Listen Up

Let’s face it. We’re all distracted. We live in a world where we’re increasingly bombarded by digital disruptions at a pace that is truly unprecedented, and it’s just going to get worse. Despite that, a common compliment we receive from our clients is that we’re extremely good listeners. It’s a truly invaluable skill set we work hard to maintain — despite what the digital world throws our way minute-by-minute, day-by-day.

A witticism our team likes to keep top-of-mind is that we each have two ears and one mouth. We take special care to use them proportionately particularly when it comes to the ever-crucial first stages of project meetings with our clients. What you’ll never experience from our team is a hijacking of your valuable time. When we embark on a project with a new or existing client the first stage involves the gathering of information and probing for what you truly want to accomplish with your video. That requires excellent listening skills; otherwise, the end product will not meet — and certainly not exceed — our clients’ expectations, which is the whole point.

Let us put our proven skills to work for you the next time you have a communications goal that could be accomplished by using video. We’ll show you what it means to be a good listener and, in the end, an excellent communicator.

Talk to you next week. In the mean time keep in mind the ratio of ears to mouths in mind.

Death, Taxes & Good Communication

Here in the states the middle of April, a generally lovely and serene time of year, can suddenly turn stressful and foreboding thanks to a national deadline hanging over all of us — our taxes are due.

Taxes can have the tendency to spoil this otherwise glorious month. It was Benjamin Franklin that was quoted as saying, “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain expect death and taxes.” Here at Full Scale Productions we like to add a third certainty to those two inevitable events: good communication is certain to result in a more engaged workforce. It follows the classic principle of putting good in and getting good out. Same principles apply to your customers, potential employees, and key stakeholders. When they’re kept informed they’re certain to be far more receptive and actively engaged with your company.

If your company culture is open and transparent the use of video to disseminate your messages to your key audiences increases its effectiveness and retention significantly. When you consider the many means of distraction that predictably occur each season as a calendar year unfolds, it’s no surprise that many companies now rely heavily on video as their main source of communication. It’s timely, cost-effective, a proven asset to an overall campaign, and the most memorable & effective means of communication.

So, this month as you gather your endless digital paperwork to submit your tax return keep in mind that there are other certainties in this life than… well… you know.  

Good luck with your taxes. Talk to you next week.

Tip the Scale in your Favor at Your Next Corporate Event

Last week we talked about how spring tends to be the time of year when industries gather at conferences. It’s also a major special event season. Did you know our team has a long and strong track record of producing truly memorable corporate events?  We’re not called “Full Scale Productions” for nuthin’.

From turnkey planning and production services, to simple pre-event or on-site coordination, our team can help. We apply the same lean and process management principles we use in video production to the many moving parts that need to be planned, contracted, wrangled, and finessed to produce polished, flawless, and unforgettable events. It’s muscle memory that we can put to work for you.

From high-impact sales & marketing conferences to product launches, team building exercises, or even virtual events we can serve as an extension of your team.

Just as we do with our video projects we begin with a concept session driven by your team’s goals and objectives. The decisions made in these meetings serve as the foundation for the milestones that need to be met along the way to get us smoothly and efficiently to the day of the event. On that day, you enjoy your gathering and we make it seem flawless to the audience and your colleagues, while giving you peace of mind.

So, the next time you’re looking to gather an audience to motivate, liberate ideas, and/or recognize and honor talent, contact us and we’ll and show you what we can do.  

In mean time, get out there and enjoy the tulips. Talk to you next week.  

Madness, Spring Fever & Conference Season

As of Monday, March Madness is officially over, but spring fever is likely running rampant across your employee base and within the walls of your customers’ offices, production facilities and retail locations. It’s also conference “season” of another, more traditional type.

Take a moment out as you revel in this change of season to consider what a video element can add to the next conference your team is hosting, participating in, and/or sponsoring. If you’re still relying solely on PowerPoint to engage with your audience in a conference setting of any size, you’re doing your company, brand, and reputation a significant disservice.

Here’s an example of a conference opener we produced for Varrow. Our team worked closely with their communications professionals and leaders across various functional areas to set the stage (at least in tone and tenor) for an industry conference.

