Our working lives have been transformed in the last year and, by keeping in touch with each other largely over video calls, we’ve seen into our colleagues’ homes and lifestyles in a way we never have before. We’ve become used to seeing our senior leaders sharing their self-shot video messages with sometimes wobbly screens and wonky angles and we’re happy with this rough and ready approach, because it’s authentic and ‘real’ in a time of adversity.
A series of FEIEA (European Association for Internal Communication) webinars which have been running in March had a number of case studies from European organisations charting their IC experiences and lessons learned post Covid. Most of them talked about how they had ‘opened up’ their internal culture and communications to promote the authentic and human story/voice, often using user generated content, especially with leadership. For them there was no going back: UGC will continue as an important part of their future comms mix.
At a recent EVCOM (the film and events industry body) meeting I was part of, we discussed whether there would be a return to organisations creating the more polished corporate films we were once used to, or if they will continue with the more informal user generated approach. Sequel’s own experience of UGC in the last year has been that clients still want support with their content, advice on how it is shaped, how the story behind it is structured, and how to make it look its best to really engage with the audience.
During lockdown we’ve seen a trend emerging of clients wanting to use their user generated content to do more than keep in touch. They want to get across something more specific: a mood, a feeling, even a celebration. And we’ve supported them by providing planning, guidance and creative ideas to bring their internal content to life – whether that’s through UGC, safely filmed material, or mixed media approaches that include photos or archive materials. However the content is generated, careful planning and creative guidance can turn a useful way of communicating into a great one.
Take a recent project for Turning Point. This client wanted to showcase their many achievements as a social enterprise working with some of the most vulnerable in the country during lockdown. By planning how all the different elements would work together, we produced something that really celebrated what they’d accomplished while balancing the difficult year it had been:
For a Nomad Foods end of year highlights film, the client gathered content including new stories, archive materials, financial charts, TV commercials, photos, logos and words. We helped them bring all of these elements together in a planned and structured way that ensured the different elements, messages and themes were consistent and flowed throughout:
For clients who just don’t have the time to gather content themselves or work out what to film and how to do it, Sequel’s team of film directors, producers and editors have been able to support with more traditional location filming in a Covid-compliant and safe way.
Whether self-shot footage remains the format of choice when we are able to get out and film freely on location again remains to be seen. Either way, Sequel’s film team will continue to be here to make their important interesting, relevant and engaging.