Your Employees are "the First Public" So Talk to Them Like Customers

Two business women meeting

In a recent interview with Ethan McCarty, the CEO of Integral Communications, Tribe CEO Vern Oakley was asked about the link between authenticity, trust, and the bottom-line:

I believe the leadership, particularly the CEO, becomes the lightning rod for trust. You only have to think of companies like Wells Fargo or United Airlines or Uber to see what can go wrong for companies. Developing trust is a very fragile commodity easily lost and broken. And particularly in a digital society with all the tools and transparency that’s out there we have to be even more authentic and be careful about building that trust.

Ethan spoke about the importance of communicating in an authentic way to employees, calling them “the first public.” By adopting the perspective that your internal audience is “the first public,” opportunities for video communication begin to open up.
Video that comes out of internal communications can be used to serve other critical functions within the company. For example, a video profile showcasing an employee who embodies the values and culture of an organization may start as an employee engagement initiative but it can be turned into a recruiting video, marketing or social media piece, or be used for investor communications.
How do you create trust? It’s the same with employees and customers. Vern says:

You have to consistently conduct storytelling that, with a foundational base about the values and the mission and the purpose, surfaces up in the way that employees do their jobs. You have to hold up the people who are exemplary and show them to everyone else and say, “This is what success can look like at our company.”
Peter Drucker used to say, ‘The purpose of a business is to create a customer.’ I think that is last century. Not that we don’t have to create customers, but the purpose of sustainable business is to provide meaningful work to its employees, to provide profits for its investors, to provide a working and positive relationship with the community and all the stakeholders.

To read the full interview, head over to the Integral Communications blog.

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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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