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Many intranet teams create videos to introduce staff to new or improved intranets. Video is an engaging medium that can have both broader reach and much higher impact than traditional communication channels.
Beyond creating interest and grabbing attention, launch videos done well generate empathy and trust for the intranet. Launch videos fall into three broad categories:
- Inspirational – designed to build excitement with fanfare, these are intended to generate momentum for the intranet.
- Influencing – focusing on credibility, decision-making processes and the reasons for the changes, these often include ‘talking heads’, with senior management and staff endorsing the new intranet.
- Informative – outlining the new features of the intranet and examples of how to work better, these build familiarity and skills.
There are many intranet launch video examples available publicly. Ellen van Aken curates an excellent list via Scoop.it!:
For example, Ladbrokes, an online betting and gaming organisation headquartered in the UK, uses humour to create an informative video (vimeo.com/60729239) to explain different areas of the intranet. In this video, ‘Dave dressed as a sportsman’ guides us through features from the home page onwards.
Creating the vision
To create these videos, some teams use simple video editing tools, incorporating photos of staff and screenshots of the intranet. Other teams have been able to leverage video services used elsewhere in the organisation to deliver a more polished production. The execution will depend on the resources you can muster – one creative team used LEGO® people to tell the story (youtu.be/SinFM8hNcOg).
When creating a launch video, the first step is to decide an overall approach and intention. The best way to share the ideas is via a storyboard that shows the key visual elements in sequence. Standard communication best practices still apply – all stories need a beginning, middle and end. A simple approach for an influencing launch video could be:
- Beginning – upbeat music and pictures of staff.
- Middle – CEO and staff members talking about their favourite elements of the new intranet, for instance the staff directory or search functionality.
- End – screenshots of new intranet.
Some good practices for creating an intranet launch video include:
- Keep it short – attention spans are short. Inspirational videos may be from 30 seconds to 1 minute long, informative videos may be up to 5 minutes long. If the video is longer than 2 minutes, compelling content is key.
- Include subtitles – many staff may watch the video in a work environment without easy access to headphones, and subtitles can help.
- Make it available – many staff may prefer to watch the video out of the office or on mobile devices, so posting on YouTube or Vimeo can improve access.
- Complement an overall adoption strategy – the video is one component and should support other facets of the adoption strategy.
- Reuse for new starters after launch – the video may also have a dual purpose and be useful to introduce new starters to the intranet. If so, this will need to be included in your planning.
A lot of hard work goes into an intranet redesign. Engaging and informing staff about the changes and improvements goes a long way towards creating the maximum benefit for the organisation. A launch video that inspires, influences or informs is an effective way to achieve this.