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The different types of videos that can be used within Internal Comms

Filming a team for an internal comms video

This month, we are focusing our attention on the power of video within internal communications. In our last article, we looked at why video so often trumps the written word and why we think it should be baked into your internal comms strategy. In this piece, we will list a dozen of the different forms and formats that internal comms videos can take.


1. Leaders’ messages

This is probably the most frequent use of a short video. Leaders have been issuing letters or memos, and then emails or digital channel posts to keep their employees informed for as long as their organisations have existed. Replace those printed words with a concise and authentic “talking head” video and you’re likely to get much more buy-in from your audience.

Performance updates, news and developments, and simple recognition and appreciation clips will all hit home, provided they’re brief, purposeful, and interesting. They don’t need to be filmed and edited by professionals, but they do need to be clear, understandable and relatable. You can click here for our "top ten tips" blog and video!


Video can also a great format for crisis communication, giving leaders the opportunity to provide timely and clear information and updates at those most pivotal of times, reducing uncertainty and maintaining trust. As with all video comms, the leader issuing the message can be absolutely certain that it is received verbatim and as intended, which is not always the case with more traditional cascaded comms.


2. Training videos

Our employees will have wildly differing learning styles and preferences, usually categorised as visual, auditory, reading, and kinaesthetic. But most of us (estimated at about 65% of the population) are primarily visual learners. Therefore, a short training video, that presents information with visuals as well as audio commentary, is a winner. Simple and clear on-screen diagrams, charts, infographics or illustrations will really help our people to understand and retain what we’re explaining.

Moreso than a leader massage, a tight script is fundamental here, as it’s crucial to cover all the key points in the right order. Breaking down chunkier topics into bite-sized chunks (probably as multiple shorter videos) can also be beneficial.


3. Onboarding videos

Whilst videos should, perhaps, be used sparingly within onboarding, and only as a small part of the process, there are arguments for, and benefits from, using videos in this context. Where those at the top of the organisation are not able to welcome new employees in person, a short welcome video can be a nice touch, and a personal introduction of sorts to the most senior of leaders. They also offer full consistency and standardisation of that welcome message, and are a great way of introducing new starters to the company’s culture, values, policies, structure, ways of working, and expectations.


Filming an onboarding video

4. Explainers

Explainer videos for internal comms are somewhat different from those used externally. The latter tend to act as short online marketing tools, designed to explain (and sell!) your organisation’s products or services. Within internal comms, it’s just about explaining whatever needs explaining! It doesn’t really matter what that something is - a new policy, structural changes, or the history of your company. They’re all better served by a short explainer video than a wordy written communication.

This isn’t quite a training video, but it should use some of the same ingredients. It must be tightly scripted, and it should start with the reason for the video and the benefits of the subject. As with training videos, onscreen visuals can really help and are highly recommended.


5. Culture and value videos

Your company’s culture, vision, and values are worthless if they’re not widely known and properly understood. I’ve written a few times about how employees’ alignment with their employer’s culture and values has become increasingly important as Millennials and Gen Z become more numerous within our teams. Culture videos are, therefore, becoming increasingly popular. As well as showing prospective employees what to expect and what is expected of them, they’re a great way to show existing employees what the culture is all about, introduce new employees to the business, and

Culture videos are most impactful when they use a wide range of employees from right across the organisation. Whilst you’ll want it to look professional, and depending on the nature of your business, you might not want this video to look too corporate. If appropriate, this may be one type of internal comms video where you can have some fun! Perhaps include an outtake or two (but always with the screen star’s permission!).


6. Testimonials

A particularly powerful way to get employees to fully understand the value of what they do is to share some customer testimonials. For example, for a manufacturing environment, a demonstration of the difference the end product makes to real-world people is the perfect reminder of why everybody’s working so hard. The same goes for many different service providers, even without a tangible product to show on screen.

All videos are most effective when they generate an emotional response. Testimonials are no different. An end-user’s heartfelt and sincere appreciation for a product or service, and the difference it makes to their life, is hard to forget. Therefore, testimonial videos need to be authentic and feel natural. Scripts aren’t necessary, just a true story or a genuine reaction. Errors and outtakes can add to that authenticity – your customer probably isn’t a professional presenter! (As with employee outtakes, just make sure you have their full permission for everything you plan to include in the final edit!)


