The second workshop that icandi CQ attended at #smilelondon 2016 was hosted by Seenit, and focused on user-generated video and transforming employees into film crews. Now, in our experience, while communicators like the ‘idea’ of user-generated content, few are willing to experiment. The general sentiment is that “it’s complicated”, “it can go horribly wrong”, “employees won’t participate”… the list goes on.

Seenit is an app that simplifies the process, by enabling communicators to collect video content, without all the hurdles that previously existed. Empowering employees to have their voices heard and creating a culture of peer-to-peer communication.

Employee generated video however serves very specific objectives, which means communicators need to think about the outcome – why are we producing the video, who needs to receive it and who should be in the video and why?

Various case studies were presented – from employees at the Body Shop who share their make-up artistry skills with customers, to Rexam employees from across the globe sharing their values. What became clear though is that user-generated video needs to be strategically planned and implemented in order to be successful – projects need to be purposeful to intrigue interest and a compelling communication plan needs to support and drive engagement and participation. As with most internal initiatives, leadership endorsement is also critical, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by getting leaders involved (make them filmmakers and producers, and they’re bound to support future projects!)

The opportunities for employee-generated videos are endless. Some ideas include: thinking of your people as roving reporters, capturing video diaries to create a culture of shared learning, using employee generated videos as a research tool, and of course it’s the perfect format for internal challenges, competitions and recognition.

But, don’t take our word for it. Have a look at some of these examples (all employee-generated videos):

Rexam values video (250 employees participated, over 5 continents)

Body Shop (24 000 videos viewed to date)

HSBC Now (Featuring HSBC employees from across the globe, with episodes reaching an average of 42,000 views internally)