Even the most agile large companies have a hard time communicating the strategy to the workforce. There’s probably a fine PowerPoint deck outlining it, but how can anyone possibly give that many presentations, not to mention the costs involved?
How about a new way: a strategy video. Not a puff piece or an animated version of the deck, but a real production with customers, experts and all the sophistication of the strategy itself. Seems hard, doesn’t it? Not at all. Here’s how we storied one out:
- Open quickly. Grab their attention in a way that zips employees right into your company’s marketplace and the opportunities the company sees. That establishes context and gets people excited.
- Establish the urgency of right now. Stats and industry experts are great at doing it with maximum credibility.
- Challenge them. Someone’s going to jump on it, shouldn’t it be us.
- Use heroes and action. Give background on customer nuances and needs by showing one or two customers. Show customers in action so employees relate to them and will feel for them and want to help. In other words, edge the competition by doing it right.
- Build a cause. Frame recommendations with an “imagine if?” kind of framing so they’ll come away with the desire to make a difference.
- Give them confidence. Show the assets, distribution and partnerships already in place.
- Recruit them to your revolution. Again, inspire them with a theme song or a war cry. The Macintosh team had its pirate flag. You can take it even further.
Check out the sample below. Two caveats: It’s five years old so the technology will feel dated, and it’s fictional because we can’t show any of the real strategic videos we create. But it does contain all seven steps. Then imagine Verizon had sent this out to all its key teams and strategic partners. It would have cost just a few dollars an eye, and it might have even gotten us that smooth digital experience everyone’s been promising.
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Most employee bios read like this: position in the company, credentials, loves travel, cooking and sports. They read that way to communicate two things: expertise and a fun get-to-know-you for clients. Do they accomplish either of those? Nope – not when everyone says the same things.
While it’s hard to make a bio movie as good as Butch & Sundance above, you can make it more memorable, and end up in a far better spot than those two. What it takes is thinking about it in a different way. A well-produced video is our favorite tool because clients get to know you in an evocative way, which is far more powerful and persuasive. The key, though, is for it to feel natural, and to share your expertise in a natural way. Then, you won’t need the cooking and travel to look like you have a personality. They’ll already see and feel it, in ways that is so much more relevant.
- Get someone to interview you. You’ll come off so much better than you do when reading a statement. In fact, it’s actually best if someone else edits it as well because we’re all too self-critical for our own good.
- Open with a warm, curious statement. One that, in a nutshell, catches you at your best and most human, so they’ll want to get to know you.
- Show you understand and care. Talk about a broad and common client issue, then stress how you feel for these clients and want to help.
- Show your ability to solve problems. Talk about how you might approach the solution and how you dig deep down to make it happen with aplomb.
- Show pride in the result. Talk about how good it feels to give the client what they need and how it feels even better when they love you for it.
- Close with confidence. Give them your name and position, and do it with warmth and confidence, then roll the company logo.
Below, you’ll see a sample for one of our favorite clients, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. We did these for a number of people in the company. They put them on the company website, LinkedIn and Facebook. Since we made them really short, they can even email them to prospects and clients, especially as a warm up for a capabilities presentation.
To find out more, sign up for the blog here. If you do, you’ll be one of the first to hear when my new book comes out: Get Buy-In.