Vern Oakley on Business Insanity Talk Radio

Vern Oakley was recently featured on Barry Moltz’s Business Insanity Talk Radio on WIND AM. The discussion includes:

  • The power of video to impact company culture, the bottom line and the legacy of a leader.
  • How to harness the power of video in your organization.\
  • What should the video be about?

Transcript follows:

Barry Moltz: Well, I’ve seen so many small businesses missing an incredible opportunity to build their culture and their brand. They’re not using video. Here to talk about it effectively is veteran film maker, and speaker, and industry thought leader, Vern Oakley, who is the CEO and creative director of Tribe Pictures and author of a new book called Leadership in Focus, Bring Out Your Best On Camera. Vern, welcome to the show.

Vern Oakley: Happy to be here Barry.

Barry: Well, we see the power of video almost every single day in the media, whether it’s Doctor David Dao being dragged down the aisle of United Airlines, or Trump pushing past the Prime Minister of Montenegro, or Melania Trump slapping away at Donald Trump’s hands. Video is very, very powerful. I think a lot of small business owners use it to sell their products. But a lot of them, Vern, don’t use it to actually build the culture within their company. How do they do that?

Vern Oakley: It’s a great question, because I love the Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” As small business owners, if we understand that we’re developing a culture, and that culture is going to attract the right employees, and the right customers, and make us good community members, there’s a lot of different ways people can use video to do that.

Barry: Where do you start?

Vern Oakley: Well, where you start is you just realize that video is, perhaps, the most powerful communication tool that’s ever been invented. You realize that video is best when it’s used in an emotional way telling a powerful story. You realize that video is a sales tool that’s 24/7. To begin with, you could do your webcam videos really simply off of your desktop. You could hire professionals who are in the local area. Or you can hire agencies that actually have video as part of their strategy to build a client base for you.

Barry: Where would you suggest a small business start, because a lot of folks say, “Well, I don’t want to do it myself. I don’t want it to seem schlocky, but I don’t have the money to hire someone to do it.” Where do you get started with something that’s a happy medium?

Vern Oakley: Well, I think the happy medium is there are a lot of videographers who are talented, young. The great news is that one of the biggest growth industries, in terms of education, in the last 15 years has been film schools. There are a lot of talented, young people who can help you with that. I do think it’s important for business owners to understand what their business is, what their brand is, what their positioning is, because these filmmakers may just be technicians who can help them deliver the video.

Barry: Right. So Vern, what should that video be about?

Vern Oakley: Well, the video should be really thought of, to begin with, in the terms of what customers you’re trying to attract. If you’re trying to attract customers to your pizza parlor, do you have San Marzano tomatoes and artisanal flour, because that particular area … Or are people buying on price? You have to understand what kind of customers you really want to build your business on. Once you figure out that, then you connect the dots between your brand positioning and those customers.

Barry: Vern, I think it’s really good advice. The title of the book is called Leadership in Focus, Bringing Out Your Best On Camera. Vern, where can people get in touch with you?

Vern Oakley: Sure, at we have a number of videos there. Or if you go to and want to get a copy of Leadership in Focus, we also have about 20 videos that I mention in the book. It’s almost like its own self-learning center there for you.

Barry: Vern, thanks for just being on the show. Thanks everyone for joining this week’s radio show.

Sign up for The Slate: A Twice-a-Month Tip for Using Video to Achieve Your Business Goals.

“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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