“Netflix” style for future internal communications

Many companies experience workplace communication problems. Often employees communicate by sending tons of emails and official letters, instead of meeting and discussing the problem. Companies lose a lot of money because some employees are ineffective in communications.

How can “Netflix” style inspire you to change corporate communications

Most people watch TV shows and series. Watching Netflix or Hulu offers us a temporary escape from the day-to-day grid. We forget about our problems and bad news. We interact and identify ourselves with characters. We even learn by examples and situations given in series.

When we watch corporate videos, we often take them differently. We expect to see some numbers, results, management address to employees. Of course, it is not relaxing, we often get bored and do not believe all of it. Corporate videos have a different task, you may say. Yes, the task may be different — to educate, instruct, inform. But can the perception of it be changed somehow by future internal communicators?

From Jonas Bladt Hansen’s presentation, The Future of Internal Communication

“What is the role of the IC in the future? Will it still exist in the “inform and instruct” format?” We hear questions like these often. Digital transformation consultant Jonas Bladt Hansen believes “that many organizations are informing and instructing too much today and we need to move our efforts towards entertaining and inspiring people to act”. This way we would see high emotional involvement. That means information is remembered faster, training goes on easier and we get higher employee engagement.

According to our survey of 108 Russian companies, 60% of internal comms people agree: pain №1 is competing in an overloaded information world. To win the competition with Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, you need content of the same level.

Rivelty team decided to radically change the principle of working on corporate videos. Everything in the corporate “Netflix” style series is done with the “Netflix” approach.

5 key elements of corporate “Netflix”

1. Idea and scenario

The script is written according to movie storytelling rules with sharp conflicts. There are live stories in which the viewer believes and gets truly immersed. Such a scenario can influence and solve the problem of internal communications. This is not a common solution, because usually, a corporate video has informational content and there is no place for emotions.

2. Directing

A well-established filming process, a professional approach, a high level of training and experience, skillful mastery of artistic techniques — all this and much more results in a high-quality product.

3. Casting

Employees of the company don’t take part in shootings. It has to be professional actors. For the new format, this turned out to be very important — the story needed to work for the viewer, so he dives deep into it and doesn’t have a feeling that this was a scene from the company. Professional actors are important to give the right feeling of the true story.

4. High-quality production and post-production

There are more than 50 professionals at the same time on the set ensuring the quality of each element of the series. Professional movie cameras, cinema optics, stage lighting, special effects, on-site editing —large equipment and technologies are involved.

5. Lack of company brand

Yes, yes, that’s a plus. In the series, it is necessary to show that, as they say, “all characters and situations are fictional, and coincidences are random”. Viewers should just watch a movie without thinking that the message is conveyed to them not by the hero, but by the company itself. The company name (Rosatom Academy) appears in the series only in the opening credits and is not mentioned anywhere else.

The first example of a new сorporate video style

The result of the new approach — series “In the regular course of work” — focuses on the current problems of horizontal communications in our client’s company. For example, in one of the episodes, choosing between a long exchange of letters in the mail and a short personal conversation, employees preferred the former. Rivelty team needed to convey the simplicity, effectiveness, and even the benefits of the second option. And to do this not through morality lectures, but a new internal communications tool — corporate “Netflix”.

The series consists of three episodes that last from six to nine minutes. Each of them considers the indicated problem from its angle, so they can be included in any order. In this case, the episodes have a common vector, a similar style, even characters have the same roles.

Internal communicators from the client company (the Rosatom Academy) surveyed employees and received impressive results:

  • 90% saw themselves in one of the heroes;
  • 60% think it’s cool that they have own series;
  • 20% say this is a series about them, another 20% that this is a great example of ineffective employee communications.

Such series can live for a long time in the company. They are ​​not a news story, not an annual results movie, which is quickly becoming irrelevant. The company can show it to newcomers and periodically repeat to employees, as television channels do with series.

Conclusion

The performance of the premier series in the corporate “Netflix” format and the feedback from the audience confirmed that at the moment this is one of the most effective ways to resolve internal communication barriers. The comfortable content in the form of a movie product entertains and inspires. Employees interact more friendly with the information received, which improves its perception and therefore increases its effectiveness.

Follow me on Linkedin for more information and my company’s page is here.

If you liked the trailer and episode 1 of the series, you can watch more here: episode 2, episode 3.

Intranet consultant and managing director of Rivelty.Intranet. Leader of Russian Intranet community and keynote speaker at Russian and world conferences.