Bold Content How To Promote Any CSR Initiative Using Online Video

The 2014 Global CSR RepTrak study reported that 89% of consumers would recommend companies with a high RepTrak score. For those businesses with a low RepTrak score the percentage that would make a recommendation was only 6%.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative can not only boost the businesses reputation with customers, they also help to foster positive relationships with key stakeholders and regulators. Not to mention CSR programs are fantastic for increasing employee retention and loyalty.

But businesses, and CSR managers in particular, sometimes struggle with gaining exposure for the good work that they do. This means that CSR iniatives do not always have the level of impact that they could.

Here we will look at why online video is a transformational tool for businesses looking to expose their CSR programs to a wider audience. We will also explain how CSR managers can use online video in the most effective way possible.

Coca-Cola Documentaries Showreel

Reaching The Right Audience Cost Effectively

In the past reaching a significant sized audience to promote the work done by a CSR program in a way that made commercial sense was challenging. However, two important trends have changed that equation. Firstly, video production costs have dropped significantly in recent years. This means that a lot can be achieved with even a relatively limited budget. Secondly, online video has given businesses the ability to reach a global audience at very little cost.

According to the 2014 Q3 Adobe Video Benchmark Report people watched 38 billion videos. Globally that is the equivalent of 5.3 videos for every single person per quarter. For businesses targeting a younger audience online video offers even greater opportunities. According to the Ooyala’s 4Q 2013 Video Index, 3 times as many millennials watch online videos as non-Millennial. ( Online video is rapidly becoming the best option for reaching younger demographics.

Planning Your CSR Video

Some of the initial questions you need to ask when planning your CSR video include:

  1. What are your goals / desired outcome?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. What do you want your target audience to do when they have finished watching the videos?
  4. What metrics are you going to use the measure the success of your video?

In marketing there is an expression that “features tell and benefits sell.” This principle is a great place to start when defining the concept for your video. Features including statistics and facts about the program, which while important, do not necessarily make for compelling viewing. In order for the video to really impact audiences you need to be able to connect on an emotional level.

That’s why we suggest video which features the beneficiaries of the CSR program. These human interest stories feature struggle, perseverance and fresh beginnings. These are stories that everyone can identify with and make for truly compelling viewing. Compared to a dry “corporate message” style video, these are much more likely to be shared by viewers on social media with their friends and family.

Defining Your Metrics For Success

In order to justify the budget that you will be spending on communicating with the general public you need to have some kind of metrics for success. If you communicate this metric of success with your video production team they can ensure that all their effort goes into ensuring this outcome is met. This will be everything from script development all the way through to color correcting the final edit. These metrics will influence every creative decision along the way. You will need to be able to provide detailed information about the programs and enough time for them to come up with a creative approach.

Defining Your Budget

The size of your budget will define to some extent your video production but don’t be afraid to ask what can be achieved even on a relatively limited budget. Many CSR managers are surprised at how much production costs have come down. A small crew can produce fantastic looking results using cost effective equipment. Digital filming allows you to capture a lot of footage meaning that you can delve deeply into a subject and produce lots of videos even on a smaller budget.

Selecting The Length Of Your Videos

The nature of social media and online video means that you don’t want your videos to be too long. According to Wistia 50% more people complete a one minute video than a two minute video. Unfortunately, this is often not enough time to gain a deep understanding of the sustainability project. One solution is to create multiple videos is to enable viewers to gain a deeper understanding of the project. This could include human interest stories about the beneficiaries of the project, in addition to a separate edit to explain the features of a project and its success.

Size Of The Filming Crew

In our experience working with a smaller crew can work better for CSR documentary style videos. This helps to ensure the subjects of the video are put at ease. However, it is important that you have someone on-set that will make sure that all of the release forms are a signed. It is a good idea to have a dedicated member of the crew who will be responsible for this.


Authenticity is key for CSR style documentaries. Therefore you want to keep the lighting as natural as possible. LED lights can be advantageous because of their portability, but it is important to use high quality lights that are able to produce color rendition so that the subjects have a natural skin tone.


We recommend using high quality lavalier mics for recording the subjects sound. This ensures that they are not distracting or overly prominent. In situations where the subject is “Walking and talking” then you can use radio mics. Boom mics can also be a useful addition to lavalier mics. You should request that all recordings are produced in a minimum sound quality of 48K 16 bit wav files.

Canon c300

Canon c300


For our CSR documentaries we like them to have a cinematic feel so use a relatively shallow depth of field. To achieve this you will need to use will need a camera which is capable of recording in 1920 x 1080 in either 24p or 25p. If the final videos are being created for broadcast then you should look to record in 50mbps 422 codec using a camera like the Canon c300. If the video is for a worldwide audience then you should in either 24p or 25p.

Requesting The Correct File Types

One often overlooked, but very important request, is to ask the video production company to deliver the right file types. You should request that your video production company delivers broadcast quality master files for each of the video edits that they produce for you, along with accompanying split audio tracks. Split audio files are where you have one file for the music and another for the dialogue. This will allow you to have the video re-edited later on by a different production companies. This can avoid being overcharged for any future re-edits because the original video production company is the one with the master files.

Taking The First Step

Deciding to use video to increase the exposure for your CSR program can be very exciting decision. But, we understand that it can also be a little overwhelming. There is a lot to consider and you want to be sure that you will meet your goals. If you have any questions about how video could be used to increase awareness or sustainability projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, simply use the contact form below or give us a call on 0203 637 1467.

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