I’ve just got back from a business trip to America and I was astonished at the growth in the amount of internal communications videos being produced by big corporate companies.

We run Leadership Communication Workshops all over the world, and last week, delegates attending our Workshop in Seattle from one of the world’s biggest IT companies told me that they are routinely producing short videos for internal communication bulletins, training programmes and marketing case studies. The scale of their video production is jaw dropping. Five years ago external production companies were producing 5 videos a year for them, today they are producing 5 videos a day for themselves!

The big question is why has this growth been so explosive and is it set to continue?

The answers are threefold:-

1. It’s never been cheaper, or quicker to create video. Great HD cameras, stuffed-full of features are available at very reasonable prices. With Microsoft products you can create video using PhotoStory 3 (free download) and Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows). For more features you can buy low-cost editing software like Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9, which will deliver superb results, or the full bells and whistles Adobe Premier Elements 9 for just £57.99 (both available from Amazon).

2.Nobody reads anymore. Well they do, but they don’t read long, dull, poorly-written emails; according to last week’s workshop delegates they spend about 5 seconds on each email before deciding to read it, or delete it – 70% are deleted!

3.The trend is for short, bite-sized chunks of information. Using video you can communicate in a few seconds, what might take a page of text to explain. If your work is complicated and difficult to explain a video is often a much easier way of communicating the message. Also, if you record such information to video it is always available in the future “on demand”. Watching a video that gives you guidance on how to carry out a project, or a top tip to help you carry out your work is much easier to do than trawling through hundreds of e-mails to find the relevant information.

The availability of internet bandwidth in most corporate companies and the ability to optimise video file sizes has meant that videos can now be distributed throughout big US corporates without clogging-up the digital pipes.

What does all this mean for us in dear old Blighty?

I believe that in 5 years’ time we will look back on the level of video we use in businesses today and wonder how we managed to find the time to write so many pages of email (most of which was never read), when you can create a one minute video, in one minute.

Time will tell if I am right or not! I would love to hear your opinions on this. Please do post any comments below; it would be great to hear from you.

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Sean Malone