Redirecting the Corporate Video

If you storyboard your corporate video as if it was a silent movie, you will ensure that imagery carries the day, not a bunch of talking heads.Corporate officials think in terms of messages, but for video it's better to think about images and stories.

Videos are in vogue because more people have access to devices that can access them. Plus, "watching" is becoming as or more popular than "reading." Video is a communication channel sweet spot.

However, many corporate videos hit a sour note because they are designed to send a message, not leave an impression. People may hear a message, but they are more likely to remember a striking image or a great story.

Writing for ragan.com, Russell Working describes how Producer Rob Biesenbach stumbled across the perfect story to sweeten an internal video for a candy factory. Biesenbach chatted with a production line employee who explained her kids loved her because they could look inside each gum wrapper to find a code indicating who inspected it and then tell their friends, "My mommy made this gum."

The story obviated the need for someone in a suit to explain employees had pride in their work.

Biesenbach conducts training sessions on successful corporate videos. One piece of advice is to storyboard the video as if it was a silent movie. That will help ensure imagery is the backbone of the video, not a series of talking heads.

Another tidbit from Biesenbach is the importance of including the right amount, but not too much detail. Lengthy explanations are attention killers, he says. The most important footage in a video may be what you leave on the cutting room floor, so what viewers see is attention-grabbing.

Videos can be an effective way to communicate to internal and external audiences if they are conceived and shot with many of the same principles of fine filmmaking. You don't need a Hollywood production budget to tell a good story and leave an indelible impression. What you need is the creative courage to act like a Hollywood director and make a video your audience will want to watch.