How Do We Communicate in the Age of Distraction?
Today, we consume information and entertainment at lightning speed. We’re hooked on snackable media like YouTube, Instagram, and our favorite news apps. And while this is happening, more, and more workers are remote and disconnected from corporate headquarters. How do we communicate in this world of new expectations and low employee engagement?
Leadership is changing
Employees are demanding more authenticity, more transparency, and more directness. Our new Video Like a Boss series is for leaders and communicators who understand internal communications is at a crossroads. It’s time to evolve or get left behind.
This is a no-bullshit guide based on three years of trying, sometimes failing, and ultimately perfecting the techniques we use ourselves. Now it’s time to share. Ready to be awesome?
What is the age of distraction?
Attention spans are at an all-time low while distractions are at an all-time high—the average person checks their mobile phone over 150 times a day. Work happens between a string of interruptions—from Buzzfeed chatter on Slack or Facebook to the constant buzz of notifications from Twitter and Instagram. With all this noise, it’s hard for your team to pay attention to you.
Like it or not, this is the world you must lead in. But it doesn’t have to be a losing battle. You can be heard. You can get your team’s attention. You can keep everyone on the same page. But you’ll need to make your communications more succinct, more compelling, and more consistent. The one way we’ve found to actually pull this off is video. It’s the only way you can truly get their attention in the Age of Distraction.
Who the hell are we?
I am the founder of SocialChorus, a platform for modern employee communications. We are revolutionizing how companies connect with their employees with an app that they actually want to use every day.
My co-creator, Edmundo Oretga is a partner at Sequitur, a strategic branding firm. He helps companies, large and small, align their leadership and employees around the things that matter most to their customers.
Together we’re experts in telling good stories and getting teams excited, motivated, and aligned.
Why did we make this?
We saw a problem. Great leaders aren’t using their most effective tool to communicate because they feel intimidated, afraid to fail, and unsure of how to do it right. Sound familiar? Read on.
Digitally native bosses need to communicate frequently, authentically, and in the channels where their employees actually live. As workers become more consumerized, that means reaching out weekly, via video, and on mobile—the places where they actually pay attention.
Who should do this?
Anyone who leads a team of ten people to ten thousand people (or more), especially if you’re not in one office.
Do it for your team
Nobody wants to read another email. People want easy. They want quick. They want sound bites. They want to consume. In today’s connected yet distracted world, a video is the one medium that cuts through all the noise.
Do it for yourself
The skills required to make a good video— condensing your message into a short, compelling, and emotionally connected moment—are exactly the things you need to get recognized, get heard, and get ahead. You should use these same techniques and templates in your all-hands meetings, video conference calls, and board meetings!
How long will it take?
After 3 hours for the initial learning curve, it should take about 15 minutes per video – or even less after you have done a bunch.
Some interesting stats*:
- Video has 3X higher CTRs than other types of content.
- Video contributes to keeping 53% more employees remaining active after their first 30 days.
- Video contributes to getting 60% more users to come back to the app twice or more a week.
*2017 SocialChorus User Data
This is not about making the once-a-year, big-deal, announcement with teleprompters, hot lights, and a video production crew. This is about getting to the point where making your own weekly video is so routine that it’s nearly effortless.
This is about B+ is better than A+. Especially since if you aim for A+, you will never actually get the video done – or maybe you can make A+ a couple times a year – but that’s the old way. Don’t be that leader.
Your goal should be to make a good video that actually gets done, not a perfect video that costs loads of money, requires specialized talent, and takes forever to finish.
To us, a good video is not defined by its production quality. You can easily make a well-produced video that still sucks to watch. A good video is one that successfully communicates your message and feels authentic, timely, and relevant to the viewer, regardless of the lighting or camerawork.
What you should worry about
Nothing. Seriously. Almost everyone who attends our workshops feels intimidated because they’re worried about what to say, how they’ll look on camera, or how good their video will turn out. This series is all about overcoming those issues by providing you a foolproof recipe for creating a good, easy-to-make, and watchable video.
We are inspired by the millions of videos that ordinary people make every day on social media. These are not expensive, overproduced, or professionally shot affairs. But they are short, engaging, and easy to watch.
With this blog series and a little practice, you’ll be making videos like that too and connecting with your team like never before.