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10 Ideas Internal Comms Can Steal From the Film Industry


It’s always seemed a shame that corporate comms don’t get the same fanfare as the latest blockbuster release.  After all the launch of your latest initiative will have more of a direct impact on your staff than any action thriller or rom-com but it’s unlikely you’ll see employees quoting lines such as “ Get busy sellin’ or get busy fillin’” or “No one puts JC Electricals in the corner.” 

The film industry invests a serious amount of time and money into making sure they promote their movies because they know it works.  It’s how they’ll get people in the cinema and talking about the film off and on line.

Let’s assume for a moment that your marketing budget doesn’t quite run to hiring Stephen Spielberg to direct your next film or getting Scarlett Johansson to star in it – what else could you try?

1.      Hold a Red Carpet Screening 

Well why not?  Some clients are lucky enough to have their own onsite screening facilities but plenty of venues have a cinema screen that you could hire out for less than you’d think and it certainly delivers the wow factor.

2.      Staff as Extras

Throwing in a few cameo performances from your staff is guaranteed to get a buzz going.  Whether you run a competition beforehand or just rope a few people in on the day, classic roles such as Man Drinking Coffee or Woman in Lift always go down well.

3.      Create a  Trailer

Releasing a film without a trailer is pretty unthinkable nowadays and there’s no better way of warming your audience up to your upcoming campaign.

4.      Ambient Media  

This covers everything from Film Posters to Life Size Character Cut Outs, Messages on the Canteen Menus or even Digital Projections.   By putting your message out in unexpected places it stands a much better chance of being remembered.

5.      Create a stunt to launch the campaign

The film Up! sailed hundreds of brightly coloured balloons through Tower Bridge, The Simpson Movie rebranded 7 eleven stores as Kwik -Marts and painted a giant naked Homer holding a donut on to a hill in Dorset.   Your stunts don’t have to be as expensive as that but they should be big and bold.

6.      Brand and styling

Every film has its own brand – from the dark brooding style of the Dark Knight to the feel good branding of Happy Feet. Typeface , logos and slogans will all help create a sense of event.

7.      Website

By creating your own microsite or branding a section of your company’s intranet you instantly create a place where the films themselves and any other materials can live. It’s a great way to reflect your campaign and an even better way of monitoring traffic.

8.      Merchandise

Everyone’s familiar with pens, mugs and key rings so why not try something a little more unusual to get your message across?  Just make sure it works with the brand your creating.

9.    E-learning

If you running some e-learning modules as part of your campaign why not bring it to life with some characters from the campaign? Short video clips as rewards for getting the answers right can invigorate the learning experience.

10.   Games & Competitions

To really galvanise the team why not create a game or competition to get people actively taking part in the campaign? Easy to understand and simple to play work best.

Why not let us know if you’ll be trying any of these tips with your own campaigns?

Making Lemonade Out Of A Communication Lemon (And How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen Again)


So you’ve just launched your new campaign – unfortunately the film you though was the firework has caused more of a whimper than a bang, so what do you do?  It may be tempting to just move on and forget it ever happened, but hang on there might be something more you can do.

Film, what film?

Firstly check that people are actually watching what you’ve made. It needs to be easy enough to find online or on your intranet site.  Would it have benefited from some more promotion? A poster or email campaign can help let people know why they should be watching.

What do you want me to do again?

If people aren’t reacting it could be a simple case of information overload – consider whether a  re-edit to create a series of a shorter film with a single message might be more effective.

So why am I watching this?

A bit of contextualisation can make all the difference, especially if you’re asking people to change their behaviour.  Look at new ways to communicate the film’s relevance to your audience.  Adding a message from your CEO or independent expert could help add weight to your case.

Who do you think you’re talking to?

Make the film too basic or too high level and you can risk alienating your audience.  By adding in vox-pops or testimonials from people that represent your viewer you can show you’re listening.

But did it have to be so boring?

Although it’s always better to get creative at the start of the project it’s not impossible to add a little extra sparkle later on.  A great voice over or piece of music can change the whole tone of the piece and if you’ve got some great comments but no visuals why not turn them into a quirky animation?

And the really good news is once you can pinpoint why a particular piece of communication isn’t working then you can target your next piece of communication far more effectively.

If you’ve saved a project from the brink of disaster or just been subjected to one why not tell us about it?

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