We researched and wrote the script, created the animation and graphics, vetted and directed the voiceover talent, and supervised the creation of a dramatic score. The design of the project included stylized historic visuals illustrating the transformation of Information Technology (IT) throughout history, and used the concept of IT as the first-person narrator for the piece.

Overall, the piece evoked a stylized “found footage” feel. We used a 2.5D approach to animate a number of images, allowing us to efficiently incorporate existing still visuals. Overall, it was a truly exciting creative challenge for our team and Varrow was thrilled with the result. 

What can we do for your conference or other video communications this spring? In the mean time, talk to you next week.  

Drone On

Video production has taken to the skies with the help of drones. We all know that it’s only a matter of time before online retail giants like Amazon will be dropping our Prime packages off via a fleet of drones. The question is how can this technology be harnessed to improve your corporate communications? Here’s an example. Currently home owners insurance companies are using drones to fly over areas where they have customers and capturing “before” and “after” time-stamped footage of roofs. This footage is becoming integral in preventing fraud. Sadly, when a disaster such as a hurricane sweeps through a neighborhood there are individuals who will claim that existing damage to a roof was actually caused by a natural disaster. Hence, filing a fraudulent claim to have their insurance pay for the repair. It’s a common problem that costs the industry, as well as us, its customers, millions each year. Drones are quickly becoming a “go to” tool to prevent it. 

Our team has deployed drones to capture truly stunning views of the ever-changing skyline of Charlotte. We’ve also made use of the technology to document last year’s major flooding in the Carolinas.

Let talk about how we can put a drone to work for you to enhance your corporate communications efforts.

In the mean time I’ll be on Amazon trying to figure out how an order I place on a Sunday can shown up on my doorstep 24 hours later. I honestly suspect they’re secretly already using drones… talk to you next week.  

It’s Easy Being Green

Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually in more countries than any other holiday? Here in Charlotte we honor the day with parades, and we might even be wearing a bit o’ green in our studio today, but our thoughts on this day have turned to saving green, as in the environment.

What does your team do to stay ahead of the constant consumer-packaged good flow of flotsam that our modern society has produced? Even small changes in daily consumption or recycling can make a tremendous difference. According to multiple sources, the US alone consumes 1,500 plastic water bottles every second.  Last year that totaled approximately 50 billion water bottles. Of that staggering number consumed only 23% were recycled. If that statistic is not enough to give you pause and rethink the convenience of a plastic bottle, I’m not sure what would be enough to inspire a change. Our challenge to you today, on this day to celebrate all things green, is to think about how you use disposable plastic bottles of all kinds. Drink your water from a refillable container. Create a new habit, and Mother Nature will consider you a Saint. We’ve dubbed it our “Bottled Up” challenge.

We’re confident that your companies have green teams, counsels, a czar, or perhaps a more formal infrastructure that provides guidelines outlining your corporate commitment to the environment. If you have not shared the good the green team at your company has done via video you’re missing an opportunity to connect with your employees, customers, communities and key stakeholders. Let’s use GoPro as an example. When they launched the first generation of their game-changing camera the packaging was slick, elaborate, and quite frankly too much. Consumers were immediately vocal about the product – quickly becoming advocates, but almost equally vocal about the blatant over-packaging of that much-coveted product. The leadership team at GoPro listened, and quickly made changes to significantly reduce the packaging, and then communicated the “why” behind the change.

Let us help share what your team is doing to make a difference in the environment. Or, like GoPro if you’ve had a misstep, own up to it and leverage video to let your audience know you intend to make it right.

Keep us posted via the “comments” section below on your “Two Week Bottled Up” challenge. We’d love to know if you’ve changed a habit and deserve to have “St.” in front of your name. Talk to you next week.

Can you Articulate your Company’s Top Traits?

Here at Full Scale Productions we pride ourselves on fostering a culture based on three foundational principles. Each day we strive to be:

  1. Vigilantly client-focused – If our clients objectives are not met with every interaction we have with them, we have not met our goals. 
  2. Purveyors of high quality products – Quality and timeliness are not mutually exclusive endeavors and we have a habit of proving this to our clients on a regular basis.
  3. Deadline driven – With a background in broadcast news, we’re accustomed to working on projects with deadlines in increments of hours or days.

