communication, consider whether video could be a better choice.