“Your CEO has a face for audio webcasting” or…

“…how we finally got video for annual reports right for investor relations.” 

Creating (and selling) a “video annual report” to a public company has been, for the most part, a fool’s errand. I been trying since 2000. However, to be clear… the “fool’s” part is not video.

A bad talking head video.

A bad talking head video.

People expect video online now. It’s become a key component of “content marketing” and companies that are not integrating video into their corporate communications plan can be marginalized by their competitors and, more importantly, by their investors, customers and stakeholder’s appetite for video communications.

Video is engaging and a “quick hit” to emphasize material investor points. It utilizes the best attributes of the web: movement, color, sound and easy distribution.

I don’t need to sell anyone on the value of online video. A January 2015 report from comScore ($SCOR), the leading digital measurement organization, stated that 194.8 million Americans watched online content videos via desktop computer in January 2015. We all watch video online now.

Woot! So let’s make one…

VIDEO ANNUAL REPORT PRODUCTION TASKS (PAINFUL):

  • Creative and strategy meeting(s)
  • Video production house RFP and selection process
  • Scripting and visual storyboard (…with edits, re-writes and approval process)
  • Location(s) selection
  • Camera & lighting crew and staging
  • Video shoot scheduling
  • Video shoot(s)
  • Post-production (…with edits and approval process)
  • Start-to-finish production window of three – four months

As you can see, it’s rather complex. But frankly, the above tasks are not the problem: this is normal professional video planning.

So… where is the fool’s errand? It’s thinking (marketing) that a video annual report “…will allow your CEO to look your investors in-the-eye when delivering your company’s vision.” While that statement may have had the best intention, executing that video strategy is a herculean task for an investor relations department.

The actual sand in the Vaseline is your CEO.

Can your CEO present well on a video? Most cannot – and this is not a required CEO skill, nor is it associated with how well they communicate with analysts, investors, employees or the media. To be precise, I am specially referring to plopping your CEO in front of a camera to read the Shareholder Letter (or a condensed version) off of a teleprompter “talking head” style. That is the most boring, stiff, unnatural and uninteresting use of video. It’s very awkward for anyone to do well except perhaps a news anchor – and no one is looking at anyone in-the-eye. Also, good luck scheduling the hours needed with your CEO. 

Don’t bother. Move on. We have.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Introducing the Animated Annual Report: a dynamic video representation of your annual report, created from your already-approved document.

Please view an Animated Annual Report example here, now.

By removing your CEO from the video equation, you’ve radically lightened the complexity of the project and will quickly accomplish the goal: make an engaging video of your material messaging.

ANIMATED ANNUAL REPORT PRODUCTION TASKS (EASY):

  • Send Vintage your annual report PDF and any photographs used in the annual report
  • Vintage and our in-house video team (MultiVu) creates script and visual storyboard from approved annual report
  • IRO comments, edits and approves
  • Animated annual report produced and draft version rendered
  • IRO comments, edits and approves
  • Animated annual report produced and final version created
  • Ta-da!
280X

A good talking head video

This is all executed at a fraction of the cost for a talking head video – and produced in under a month, if your edits and approvals flow smoothly.

Bottomline: Investor relations is all about setting and meeting street expectations. Don’t set video expectations that your CEO can be David Muir or Katie Couric.

The Animated Video Report is one point in “The Annual Report Journey.”

3 responses to ““Your CEO has a face for audio webcasting” or…

  1. This is so true and sound advice. We can never put our CEO on camera. She is extremely articulate in front of our analysts.

  2. Emily Robertson

    Our CFO had an epic meltdown. We had to scrap the entire project. Budget burned.

  3. Pingback: Way beyond the wire: the 2015 NIRI Annual Conference | Building Shareholder Confidence

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