Cisco Blogs

Good Video is Hard

- January 15, 2009 - 0 Comments

Why is corporate video often so boring?My take? Good video is much harder to do than most people would realize. Be interesting. Don’t spend too much money. Make sure EVERYONE likes it and feels like they own it. Don’t miss your deadlines. Repeat. My defiinition of ‘Corporate Video’ by the way is where video is used to communicate with customers. I am a full time creator of corporate video however and so I also hang this information out here so you can throw darts at it. Do we have it all figured out? Hardly. But this thought process forms a lot of what I think we need to overcome. Three things are almost always missing: 1. Consistency. I always wonder if anyone realizes just how much ‘stuff’ Cisco produces. Our sales reps have an idea but many of them have long since burned out on trying to absorb stuff. I joined Cisco over 8 years ago as a sales person and I was positively struck by both the incredible talent of people I got to work with, and the incredible tools and information they gave us. The challenge is that it all becomes overwhelming and at some point you just go back to your roots and get in front of your customer first and foremost…everything else becomes background noise. To a lesser extent, customers must experience the same thing. Consistency is important to me in that with our shows, we make a promise for customers that we are going to deliver something of value, it will last for longer than 12 months and we won’t keep changing the name, the website or any of the larger ‘look and feel’ of things. For many people external to Cisco, we are a large amorphous company that can appear distant and unreachable. From the inside, we don’t think this is true of course but perceptions matter. My prayer for our shows from the beginning was that we would be able to create some consistency and longevity. At almost 3 years now with TechWiseTV, I think we have been doing this. 2. Personality. People with no personality are certainly uninteresting and so are ‘shows.’ Its not just about having interesting people however, consistency of these people becomes important to the promise being made to the viewer. TechWiseTV has a great hostess, Valerie, who does a good job trying to reign in the subject matter experts consistent to each show, myself and Jimmy Ray. All three of us have pretty good personalities and we are there each and every show providing a familiar face to guide you through the topics of that day. We all have opinion and insight to share too as we strive to be a bit different, irrerverant perhaps but certainly still safe enough for our funding to continue…more on that next. Its about being a real person vs. just a representative of a disembodied corporate message. 3. Balance. For TechWiseTV, our balance is between entertainment, knowledge and sales. We want to always be interesting and we don’t want to beat anyone over the head by trying to sell too hard. You know we work for Cisco. We all know who pays our bills…but how much should we pander to ‘the man’ when delivering our content? Our objective: we must impart good knowledge each and every show but we always need to tie it to a Cisco interest of some sort. We can point to success and failure here with every show we have done. We are hopefully getting better at it. Cisco has been marketing the ‘Human Network’ for awhile now. Nothing wrong with that. I think our shows have the ability to deliver on much of that perhaps better than many other vehicles. (side note: I still love our ‘changing the way you live, work, play and learn’ the best). We can’t do it without you however. Our goal with this blog is to establish the consistency of having one place where you can count on updates to the shows, to the content Jimmy Ray and I find interesting and much more. As always, we need your feedback however. Please use the comments section here and help make us better. There is so much more to come and we would like you to be a part of it. What drives you nuts about corporate video? What drives you nuts about our videos? Robb

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