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“Lions and Tigers and Bears - oh my!”

Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) Humber HUB

Joe Sargieson, 26 September 2018

A large part of JayJay Media’s work in video production for corporate communication is in internal communication: that is communicating within a large organisation. Examples of this could be regular communication within a large organisation spread across multiple countries or communicating specific change to a workforce.

Workforce engagement is crucial for staff retention, productivity, and sharing and improving best practice. Creative film production is one of the most powerful communication tools for sharing a message, eliciting an emotion response and successfully engaging stakeholders with a message.

Attending the September Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) Humber HUB meeting allowed us to share in the insights of communication professional Sidonie Myers. Over an informative and engaging presentation, that allowed much space for dialogue and interaction with other communication experts in attendance, two ideas stood out - the first being the idea of ‘lions and tigers’. ‘Lions’ are the obvious problems that we can see, looking very docile as they sleep in the sun - but we know we need to avoid them and can try and mitigate for the harm they can do. ‘Tigers’ attack us from nowhere are the unexpected events that and can completely turn an organisation on its head. How we communicate change, either sudden or expected, can have a big impact on how that change affects the organisation.

The second point which struck home was the move away from top down communication (often from a CEO in a boardroom) to what can be a more effective approach of reversing the information cascade, and disseminating a message from the workforce grass roots upwards, from peer to peer, or from line manager level.

A recent internal communication film created by JayJay Media that takes this approach was the ‘Vision and Values’ film for Leeds based bar chain Arc Inspirations, created in collaboration with Jackie Berry Consulting.

Filmed over two packed days (and nights) across some of the twelve trendy Arc bars in Leeds, the film employs several techniques to engage the audience - in this case current and prospective members of the workforce. Turnover can be high in the hospitality industry, and Arc were keen to showcase the strong retention and career development opportunities within the organisation, and also to unify groups working in different locations or roles with a set of shared values and a shared team identity.

We did this by letting the staff speak for themselves, from kitchen porters to bar managers and back office admin staff, up to the company leadership. We recorded interviews with dozens of staff members to pick the best comments and create the best story - to engage the audience and bring to life the internal communication strategy that Jackie Berry Consulting had devised with Arc.

The shooting style of the film also reflects the Arc Inspirations brand message, both internally and externally - the company provides a lively, fun, and energetic workplace. We shot on location in open bars, filming interviews in situ, and capturing some of the atmosphere of the work environment. To make a more immediate and engaging connection with the audience, the interviews were addressed straight to camera.

Overall we produced three films ‘Vision and Values’, ‘Careers’ and an inspirational opening video, shown at the annual Arc Inspirations internal conference.

It was great to be part of sharing this good news message and also great to be part of such genuinely friendly and dynamic working environment.

Joe Sargieson, 26 September 2018

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