Solve Corporate Video Communications Problems by Asking Smarter Questions

Let me tell you a secret: You don’t really need a video.

You need a solution to a communications problem.

For over three decades we’ve been crafting corporate video content  for the world’s largest companies and executive leaders. When these leaders ask us for a video, we don’t operate in a silo—we work alongside our clients as a partner, developing a personalized corporate video strategy and combining our expertise to create stellar communications solutions.

Our clients know their subjects intimately and provide invaluable insights into their stories. What they need is expert storytellers who ask the right questions—questions they may have never encountered before—to unearth new ways of thinking and sculpt the stories they seek to tell.

That’s where we come in: Our first step in guiding our clients on their journeys involves asking nine fundamental questions that extract an authentic story and a suitable structure, questions that we’ll cover over the next nine blog posts.

In this post, we’ll dive into the first question: What’s the purpose of the video communication?

Discover and distill the purpose of your corporate video strategy

When we were asked to create a video featuring Dr. Julie Gerberding for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association 2018 Woman of the Year awards, we could have simply walked through her staggering résumé. (It may have taken 20 minutes, but we could have done it!)

But we wanted to introduce viewers to the person those around her know. So we asked our client questions like, “Who is she at her core? How has she mentored those around her?” In doing so, we discovered together the video’s true purpose: to showcase Dr. Gerberding’s humanity and passion.

From there, we just had to work with our client to deliver that message. We collaborated to create a video that leveraged three primary tactics:

  • Hearing directly from Dr. Gerberding—even when we couldn’t film her
  • Allowing only a few colleagues to share personal stories
  • Using a single, poignant moment as a central framing device

Put the purpose into action

Right away, we hit a major roadblock: We couldn’t get Dr. Gerberding on camera due to an unusually short timeline and her busy schedule. So we sifted through 200 videos of Dr. Gerberding until we found one where she spoke with emotion about her work’s purpose. Even though we couldn’t film her ourselves, we leveraged this footage and through some creative corporate video editing we made the most of every second.

To complement this footage, our client connected us with Dr. Gerberding’s closest colleagues. Other corporate executive video profiles often feature a chorus of people praising the subject. We limited the number of people, however, instead asking a small group to speak intimately—and not off a teleprompter—about her. It’s hard to fit the passion of so many people into one short video, so we simplified it with a quality few plus one big name: Condoleezza Rice.

Finally, we needed to kick-off the video with a moment that encapsulated Dr. Gerberding’s best qualities—caring, passionate, dedicated to others’ wellbeing—in one single story. We wanted an illustrative moment that could act as a framing device and would immediately capture the audience’s attention. We found that in a poignant reflection from Dr. Gerberding’s childhood: “At age four, she was the happy recipient of a doctor’s kit.”

Collaborate your way to smarter solutions

Videos represent perhaps the most powerful solutions to corporate communications problems. But the key to determining these solutions is in collaborating with clients to define the story, uncover the most intriguing aspects of the subject, unearth the purpose that lies beneath the goals initially stated, and discover what clients really need.

We do that by asking each client distinct questions—beginning with our nine fundamental framing questions. We’ll explore questions 2–9 in future posts.

Can’t wait? Call Tribe Pictures today to ask us how we can help you solve your communications problems.

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“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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