These three objectives are the core of our company. Can you, or more importantly, your employee base accurately articulate your company’s “secret sauce?” There’s no more powerful advocate for your brand, service or niche than the workforce that makes it all possible. If you haven’t already harnessed the power of video to spread the word of your culture now is the time. In a social media-fueled world any foundation of understanding you can establish via your employee base will reap benefits for your organization on a daily basis. Allow your employees to become your best advocates. In the end, the equity that builds your brand is truly priceless.

Let’s get to the essence of your company and use video to get the message out. Let us know how we can help. Talk to you next week.

Let’s Throw Back to Move Forward

Just like anything posted… ever… since the inception of the internet, good video projects seem to never die. As you know, any type of information posted online is truly indelible. Even when you think something has been “deleted,” the footprint left behind is easily followed back to the original post. Good corporate video production has a similar, seemingly endless shelf life when savvy communicators truly understand its impact and potential for multiple uses. Can you say, budget amortization.

Our team realized long ago that the footage captured to create our projects never dies. With the help of our insight and guidance, our clients realize that an investment in a corporate video projects is not a one-time, single-use endeavor. It can, in fact, reap on-going returns. We’re often asked to refresh pieces that were shot years ago, and recut the footage as an update for use in an all-employee communication, or trade show piece. Or, we’ll pull a sound bite that was shot in one context and use it for a new piece. B-roll is also an endless mine of rich potential. One shoot to gather exteriors, interiors, manufacturing footage and/or sound bites of executives seems to have endless uses. Once the footage is cataloged and easily searched it becomes a “go to” resource for new projects. Once we’ve shot something we never forget it and make sure you don’t either.

Recently we recut a piece we shot for a client two years ago. They liked the original so much they wanted to post it again. So, we refreshed it by removing all time references, added a few new graphics, and voila – new piece with a minimal investment that extended the return on a budget line item from two years ago. For our team that’s not unusual. Let’s make it the norm for yours too.

Give some thought to what you might already have on file that can be repurposed and reused. In the mean time, we’ll be on the look out for more ways to extend your annual budget. Talk to you next week.

Your Mission Statement Brought to Life

Regardless of whether your organization spans states, continents, or just your town, chances are the foundation of the company is built upon a mission statement. Your employees are now accustomed to being immersed with information in visual form. Like it or not, for a message to truly resonate it simply must now be delivered either with compelling images or better yet, as a brief video.

Leverage your mission statement to serve as the catalyst for a video. Let us capture your leadership team brining the statement to life. Or, parse the statement and have your employees talk about what it means to them. That’s how true engagement happens.

The final piece can be used in a variety of settings beyond the walls of your enterprise. With simple edits it can be used at trade shows, on your website, in social media, and with local community and recruitment outreaches.

Let us know how we can help. In the mean time, here’s our mission statement. It breaks down into three key attributes that translate into action items. We are:

  1. Vigilantly client-focused
  2. Purveyors of high quality deliverables
  3. Committed to timeliness and budget

We’ll get more into how we bring these three attributes to life next month.

The Art of Commerce with a Heart

As we all know, Valentine’s Day just passed. Hopefully, you had a great dinner reservation or an even better plan B. In either case, this week we’d like to discuss translating the spirit of letting people know how you feel about them in a corporate environment.

Just a few weeks ago we talked about shining a light on your employees’ philanthropic efforts. This week, we’re going to inspire you (hopefully) to publicly recognize those who excel at what they’re paid to do for your team. After all, there can be an art and a heart to commerce – when done right.

A great local example is Food Lion headquartered in Salisbury. Our team produced a series of video vignettes telling the stories of store managers recognized for being shining examples of the company’s leadership. Each of those employees was featured with a brief storyline on what they do that goes above and beyond what’s expected. Our team filmed each division winner’s story in his or her home store and the result was a series of positive, inspiring videos used for a variety of purposes internally and externally. It boosted overall moral, and served as a benchmark for the type of leadership expected in the organization.

You know you have employees who deserve that type of recognition. How can we help spread the word? Make 2017 the year you leverage video to recognize your rock star employees and allow them to set the tone for true leadership across your workforce. Let us know how we can help, and in the mean time take time this weekend to tell those closest to you how you really feel. Talk to you next week.