Digital & Technology


When you need to clearly communicate essential information in a crisis, video is a powerful tool, says Christopher Bo Shields, chief creative officer and co-founder of video content provide Binumi Pro.

18th March 2020

There’s a significant difference between coronavirus and other crisis communication situations that many large businesses will have dealt with in the past. This crisis is primarily focused on the welfare of employees, rather than on leadership decisions.

Because of this, companies with large disconnected workforces have a huge challenge on their hands in the wake of the outbreak – they have a duty to keep their workforce informed.

Large businesses must be seen to be doing their utmost to ensure the health and wellbeing of their employees, by preparing and communicating policies designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Getting your approach wrong could have massive implications, not only to the health of your employees but also to your business’s reputation.

Presenting a human face
This can be a very upsetting time for many employees. They may have family and friends who are affected by the virus. Or they may simply be feeling particularly vulnerable and worried. That’s why it is essential to present a human face in your internal comms efforts, in order to best deal with difficult subject matter.

This is where video comes in. When so many staff members may not be present in the workplace because they are working from home or even self-isolating, video provides an opportunity to present a human face regardless of how far away they are.

Here are seven questions to ask yourself when you are preparing to use video to keep your disparate workforce informed and engaged during a global emergency like coronavirus.

1. Who will be your spokespeople?

Who will you put in front of the camera? Your CEO? The head of HR or internal comms? Or a revolving cast that might also include line managers? Consider the ongoing availability of speakers and how strong they are as verbal communicators. Then ensure that such staff members have been given a basic level of presentation training before putting them in front of a camera.

2. How can you empower your staff?

Consider the unique opportunities provided by video for demonstrations. You could film how-to guides for best practice in hand-washing; or show people how to protect themselves on public transport as they travel to the office. Your primary aim should be to empower employees to take control of the situation for themselves.

3. How often should you broadcast your videos?

Give some thought to the frequency of your video updates and once you’ve done so, stick to the plan. Such frequency should suit the changing nature of the crisis at hand. With coronavirus as it currently stands, a daily update is essential. You may also wish to add in ad hoc video updates whenever a new announcement needs to be made.

4. Are you being accurate?

In presenting your guidance to employees, always refer to the official sources. The WHO site provides very good general advice for the workplace, not to mention some myth-busting information. Here in the UK, the most reliable source of factual information continues to be the UK government website. 

5. What is the effect of your video?

Remember that your videos should always aim to instil reassurance in the minds of your workforce. Keep employees feeling informed and calm, and provide them with an idea of what your business’s next steps will be. Avoid any terminology that may cause panic among members of staff who could already be worried.

6. Do you need to use subtitles?

Consider the importance of subtitles and the accuracy of translations when the message is medical or technical. Also, give consideration to the global nature of your organisation and language in different countries. Find ways to include HR, risk and internal comms leads in your company’s local markets right from the start.

7. Where will you host your video?

Your employees need to know where to go to find the latest information that is correct, up to date and relevant. Set up a storage environment with good search functionality to make the video easily accessible to all. Consider such issues as custom permission levels, smart indexing, and sharing, to enable you to control how you distribute, reiterate and localise content.


Christopher Bo Shields is the chief creative officer and co-founder of video content specialists. Binumi Pro. Binumi Pro empowers organisations of all kinds to take control of their video communications in a brand-safe and scalable way. Using the cameras in smartphones, Binumi Pro enables users to shoot and deliver professional on-brand content at a fraction of the cost of traditional video production.


Leave a comment

To leave a comment on this article, please complete the form below. Your comment will be posted once verified by our editorial team.

If you are not an IoIC member and would like to join to receive Voice and other membership benefits, visit our Membership page.

Room Booking

Thanks for staying with us! Please fill out the form below and our staff will be in contact with your shortly. The see all of our room options please visit the link below.
See All Rooms