James Humes, speech writer for five US presidents, once said: “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” He may have been referring to politics, but the same is true of business. As business has become more competitive, the business communication environment has changed and is harnessing the power of communication through television.
Whether you are trying to communicate a new concept to staff, train sales people in a new product, launch a new service or simply want to make sure that your company remains uppermost in your customers’ minds, corporate videos now offer a comprehensive business communications solution.
As with most things, it pays to leave certain jobs to the professionals, and this is true for corporate videos. It’s especially the case if you want to film a live event as you will only have one chance to get it right. Before choosing a production company, insist on seeing examples of their work and phone the references they provide.
Warren Liss, partner in Keystone Productions, a company that specialises in corporate videos, outlines the importance of thinking carefully about your strategy before you begin.“Determine exactly what it is you want to communicate – then convey this clearly in the briefing to the videographer,” he says. It’s also vital that you have a clear idea of who your target audience is so you can craft your message, language and visual style in a way that will best appeal to them.
Lego Hlubi, of Hlubi Film Productions, outlines what makes a good corporate video: “It should speak to people, not at them. The closer it is to people’s reality, the better.”
There are also certain practical decisions you will need to make and the advice of an experienced professional will be invaluable here. When it comes to deciding who will appear on camera, bear in mind that business execs are not movie stars. Says Liss: “Make sure whoever you put on camera is articulate, presentable and, above all, comfortable in front of a camera.”
The person’s outfit should be carefully chosen so as not to distract the viewer – stay away from stripes and white, both of which distort on camera. And when it comes to choosing your environment, aim for a venue with minimum background noise.
The final outcome will be determined by your budget. A single camera and operator with lights and sound will cost inthe region of R3 500 per full day. Add post-production (editing and sound) costs of approximately R800 per hour and voice-over of about R1 500. Animation costs vary depending on the nature of the job, but simple logo animation will set you back about R5 000. With such costs involved, it pays to shop around.
Points to bear in mind when commissioning your corporate video:
- Corporate Identity: Ensure that your CI standards are adhered to in terms of corporate colours, fonts and overall feel.
- Animation: Whether you are after a complex animated sequence or a simple ‘flying logo’, insist on a storyboard in order to approve the concept before it goes into production.
- Plan, plan, plan: In the business of videography time is money. Plan each shoot carefully with the videographer. Draw up a schedule and stick to it.
- Varied angles: To ensure the end result is visually interesting, hire two or three cameras so that you can shoot simultaneously and later cut between various angles.
- Cut out shine: Have a tube of anti-shine skin cream handy to avoid oily, shiny complexions.
- Budget: Keep a contingency amount in the budget in case you run over time or have unforeseen post-production costs.
- Duplicates: Videographers will add a margin onto the cost of duplication, so save money by going directly to a duplication house for extra copies.