As we navigate the new normal of life and work in the time of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to keep communicating in compelling ways with our employees, fans and followers.
Right now, it’s true that we can’t do much of what we did before (and for good, necessary reasons). But this can also be an exciting time to innovate new ways of creating video and audio content to keep our audiences comforted, nourished and optimistic about the future.
At Credo Nonfiction, we’ve been thinking a lot about what this can look like in the months ahead, and have three ideas to share about how you can create content that keeps your teams and followers focused, inspired and closely connected – while also keeping everyone safe.
The goal? To use this time to strengthen a collective vision of a brighter tomorrow, and to highlight the ways your brand will be part of that positive future.
1. Create a Cloud Film
While professional media-making crews are temporarily grounded, this is a great time to give your employees and fans a turn at capturing their own point-of-view. With a little training and guidance, the mobile phones and computers they already use can become message and story-capture devices while necessary. The impact of seeing globally sourced footage edited together into a unifying message of hope can be incredibly powerful, and just what we all need during such uncertain times. See Gal Gadot’s recently sourced “Imagine” video for a quick example.
Think of what types of messages will bring comfort and offer a vision for the path forward. Offer a set of questions that both leaders and front-line employees can answer on a number of topics. Have them answer questions about what’s keeping them motivated and hopeful. What are they most looking forward to on the other side of the crisis? We all need to remember the other side is there, even when some days might not feel like it. Let their own stories be the reminder we all need.
The team-sourced video content itself can be captured with what’s on hand and a few basic best practices (ask us about these!), but you can also source a simple kit that will make a significant difference in the quality you can capture. Apple offers a great package that delivers the two most important things: 1) Image stability, and 2) Better-quality sound than built-in microphones.
Here’s a link to that kit:
The finished film can be put together by team members who might have some video editing skills, or by working with a content production partner who can offer thoughtful message and story consulting, robust pre-production coordination and has access to skilled video editors who have experience polishing inconsistent raw video assets.
2. Re-Purpose Previously Captured Footage into a Stirring Anthem Fit for COVID-19 Times
Chances are your company has previously captured footage of your team out in the world, living your purpose and interacting with your customers. Now is the time to write an “anthem” articulating what it means to be living that purpose through a time of crisis. Here are a couple examples of inspirational anthems we created re-purposing footage that was initially shot for another use:
Start by thinking of writing a statement that answers the question, “Who is our brand in this new world and what can we offer?” Record that anthem text (either with a professional or employee voices), set it to the re-purposed existing footage, and you’ll have an emotionally compelling piece to remind everyone in your organization why you do what you do and that you will all persevere together.
To create this type of film, you may want to partner with a team who can offer a skilled writer who has experience with these types of anthemic scripts (it’s a fine line to walk where poetry meets strategic messages, and it’s a constant challenge not to veer into saccharine, sentimental territory). A skilled video editor will also know how to re-purpose mixed footage with the right piece of music to create a wonderfully chill-inducing effect.
3. Get Podcasting
If you haven’t already harnessed the power of the podcast, there’s no better time than the present crisis to begin sharing messages and stories via audio storytelling. Think of how much the podcasts you listen to personally help you feel connected to the wider world or even provide some welcome distraction from the challenges of working at home.
Podcasts offer a relatively simple way to dig deeper into topics that matter most to your team and customers during this uncertain time – and they can be fairly straight-forward and lower-cost to produce with all participants collaborating remotely.
In terms of topics and themes to get you started, start thinking of where your presence can add value. How can your subject matter experts be most helpful during this time? First, find a compelling host (think of the salesperson who tells the best stories, an HR interviewer who asks great questions or a leader with lots of interesting industry experience). Second, think about your audiences. What would be comforting for them to hear now? How could you assuage some of their biggest worries? What could provide a little levity to an uncertain situation? How is your brand “walking the walk” by pivoting, reconfiguring, working differently, or going back to the roots of your brand attributes to show up differently in today’s different world? Think about questions like these to brainstorm concepts for podcast series (and you could plan for more than one) that will add value to your teams and audiences.
You may wish to partner with a content studio who has experience with podcasting (a journalism mindset is best here) but you can also get started with a great content idea and some simple services that help you on the technical side. Then it becomes about editing, getting familiar with the distribution platforms and creating a publishing calendar.
Services like Zencastr can help you get set up and record conversations via computer and phone. The audio quality might not be studio-quality, but it will serve you in the current landscape when getting to a studio or hiring an audio technician would be difficult and/or a potential risk.
If you or your team are interested in pursuing any of the above content initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis, Jen and I are happy to offer a one-hour consult, free of charge, to help you and your teams get going on your own – or where it makes sense, identify how a little assistance could help you strike the balance between focusing on these new initiatives and the tasks currently on your plate.
We hope you’re well during this uncertain time and we would love to hear from you!
Jesse & Jen