Magazine article Management Review

Corporate Videos Boffo

Magazine article Management Review

Corporate Videos Boffo

Article excerpt


Corporate videos are a $5-billion industry in which more than 10,000 organizations produce their own videos, according to Douglas P. Brush, partner and executive vice-president at D/J Brush Associates of LaGrangeville, New York. Since 1973, the firm has released five nationwide studies of the use and applications of private television.

According to the most recent study, Private Television Communications: The Fourth Brush Report, Update '88 (H I Press, Incorporated, 1988), this year's most important corporate video applications are: employee information, sales training, skills training, product demonstration, news programs, job training, management communications, point-of-sale promotions, and safety and health instructions.

"Management realizes the need to give employees a sense of belonging and loyalty, and this has to be done on an instant and continuous basis," Brush says. "Videos can do this." He explains that in companies where high turnover is a problem, employees need to know what the organization is all about and what is expected of them to establish loyalty from the very beginning. "There is more need to communicate regularly with employees and management on a variety of issues," adds Brush.

Virginia Gemmell, director of new products and services at Synectics, Incorporated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a developer of training programs in the field of innovative management, explains why her company entered the videotape market this year: "International competition, mergers and acquisitions, and downsizing require U.S. corporations to be more creative, productive, and cost-effective. We responded to this need with management skill-building tapes."

There has been a shift in the way employees and management are trained--seminars and lectures often have given way to self-instruction, and videos are the hot new medium. "We are a TV-oriented society," explains Gemmell. "Managers grew up in the 1950s with TV. They like information transmitted that way."

Videos are popular for a variety of reasons. Because of the prevalence of videocassette recorders (VCRs), videotapes provide easily accessible information quickly. While many employees do not have the proper computer equipment to train at home, most have access to VCRs and can watch motivational or skill-building videos at home. "It is a convenient way to teach skills to a large population at a small cost," Gemmell points out.

Besides using videos to convey employee information and provide training, companies such as American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) use them to introduce new products. …

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