Customer testimonial videos for internal comms

7. Survey findings

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employees to dismiss annual staff surveys as a pointless tick-box exercise, carried out by management or HR purely to meet their basic targets. If your response rates are disappointing, this could be the reason. Do your people believe that these surveys make any difference to their work lives? Do they feel that they are being listened to? If you are listening to and reacting to the findings of staff surveys, then show them. A quick and engaging “you said, we did” video, that outlines the actions you have taken on the back of their feedback, will establish that their voices are being heard. Not only will trust and confidence in leadership improve, so will your response rates for the next survey.

And share this video in the lead up to the next survey to promote it. Issue the “you said, we did” clip as part of the countdown to the next survey. Or stagger a few reveals of the things you’ve done as part of the countdown.

8. Event promo

Whatever the event, a promotional video is almost always the best way to get your people enthused about it (as well as giving them the information they need to attend!). It might be your next conference or large-scale meeting. Or it might be the launch of a new incentive or benefits scheme.


If it’s a physical event, as well as sharing all the logistical details (the where, the when, the timetable and agenda, dress code etc.), try to generate a bit of buzz by explaining what will make this special. Shout about the reason for the get together, any guest speakers, the venue, the food, or the staff awards. As with the “you said, we did” reveals for survey findings, it might be impactful to stagger reveals over a series of videos as part of a countdown to the event, to really build anticipation.


You’ll want these videos to be pacey, slick and fully upbeat. Corporate is rarely a winning look for event promos. Eye-catching visuals and logos often work well, as does up-tempo music.


9. Awareness campaigns

There could be any number of things within our businesses that would benefit from better awareness, from new or existing incentives or initiatives to the company’s recognition platform. It may be something that isn’t quite securing the attention or buy-in anticipated. It could be an initiative that’s been around for a while, but that newer employees don’t know (enough) about. Whatever the subject matter, a bit of internal promo by way of an awareness campaign can work wonders in breathing new life into a floundering initiative.


The style of your awareness campaign will depend on the nature of your business, the topic, and the reason behind the campaign. Adjust the tone of voice of the campaign accordingly.


Filming an internal comms awareness campaign

10. Project updates

Not dissimilar to awareness campaigns, video can be a great way to provide detailed updates on the progress of key projects or initiatives. As with written comms, this keeps teams informed and aligned, and highlights progress and achievements. But, where video updates can trump written ones, is through the involvement of other key players (interviews with, or soundbites from, project managers or other contributing colleagues) to contextualise and make more personal these (potentially dry) business updates. People relate to people, so to see colleagues talking about their individual involvement, input and impact can be powerful and motivational. This is especially so if those other players are from various different levels and areas of the organisation, and not just the senior team.


11. “A Day in the Life…”

‘A day in the life’ videos are a fun way to help everyone in our organisations understand what their colleagues do and bring to the business. But don’t let their fun nature disguise their importance in building trust and transparency. If those on the (literal or metaphorical) factory floor think that their colleagues in marketing just sit around all day watching TikTok videos for inspiration, then show them all what they actually do and what goes into creating their most successful campaigns.

These videos can also be a worthy addition to the onboarding package, illustrating to new starters the structure of the organisation and the roles that each department play.


The tone of these videos should usually (though not always) be upbeat. Consider following an employee or a team around for a day to catch some candid moments and meaningful footage, intercut with interviews with and reactions from those employees. Of course, some departments and roles lend themselves better to fun and light-hearted content than others, but this can be balanced by careful “casting” choices, relevant humour and a few simple post-production tricks like editing and music. This is another case where the odd outtake can be intercut to increase the fun factor.

12. Recognition and appreciation

To end the list on a positive, a heartfelt thank you to a person or team, especially from the very top, can be hugely motivational. We all want to know that our work is of value and is valued. We want to know that we’re contributing towards a greater success. And most of us want to feel that our efforts are seen, recognised, and appreciated by our leaders.

One benefit of these videos is that they’re amongst the easiest to make and share. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy, complex or time-consuming, just an authentic thank you from a leader. Of course, some storytelling on why this person or team are being recognised, and some explanation of the impact made or the challenges overcome, will add meaning and weight to the thank you. As with any good recognition setup, it will also inspire others to want to do the same, driving productivity, problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork, as well as boosting morale, trust and that all-important sense of belonging.

It doesn’t just have to be senior leaders looking into the lens either. If peers or colleagues have something to thank each other for, and they’re happy to have their fifteen minutes of fame*, then let them express their gratitude in the most enthused way possible. The morale boost for both thanker and thankee will be significant!


(*Please don’t let them actually have 15 minutes. A minute or so will be more than enough!)


An employee recognition platform

In the final part of this trilogy on the use of video within internal comms, we’ll be looking at what you need to create your own video content and super-charge your internal comms.


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