‘Tis The Season — of Budgeting

It’s baaaack… love it or hate it, the end of a calendar year brings many reasons to celebrate. It also brings about the annual exercise of budgeting. Good thing we’re carb loading. Plus, this year we’re here to help with a bit of all the give and take, and line item justification that often goes along with the budgeting process. 

If your company already has a solid foundation of use of corporate video production as a method to reach key audiences you’ll still need to have a few “why?” statements in your budget when you include a line item. Or, if you’ve been meaning to leverage video production, but never seem to be able to find the time or budget each year, the same “why/how?” questions apply. Here are key messages that support video production’s return on investment to attach to the line item to include in your budget.

2016 surprised us all with an unprecedented number of severe weather events across the country. From Hurricanes Hermine to Matthew, massive floods in Louisiana, and wild fires in California, Mother Nature is the one unpredictable force that can impact your workforce, customers, and stakeholders in the blink of an eye. Savvy marketers plan and budget for the unpredictable, and are then able to leverage the unexpected. Including a line item in the 2017 budget for video production allows your team to quickly react not only to predicable events that will require messages to be disseminated consistently, and effectively to many key audiences simultaneously, but can also be used for predictable milestones already slotted in a new year. From major trade shows, to new product introductions, and key growth milestones, video production, now more than ever, is a proven return on a communications investment. Even if you simply slot production dollars to cover B-roll collection you’re on your way to having footage you can use for a variety of tactics – from PR, to crisis communications, to customer-facing web and direct e-mail tools. Let 2017 be the year you fully leverage video production for your team. If you don’t assign it a place in your budget, and an event unfolds, you can’t truly leverage it.  

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We’ll talk to you after the holiday. In the meantime, once you’re out of your tryptophan-induced food coma, if you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address as we approach a new year, just ask. 


Hurricane Matthew: Communication & Community

With the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, the first major hurricane making landfall in Florida in more than 11 years, last week we dedicated Full Scale Fridays to the value of staying connected to employees, customers and key stakeholders in times of severe weather. In the span of just a few days, many of our clients experienced first hand the importance of keeping up-to-date on their crisis communications tactics — the tools they deploy to keep their employees safe, informed and up-to-date in the midst of a storm that can change lives in the blink of an eye. 

Many stories of selfless acts have come out of the aftermath of the storm. We’ve all seen posts about strangers helping people in need, moving fallen trees, taking people in to give them shelter, food or simply stopping to ask if there was anything at all they could do to help, even if it was just to listen. It’s the silver lining in every crisis — mankind’s ability to show unconditional compassion always comes through loud and clear.  

Knowing that in some towns, Food Lion stores are the only source of groceries, Delhaize America associates rallied together to support recovery efforts.  

For our client Tony Giampetruzzi, Interim Director of Internal Communications and Brand at Delhaize America, parent company of Food Lion and Hannaford, the storm will not soon be forgotten. 

As internal communicators, our key responsibility is connecting people to each other and to our business by keeping them informed and engaged. We are the communities that we serve at Food Lion as well as at Hannaford in the Northeast and across our parent company, Delhaize America. Hurricane Matthew swept across Food Lion's operating area, which resulted in significant impact in several Food Lion communities. As with any major storm, helping people mobilize by making clear and consistent communications available to them is critical. Sharing the stories about the heroic efforts of our associates, including those who traveled to keep our stores open and support the recovery efforts, is extremely important as it reinforces our values and the role our company serves in the community. It reminds us all that collaboration, compassion and determination are always at the heart of what we do, and that makes us proud to be associates at Food Lion and Delhaize America.

Communities throughout Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia witnessed flooding, strong winds and significant damage, leaving more than 94 of their stores closed, more than 60 without power and many communities without resources until temporary power could be restored and food restocked.

Mother Nature is a force to be revered and when weather becomes dangerous you need to follow your company’s emergency protocol. Do you know your company’s plan? Does your family have one? If so, tell us about it. Did you witness a selfless act of kindness? We want to hear about that too. In the mean time, talk to you next week, stay safe out there and remember to appreciate each other along with the little things, like electricity and potable water.

Hurricane Matthew's Unexpected Impact

With the country’s eyes on monster storm Matthew, the first Category 3-4 hurricane we’ve seen in decades blowing in with over 135 mile-per-hour winds, it seemed appropriate that this week we talk about how an active severe storm season is translating into an up-tick in demand for corporate communications video work.

Our diverse group of clients ranges from large Fortune 500s to nonprofits. One thing they have in common, particularly this time of the year, is the need to stay connected to employees, customers, and key stakeholders when the weather can turn from threatening to damaging in a matter of minutes. 

When companies deploy crisis communications tactics in the wake of weather-related events such as the multi-state impact of Matthew, the recent record-breaking floods in Louisiana, and wildfires in California, the next step in managing these crises is to communicate.

Area residents and employees — who, many times, are one in the same — need to know what has been done, and what the next steps are to return a facility and its family of employees to their pre-storm way of life. The tactic often used is video storytelling. Production companies who work as an extension of a company’s staff, the way our team does, are on hand immediately to write, shoot, produce and distribute updates.

So, even natural disasters can in fact have a positive impact. They’re a test of a company’s true culture, and they’re a trigger for communicating with an entire employee base.

Talk to you next week. In the mean time be safe out there.

If you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address all you have to do is ask.