Intranet video streamed to workforce

Q: We’d like to produce a series of videos of our directors speaking to camera.

They’ll be shown on our intranet to our workforce. We have our own in-house server to do this.

We envisage 30 minutes for each director on camera, totalling around two and a half hours of video.

How should we go about producing these videos?

Shortly I need to go into a board meeting with a feasibility plan for this and would appreciate some help.

Corporate Communications Director
Central London

A: Using your intranet to stream video to your workforce is a smart way to aid the cascade of information.

Technically this isn’t difficult.

In essence you point a camera at some talking head, then edit it down to the tidy sections, copy it to your server, put links on suitable intranet pages, and hey presto, your workforce can view freshly produced video.

But there’s a strong likelihood is that it’ll be terribly dull stuff. Two and a half hours of vitally important information? Well, yes, but only to a point.

We need to do two things:

> Reduce the video content to the essentials

> Make the screen presentations look and sound significant

Here’s how I’d start to achieving this

Overview

Here are the steps I beilieve you need to follow if you want to produce compelling in house video:

> Write each script up in advance

> Make notes where key bullet points should be seen, similar to a powerpoint

> Use a teleprompt

> Shoot against a green screen

> Edit down to a series of short modules, rather than 5 x 30 minute videos

> Stream as flash video with a corporately styled graphic console, sort of corporate YouTube

Let’s take these steps one at a time

I can mention that you can get a lot of introductory background to video production here www.rossiterandco.com/VideoProductionIntro.htm

Write each video script up in advance

Don’t let each director make it up on the day.

Plan your script, word for word, like a professional scriptwriter would, and you’ll see your scripts vecome more punchy and much shorter, ie, more compelling and less boring

Make notes where key bullet points should be seen onscreen

You’ll need captioning on your video, so determine your bullet points in advance.

Don’t use too many, and keep them very short, maybe 2-4 words tops.

They’ll help your audience identify and remember key points.

Use a teleprompt or autocue

You need smooth delivery to look credible on video.

So use a teleprompt.

This way your directors deliver the exact script in a polished manner.

They can even practice their best lines with suitable hand gestures, nods and expressions to show compassion, authority, sincerity etc

This is how the best video productions are realised.

Shoot against a green screen

MD and potted plant? Not!

Shoot your CEO against a green screen.

Then during post production the editor can dub behind a corporately style graphic background.

With widescreen, you can film the CEO to the right, leaving space on the left for tasteful graphic captions to appear in a discreet stylish manner.

Edit down to a series of short modules

Only the mad and the sad watch 30 minutes of corporate video streaming in a single session.

Plan for interruptions by producing your video as short 2-5 minute modules, with each available at the click of a mouse.

Your workforce audience will appreciate you for it.

And you can still include a Play All option.

This way you deliver more choice to cover more eventualities.

And you can use web metrics to analyse which modules did and didn’t get played. Audience feedback, huh.

Stream as flash video with a corporately styled console

The link on the intranet web page is what people will see.

So use a corporately styled console and make your video look significant.

A bare link looks unimpressive, and obviously won’t whet appetites.

Consider the console as your poster in the street proclaiming the value of your message.

You’ll also need to get IT involved early as they’ll need to create web page templates suitable for streaming on your server.

Summary

Planning scripts in advance, and using teleprompt and green screen is good common sense.

As a last thought I’d consider employing a decent professional to produce this for you.

They’ll bring something extra to the table that’ll ensure your long series of video messages aren’t riddled with “dead spots” that send your workforce audience to sleep.

Streaming intranet video to your workforce is a good idea. So get producing!

© Studio Rossiter 2008

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