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Digital Signposts: The Company Documentary

How do you engage stakeholders through storytelling?

Every company has a story to tell. But how do you engage stakeholders through storytelling? By using authenticity and emotion. In communicating an organization’s struggles and triumphs, dedication to innovation, and employees’ passion, companies can tell a story that is both inspiring and visionary. This makes brand values come to life and helps employees relate to the company’s narrative. Therefore, all communications materials should consistently reflect an organization’s over-arching brand philosophy, with one piece of collateral accomplishing this objective better than all others: the company documentary. This professionally produced video uses a number of devices to tell corporate stories effectively with enthusiasm and credibility.

One of the best ways to relate the brand story is by using the voices of executives and staff. Short, focused, on-camera clips describing what the company stands for, how it overcame challenges, and future aspirations help to personify the brand and illustrate the values that underlie the organization. Taking time to explain important company milestones, including industry-leading innovations, and celebrating vital roles played in the community will also embody the values of the brand. This content should then be supplemented with an explanation of the company’s market differentiators and unique approach for delivering quality products and services. Finally, the corporate documentary should acknowledge the hard work and creative efforts of staff, in addition to the valuable and inventive contributions they make to the success of the company.

Though production costs for company documentaries are relatively expensive, it is important to appreciate that various versions and individual elements can be distributed throughout the organization. Broadcast via multiple channels, material can be viewed by diverse sets of stakeholders for years to come. Production of the company documentary should also be entrusted to seasoned professionals with expert visual communications skills. It is one of the most important pieces of a company’s marketing material — serving to clearly define the corporate mission, inspire employees, and connect stakeholders through powerful storytelling. 

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a Barco company. X2O Media is a leading software developer of real-time visual communications solutions that significantly improve communications throughout the enterprise. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at vernon.freedlander@barco.com.

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