Power of visuals

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The camera is a powerful communication tool for businesses. Use it to boost engagement with your staff and customers, says Jeremy Humphries

Imagine if you could communicate with a tool more productive than the written word? Where your staff could watch, learn and communicate with colleagues in the next office, next building or your regional HQ halfway across the globe.

Imagine if you could train with this device, a training accessory so effective that you could literally throw out the whiteboard. Want to know what it is? Well, you might already own one – and if I say your kids may well be using one then perhaps it’s time to catch up!

I am a cameraman, trainer and consultant. With my background as a BBC documentary cameraman, I know what a powerful message a camera can provide. The visual image: more powerful than 100 or 1,000 emails?

Video production communicates to a massive audience, it supplies knowledge and information, it documents, entertains even, informs – and, used professionally, the power of the visual message is limited only by your imagination.

And with the public, (let’s face it they can make movies now with their own smartphones) and your kids using cameras, it’s now time – aided by a few broadcast skills – that the business sector harnesses and benefits from an opportunity that is more relevant now than ever.

I know of a UK company that has offices within just a few square miles of each other. A couple of their staff, who were always keen to have a go at making movies, now shoot a weekly news story streamed out via the company intranet.

The directive from above was for colleagues to know what every department was doing. The two employees have been so successful that they put their video content now onto the company’s own YouTube channel – it is not just your employees who will benefit: you can take your message to the customer base too.

I know of another company that has filmed its entire product range and demonstrated on video how it assembles, fits together and works – no more diagrams that nobody can understand!

Another company, instead of getting staff into a classroom for training via the flipchart, instead uses video content – their own employees making films about themselves. They shoot in documentary fashion, about the job they do, the issues and how they deal with them, they speak from the heart – to the camera. How much more effective is that?

The films are watched by employees all over the world wherever they are – because they can watch on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. And don’t forget you and your staff get something intrinsic out of producing this material in the first place – the very fact that all this creativity is buzzing around has a huge empowering and cohesive effect on the general wellbeing and productivity of employees.

Using our eyes to watch another human face – and all the emotions it can portray – is a primeval form of communication buried deep in our brains. I would argue that the professional use of video content complements the use of the written word and can add deeper dimensions of emphasis and engagement.

Now, with multiplatform potential, where video content viewed anytime and anyplace are the norm, we need to use the same visual methods that have been traditional in the broadcast industry for decades, to promote our company and business to the workforce, shareholder and customer.

I can vouch for the camera being an incredibly powerful communication tool – harness its potential, use your team’s imagination and see what it can do for you.

skills2film.com

@Skills2Film

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Jeremy Humphries

Jeremy Humphries

Jeremy Humphries is managing director of Skills2Film and an IoD member

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