Anatomy of a Culture Video
How do you put ‘culture’ in a Culture Video?
5 Tips to Put Culture in a Culture Video:
1. Your history is not your culture.
A timeline of company growth is a record of events. It is not the story of your culture.
2. Achievements do not create a culture.
A persistent culture creates achievement.
3. Culture is a concept.
When we use the term, 'Culture', what we refer to are the character traits that define and motivate the actions of your company. 'Your Company' is you and the people you employ to work there. When you take aim at the term, 'Culture', you miss the target. What you're actually aiming for lives in the definition of the term and that is uniquely yours.
4. Culture is in everything.
It was there when you first sat down to name your company. It was there when you made your first 3 hires. It's the reason you felt joy when you achieved that thing and felt devastated when that other thing worked out like it did. Culture is the reason the sofa in your reception space is the color it is and it's the reason for the sofa's condition. Your culture glows from your most productive employees and you'll see it absent in those that aren't thriving.
5. Do the work to find authentic truths.
You can propose inspirational notions of what your culture is or you can do the work and validate those notions against the wake of your journey and discover something genuine.Something truly authentic. Something honest. Something that will resonate. Your culture does not lie in the future. It's evident in your past.
A word on testimonials. Most companies that want to convey an authentic sense of what they are reach for testimonials. They are a quick way to get at something genuine however, rarely do testimonials unearth some currently unknown core truth about your business. How could they? A testimonial is one person's experience. A great culture video is much more than that.
Let's say you discover that a dominant characteristic that best defines your culture is 'grit'. Let's say you come to this realization because your wake is dotted with stories of product failures that spurred the next innovation. Suddenly a whole world of creative options present themselves to express that culture...that 'grit'. Maybe you identify with a boxer,(they have a 'raw grit' that we can all understand). Watch a boxer take a few blows to the head and get up and you'll understand what grit is. Let the story of a boxer establish grit then wrap your brand around it. That'll make a memorable culture video, (especially if your product is the mouth guard the boxer uses to keep his teeth from being smashed in).
Know your target viewer, (AKA your 'customer'). Profile them to understand their worldview. If you sell soap to women you'd probably want to find another way to express grit than the way we just described.
Don't force it. If there is an energy to your culture that isn't coming through in the video don't rely on faster cuts between shots or an up-tempo music track. Energy emerges from the story. Not the other way around. Edit style and music should compliment, highlight and accentuate the character of a story, not alter it. If you're just not 'feeling the energy' consider that you might be telling the wrong story.
My point is this...in order to put the Culture in a Culture Video you have to figure out what your Culture is. That's not some lofty mission statement you pull out of the air. Authenticity is not an accident. It's the result of hard work and reflection. So, do the work and discover your authentic culture. The people that eventually watch your culture video will appreciate it.