March 22, 2021 • Paul Woolf
One of the challenges many organizations face in storytelling is capturing stories from the recent past. Whereas tales of founders or events earlier in the timeline may be abundant, companies sometimes fail to recognize the historical importance of recent activity and memories. It’s as if the account of something that happened a week ago is too young to qualify as “storyworthy.”
Yet if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that what we do today is precious and the time we’re living in is relatively unprecedented. It takes a concerted effort to collect the stories of recent years, especially those of the last year. It also takes work to record the collective understanding of processes, culture and spirit of the company at any given time. It’s what we call “living history,” and capturing it is essential for achieving many business objectives, including goals related to employee engagement and recruitment, sales, and organizational culture.
For years, we conducted in-person oral history sessions, often involving film crews at location shoots to work with participants to capture their stories and memories. As the pandemic has forced many people to work remotely, and with pandemic protocols still variable, it was vital for us to find a workaround. No, the solution wasn’t simply to record Zoom calls. Instead, we leveraged digital technologies to source video material remotely. We introduced Remote Story Capture to help record the stories of what is happening right now within organizations. Our process turns each employee, customer, or other stakeholder into a combination of film star, director, and production crew member. It’s easy and highly effective.
Gathering the stories of your living history often fills in a black hole in your organization’s recent past. Yet apart from a sense of completeness, the real benefits of undertaking a remote story capture program include:
So, what are some of the ways in which remote capture footage could be used? As with any creative asset, the only limit is your imagination. Here are some ideas to fuel your thinking:
Of course, capturing stories and soundbites remotely is not a replacement for an experienced videographer and crew in terms of quality. And of course, no matter how the story is captured, professional story concepting, planning and editing are essential to get a finished product the delivers on its goals. Yet as your organization adjusts to the new norm in our soon-to-be post-pandemic world (fingers crossed), capture this moment in time. The results could be a powerful and affordable asset to use for many years to come.
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