Close Showreel

Drama in the workplace


NetflixNetflix is the number 1 reason I don’t get enough exercise. Mainly because being a sucker for a good story (current obsession: The Good Wife) means that I find it hard not to click ‘Watch Next Episode’ as soon as the credits roll…

But although I may not be getting fitter I do feel like I’m learning stuff.  Thanks to ‘Lie To Me’ I can spot an untruth from a mile away. ‘House of Cards’ and ‘The West Wing’ are the only reason I know anything at all about American Politics.  And after only a couple of episodes of the Killing I think, quite wrongly as it turns out, I can understand Swedish.

That’s because mingled in with the great scripts and acting performances are lots of other subtle, messages.  Messages about different cultures, though process, and procedures, and in walks of life that I just wouldn’t be exposed too any other way.   And that’s the great thing about quality drama, the writers do the all the hard work for you.  Dripping tons of research seamlessly into each episode to make what you’re watching believable.

It’s why quality writing works wonders in a business setting too.  A serialised drama or comedy is going to beat a PowerPoint every time when it comes to getting staff to retain information.  If there’s a vivid premise, relatable characters and a bit of action you’ll find staff anticipating the next instalment of their training programme.   Storytelling is a powerful way of uniting information with emotion, and in doing so engaging with your staff.  But it demands insight and creativity to present an idea with enough punch to be memorable. If you get it right, then you get people discussing your messaging at the water cooler instead of unconsciously ignoring you.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to watch the next season of Game of Thrones.

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?

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