When Budget Conflicts With Production Of Your Corporate Safety Training Video
It was the story of a lifetime. Literally.
The Health & Safety specialist called with a once in a lifetime story. My jaw dropped as he told his story - the week prior, one of their plant employees had a heart attack on the job. Through quick thinking and a defibrillator, coworkers sprung into action, and a life was saved.
The Health, Safety & Environment professional indicated that the Fortune 600 Company wanted to document the situation. To create a video to be used for current and future employees, a video that would be used to set a corporate culture, a tone for the company - "If you want to join our company, here is the level of integrity we expect from employees,” he said. It's often a catch-phrase, but this time it was for real - life and death decisions might be required from employees.
Can you imagine the impact that video could have on employees, corporate culture and in investor relations?
What he was asking from me is whether or not this could be turned into a great video production. He asked about a video that would set the tone now and in the future. I began to evaluate the story he was relaying...
Compelling story, interviews with "responders" and interviews with survivor & family - check, check and check.
This video had amazing written all over it.
Acclaim Media produces a lot of safety videos. Mostly traditional safety training videos but also ergonomics, lifting, site safety & evacuation, materials handling and proper PPE.
But his story was very different. Usually it's an attempt to prevent injury, and it’s hard to obtain data about whether or not this works. This was an instance that showed what company employees can do if trained correctly - a success story!
Then the HSE Professional began to outline the details and this is where the story takes a turn.
He had purchased a $115 camcorder and began doing the interviews himself. They had put a microphone on the floor and tried to pick up audio "as best they could.” He indicated he was wearing himself ragged, driving all over, trying to document the story, while keeping up with his regular assignments. He sounded overwhelmed. He just wanted us to edit the video. His inquiry was to see what the cost would be. He was thinking aloud that if he shifted the costs from one plant to another he might be able to do this project.
Shooting video interviews, proper b-roll, and high-quality storytelling are all skills that take a lot of experience to become proficient in.
I inquired if he comes from a video background. His answer, "no, but I work in PowerPoint regularly". My heart sank, I could see the writing on the wall. Someone with little video experience, working for a Fortune 600 company, with no budget, wants to change corporate safety culture for current and future employees.
Sadly, I get these expectations regularly from inquiries. A company with $4.96B in sales last year, yet no proper budget to execute the very thing they ask.
I quickly informed him the cost of our recent video shoots - our truck pulls up, loaded from floor to ceiling with video gear, two person crew, broadcast quality cameras, and 20+ years of experience at their disposal. I asked him to guess the budget for a two day video shoot, which is all that I thought we would need to document his story. He guesstimated, I countered with the fact that he was off (high, in fact, by about 70%).
By utilizing Acclaim Media, his company would be getting our 20+ years of corporate production experience and we would be able to craft the story exactly. With his footage, who knows if the subjects have been lit, how good/bad was the audio, and were the proper questions asked to help tell the story?
Most importantly, he would not need to be tasked with spending time doing it. He could concentrate on other issues, reports and training. Of course we'd still need to edit, which would be additional cost, but that cost would happen regardless of who shot the video.
A week later met with the HSE Manager and did get to look at the footage. As you might expect, the footage was terrible - no lighting, audio was hard to hear, and the composition was lacking. Most importantly, no "theme" to the questions in the footage. No one asked the pertinent questions to tell the story.
As it turned out, they didn't have the internal support to spend money "out of house" to even edit the project. He was going to have to "muddle" through an attempt to edit using free software he downloaded from the Internet.
So what is the cost of changing the face of safety in a Fortune 600 company? Apparently, management can put a price on it.
Questions or thoughts? Feel free to call to discuss how Acclaim Media can help you produce your video production efficiently and drive results. Acclaim Media is a Naperville video production company serving Chicago and the suburbs.
Acclaim Media Productions is a video production, corporate video, marketing communication & web video company based in the Chicago area but providing services internationally. We help large corporations, successful small businesses & forward-thinking non-profits build stronger organizations through video production.