By Debra Belluomini
What’s your organization’s sustainability story-telling strategy? Vern Oakley, CEO of Tribe Pictures and speaker at this year’s COMMIT!Forum, asserts that video is the most compelling and high-visibility way to communicate your organization’s core values and achievements.
Considering that the Cisco Visual Networking Index projects that video traffic will grow three-fold between 2016 and 2021 to comprise 82 percent of all Internet traffic, organizations must embrace a video strategy to connect with today’s audiences, Oakley stated in a session titled, “The Camera Doesn’t Lie: Authentic Leadership Seeking Authentic Communications.”
Oakley, who has authored the book, Leadership in Focus: Bringing Out Your Best on Camera, made it clear that video is no longer optional for organizations. It’s a requirement now for leadership communications, marketing, recruiting, onboarding, employee communications, and much more.
“Almost every aspect of corporations have a way that videos are used, and I believe that CSR – as the conscience of the organization – needs to be woven into all of these things,” he said. “It can’t stand isolated and siloed. These thoughts have to be put out in all the work that your company is doing.”
Sharing video examples produced for Apple, energy company Hess, the accounting firm KPMG, and Avon’s breast cancer awareness campaign, Oakley based his position not only on IP traffic forecasts but also on research conducted about the human dimension of CSR and the emotional connection that video can generate.
“A well-crafted video is the quickest way of making an emotional connection,” Oakley explained. “A lot of science has come out in the last few years. Information leads to understanding, but emotion leads to action. If you want to change things in your company and change things in the world, we need action, not just understanding.”
Careful, though: It’s not just about generating emotion in a video; the emotion needs to feel authentic, and today’s binge-watching audiences are undoubtedly more sophisticated when it comes to spotting contrived storylines and emotional manipulation when they see it.
“Audiences know the difference between good and bad storytelling. They know authenticity, and they know when they’re being sold something,” he cautioned.
What’s at stake for CSR professionals who recognize the value of video? Two issues, according to Oakley: First, people who know how to use videos strategically will have the power to create change. Second: If you don’t tell your story, someone else will and probably in a way that you don’t want them to.
While there is no question that video is a compelling medium for sustainable storytelling, as the saying goes, execution is everything. If done right, said Oakley, “There’s magic in those pixels.”