Technology, new media, and video communications have all changed the face of external communications in the enterprise. With a widening scope for corporate communications, organizations are increasingly adopting new and innovative video technologies to reach out to various stakeholder groups.
Amid this change, corporate communication professionals are at the center of all companywide communication, as well as all external communications that involve public relations with the media, customer engagement, investor and stockholder communication, crisis management, brand and reputation management, as well as relationship management with partners, suppliers, creditors and the public.
Key challenges facing external communications teams
In the 21st-century digital landscape, even external business stakeholders demand greater transparency in the form of digitally-enabled, open, consistent, and quality communication combined with clear alignment of corporate goals with a stakeholder’s respective needs and challenges. Moreover, with a pervasive digital media, all stakeholders now expect such communication to take place over easily accessible digital media platforms so they can be reached anywhere, anytime, on any device. Social media networks have replaced traditional news and marketing outlets and any corporate news, especially in case organizational and reputational crises, can explode within minutes on social media channels, putting a company brand, reputation, and market value in jeopardy.
To add to all this, a strong public sentiment regarding corporate greed and overall wariness of large corporations coupled with declining trust in top management begs the need for more effective corporate communication that humanizes corporations and their leaders in the eyes of their stakeholders through personalized communication.
6 ways to use video for external corporate communications
To counter all external corporate communication and public relations challenges, enterprise video has emerged as a vital business communication tool that provides avenues for personalized, digitally-enabled, highly scalable and cost-effective communication that reaches all external business stakeholders on the devices of their choice, in a simple, fast and efficient manner.
Here are 6 ways corporate communication professionals can use video to reach out their firm's external stakeholder groups.
- Optimize public relations activities: Video is an excellent medium for managing your company’s public affairs activities. PR videos could comprise of content that protects, builds or enhances a company’s image, brand, and reputation. Videos can be substituted for textual press releases to make more effective video pitches to journalists, recorded internal speeches that can be circulated to a wider PR audience, and video blogs or media stories can be use for more engaging viewership.
Even more importantly, videos can play a vital role in delivering a speedy and personalized response for crisis management to regain trust and confidence of stakeholders. Moreover, using new media tools like video for PR also establishes a sense of interpretive dominance about a company’s image and brand. On a separate note, PR professionals can also use videos internally to train and educate business professionals or other members of the organization to prepare them for communication with the media and other stakeholder groups.
- Promote CSR initiatives: Economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman published an article in The New York Times Magazine titled, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” This title embodies why CSR is a priority for businesses today. To date, 9,000 global companies and 4,000+ non-businesses have signed the UN Global Compact pledging to show global citizenship in the areas of human rights, labor standards, and environmental protection. However, in the contemporary show and tell era, companies cannot rely on CSR sustainability reports to publicize their CSR efforts. Companies now need visually engaging representation of the level and depth of their investment and participation in CSR. Not only this, firms are now expected to have CSR wired in their DNA so that they can align social causes with their overarching corporate and brand differentiation strategies.
To do this, video is a necessary part of a company’s CSR strategy because it allows firms to visually showcase how they are integrating their social and environmental obligations into the jobs they create, the kind of products they make, and how they utilize resources. In the absence of video documentation and without effective presentation and circulation of your CSR initiatives on a visually engaging medium like video, it is unlikely that your firm will gain any prominence, credit or publicity of its CSR efforts. Moreover, live video can be employed to ‘virtually include’ and engage your employees and customers in your CSR activities, while also firmly positioning your company’s image and brand as socially responsible. Some examples of well-executed video-based CSR campaigns include Citizen IBM, Pepsi Refresh Project, Starbucks Sustainable Coffee Challenge, among many others.
- Engage and remind investors and shareholders: Every organization understands the importance of keeping investors and shareholders informed about the company’s well-being. Video messaging can be integral to establish quick and personal communication with investors and shareholders from time to time to discuss the company’s financial health or for announcement of dividends, for instance – all of which helps maintain a connection and trust with company’s shareholders and investors.
Such personalized video-based communication becomes even more important in the case of any business setbacks, which requires immediate nurturing to regain investor/ shareholder trust and confidence. Video communication allows organization leaders or CEOs to personally reach out to investors and shareholders all at once, which in turn plays a key role in maintaining or regaining trust in difficult times. Moreover, as a live or on-demand video’s audience can be scaled infinitely, investors and shareholders can also be included in any internal CEO broadcasts or executive messages that may be relevant to them for progress updates or increasing awareness of a company’s programs and initiatives.
- Reach out to existing and prospective customers: A business’ customers are its lifeline, and without an effective customer communication strategy and attention to customer relations, you are bound to lose business. Every company uses different marketing mediums to engage their customers. Video, however, is one of the most powerful mediums to engage your customers. Videos can be disseminated to a company’s website, social media networks or any other platform where the organization wants to reach its customers.
Aside from marketing videos, businesses can also employ videos to establish communication with their customers for service change announcements, a consolidated FAQ video library, procedural or how-to videos for more technical or complicated products, video-supported customer service or training support, videos for brand reinforcement, and much more.
- Reach out to local communities: Committing to establish proactive community relations is part of a core business strategy to attract and retain the best talent in the region, to position the company positively among customer and others stakeholders, and improve the company’s overall position in the market. Video is an excellent tool to engage your business’ local community with carefully devised and visually engaging messaging to involve communities in the business public process, inform communities of any way they might be impacted by business activities, and to mitigate the impact of any negative social or environmental incidents affecting the community.
Video is also a great medium to respond to any public concerns, to generate public attention, to promote the organization in college campuses in the region, and to maintain overall community involvement. Proactive video-based communication efforts with community members, leaders, employees and even environmentalists -- all addressed in a scalable, cost-effective and time-efficient manner -- could go a long way in promoting strong and sustainable business-community relations without dedicating too many business resources on the ground.
- Train and educate partners, suppliers, etc.: A business ecosystem is comprised of many external partners or even service providers such as supplier, vendors, creditors, contractors, etc. – all of whom need a level of training, education or support to best support the organization’s needs. Videos can be used to provide educational training of industry standards, business ethics and protocols in case of third-party relations. Videos are also a cost-effective medium to engage geographically dispersed or remote third parties or to collectively announce any service changes or contractual updates between the organization and its partners.
VIDIZMO, a Garter-recognized enterprise video content management system, fulfills end-to-end video needs for all business communications. VIDIZMO is a comprehensive streaming video solution that empowers organizations to capture, process, store, manage, share, and stream both live and on-demand video to an infinite number of users on all devices, browsers and bandwidth conditions.