Producing HR communications videos to reach employees is one of the most effective ways of disseminating information and of making it easy to access. Research has proven time and again that people retain what they see on video more than what they read.
But how exactly do you make effective HR communications videos?
First, you have to create your strategic plan, basically determine your objective and style. If you don’t decide what it is you are trying to tell people, the project is doomed. You need to be able to actually write it down: “we want the viewer to learn X, Y and Z.” Then, you need to look at the budget to decide the most effective way to get those points across. There are very expensive ways of putting a video together and very inexpensive ways (think Hollywood blockbuster action films versus a Youtube post). If the budget doesn’t allow something, no matter how good the idea is, you can’t do it in your HR communications videos. You go to video with the resources you have, not with the ones you want.
Each of the steps that follow need a deadline. Start with the date you need to release the final product and work backwards. Because these steps have to be taken sequentially, missing one deadline means reducing the time available for the steps that follow. You will have to adjust the later deadlines accordingly or hurry the steps along to make up the time. Build in a little bit of a cushion to each, and it’s easier to manage the process. Above all, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. No video ever produced has been perfect. It’s better to be on time with a good piece than to be too late with a great one.
Once you know what you want to say, you have to figure out literally how to say it. You have to write the script. This is the single most important step in the HR communications videos process. It conditions everything that follows. You will need to have a lengthy session with the writer to explain your ideas, and it may take you a few tries to get various points across. The writer has to understand the objectives and the jargon almost as well as you do in order to deliver a worthwhile script. Invest the time, and don’t be surprised if there are a few (or more) iterations before everyone is satisfied with the script.
With the script in place and the storyboard approved, the talent enters the picture. You will need to find and hire voice-over artists (people who read the script off-camera) and actors. If the budget for your HR communications videos is tight, you may be pleasantly surprised by how many of your employees have great voices or have had a few acting classes. You don’t need Oscar-winners, but you do want people who are comfortable on camera. Auditions are appropriate if you have a deep enough talent pool.
Now You Can Record
At last comes the part everybody thinks of when they think of doing HR communications videos – recording the video and audio and bringing the two of them together. The result is NOT your video, but rather, it is the raw material that your post-production crew will refine into the finished product. With all of the material recorded, editing is just as important as it was with the script. It may take a couple of tries to get it just right.
Making a video these days is not as difficult nor as expensive as it was a decade ago, and it keeps getting easier. Making a good video, however, hasn’t changed. It’s a step-by-step process that has withstood the test of time for many organizations.