Corporate and Marketing Communication and the Trust Gap

What role does corporate video play in an age of skepticism? The answer is part of a larger question of how Americans feel these days about large institutions, including corporations. The recent Forbes series “The Trust Gap” and Zogby International’s “Mending America’s Broken Trust” remind us that the scope of the problem is cause for concern. If your job is to tell your company’s story, then you’re dealing with a strong headwind: corporations rank in the bottom third of institutions people say they trust.

How Can I Help My Company be Trusted?

The 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer reports “trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.” With this in mind, communication from your company needs to be accurate, fair and clear. Even great products and brands can be weakened by corporate communications that are vague, or can even be interpreted as misleading.

Scripted vs. Unscripted?

Carefully scripted communication is required for press releases, annual reports and many other forms of corporate outreach. But how can unscripted communication, including video, become a business tool for audiences raised on “reality” TV, blogs and multiple news sources? Harnessing the power of unscripted communication may be an idea whose time has come in the age of skepticism.

Isn’t “Unscripted” Scary?

Yes, there’s now way around it—unscripted corporate communiation can be scary. But you can turn this uncertainty into an advantage for your company by following a few basic rules:

  1. Pre-interview on-camera “talent” (that way you’ll know their point of view before you videotape, and, just as importantly, they’ll know yours).
  2. Meet them where they are (make sure to choose an interviewer with the experience and knowledge comparable to your on-camera “talent,” so they know they’re in good hands).
  3. Edit, but don’t distort (in the edit room it’s tempting to sanitize your on-camera “talent” performance to the point where they start to lack credibility. Today’s sophisticated audiences crave the “real deal”).

Case Study: Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals is a global biopharmaceutical company that combines groundbreaking science with a steadfast commitment to meeting the needs of patients living with severe, life-threatening and often ultra-rare diseases. Strong Company growth requires that Alexion successfully tell its story to prospective employees around the world as it builds its global workforce. To help meet this challenge, Alexion chose its communication partner, The Wyant Simboli Group, to create an on-going series (12 videos, and growing; new videos added this month) of “Meet Our Team” videos.These unscripted moments provide prospective employees with a glimpe of people they’ll be working with if chosen by Alexion to join the team. Click on any of the images, below, to see these videos and find out how a direct, straightforward approach can work for you.