7 trends in intranet promotion videos – and their intranets

VideoTrends-CamThis is the written version of part of my talk at Intra Team Event 2015 in Copenhagen.

I have been collecting intranet promotion videos for about 3 years now, and over time I have seen changes in the videos and in the intranets they feature. So it is about time for a trends post!
Remember that I am not a communications or video expert; I am rather an experienced user who has watched several hundreds of these videos in the past few years.

So here’s my take on things:

1. From “space” to “connect”.
Intranet promotion videos appear to have grown up. The earliest examples often featured a space theme: the Galaxy, Thunderbirds,StarWars. At that time, an intranet may have looked very advanced and out of this world. Today, we see professional companies making these movies, and the theme is more towards “connecting” employees with each other and the company.

This is an example from 2012, for Thunderbirds fans!


2. From static newsletter to interactive multi-purpose platform.
We all know this, of course, but it reflects in the videos. Most intranets these days are a place to do your work and keep connected to your colleagues. The static corporate news finally gets a less prominent space on the homepage.

3. Some topics are evergreen.
Several concepts keep coming back, such as:

  • 24/7 availability, working across time zones, access on multiple devices, any place any time
  • One version of the truth, centralized source of information, real-time (document) collaboration
  • Finding and connecting with colleagues and their expertise
  • Avoiding redundancy/working in silos, stimulating “working out loud”, sharing knowledge

There are also some minor recurring topics, such as company reorganizations or mergers, that warrant a new intranet, but these are of course very company-specific.
If you are creating your own video and looking to visualize those concepts, please take a look at my collection, especially the Animations. Many of those concepts have been done very nicely already.

This one below, for instance, shows “24/7 availability” and “working across time zones”:

While this one below nicely shows “real-time collaboration”

CoSMos from Skrudge on Vimeo.

4. Multi-device, not specific for smartphone.
Many intranets claim that they are accessible from any device, and show images of desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. However, I have not found any videos showing or mentioning specific functionalities or apps to be used on smartphone when “on the go”, or for colleagues who do not normally work in an office with a PC. Perhaps a responsive design is considered to be sufficient?

5. Intranet, not digital workplace.
Searching for new videos with keyword  “digital workplace” rarely leads to the desired result. The videos that I am looking for are still tagged “intranet” and deal with the ‘branded internal website”, not with the complete aggregation of branded and native tools and platforms. (for instance chat and teleconferencing tools, email, special applications)

This one is an exception, and although I love it, it is very much IT-focused and not very tailored to the end-user.

Digital Workplace from Home Retail Group on Vimeo.

6. Log-in still needed.
I would have expected single-sign-on everywhere by now, but I still see many log-ons. There are some cases where I can explain this:

  • Several videos have been uploaded by external agencies, and they may need a log-in because they are not employees.
  • I also have several videos for franchise organizations (real-estate, fast food chains) or universities or high schools where partners and students have not been given company email accounts. So perhaps my videos are a little biased towards “non-employees”.
  • I have also seen some log-ins to Office365 intranets. I can only hope that they are working on SSO and that it is only a matter of time :-).

7. Relaunch often means: simplification
In 2014 I suddenly noticed several videos for a relaunched intranet, with the explicit message that the intranet had been simplified, decluttered, easier to use. Also at other events I have often heard about “removing thousands of outdated webpages”, “simplifying navigation”, etc.
I think this is the result of a learning curve: in the early days we thought we needed to move all information to the intranet, while we now know that only a small amount of information is really useful for employees, and some things are done better via the enterprise social network, a 1-on-1 chat, dedicated applications or email.
I am afraid it will be some time before intranets and all employee tools will be as simple, well-designed and easy-to-use as e-commerce sites, but I hope intranets are on their way.

Please use the filter Simplification on my collection. I am currently retagging all videos. .

What is your opinion?
Can you spot these trends and have you noticed any others? Or even better, do you have any videos to add to my collection?

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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One thought on “7 trends in intranet promotion videos – and their intranets

  1. Chad Siemon March 17, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    I hear the comments about Single Sign On often. Other than security, you’re correct that many more non-employees (such as volunteers) are using intranets. Personally, I’d rather have some security to prevent others from posting as my user on my computer if it’s unlocked and away from my desk. As more systems move away from passwords, I’m sure there will be other security technologies that will make their way into intranets and other office tools.

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