Video offers clear, more appealing internal e-mails

It happens to all of us. Your computer alerts you to a newly arrived e-mail, and when you see it's from the head of your company, you immediately think, "Great, another riveting message I can't live without." Well, for those looking to spruce up internal communications, video e-mails may help turn that sarcasm into genuine excitement (sort of).

It happens to all of us. Your computer alerts you to a newly arrived e-mail, and when you see it's from the head of your company, you immediately think, "Great, another riveting message I can't live without." Well, for those looking to spruce up internal communications, video e-mails may help turn that sarcasm into genuine excitement (sort of).

"Alternating different ways of communicating is critical when communicating internally because you don't want the employees to say, 'Oh, here's another boring e-mail," says Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick. "We use the video in our internal e-mails when we have something that can be best communicated visually."

Gaines-Ross adds that it's important to remember there are left-brained and right-brained people out there who absorb information in different ways.

Amy Black, president of helloWorld, a subscription-based social network and video e-mail service provider, says a benefit of video e-mail is that it allows the sender to provide the specific tone he or she is looking for, which can be absent in a standard text e-mail.

"Tonality cannot really be established in a text e-mail," Black says. "There's the benefit of body language, as well... 55% of a message's meaning is derived from the body language of the speaker. And video e-mail allows for a level of uniformity and ensures all recipients will see the same message."

Jason Rosenberg, director of online video for EchoDitto, says it's also a good relationship-builder. "If someone is looking straight at you, you feel like they're talking to you directly," Rosenberg says.

While video e-mail may not fully replace text e-mail anytime soon, Black believes there will be an increase in its usage, especially among senior-level executives.

"It will absolutely become more prominent," she says. "A lot of people don't like to type. And some of us in management don't like to type, we don't like spelling, and we don't like the grammar - or the stress over it, anyway. Here, you don't have to worry about that stuff. You click, you speak, you send."

Key points:

Video e-mail allows the sender to establish tonality and universality

If the message contains confidential or potentially embarrassing company news, it can easily be leaked to news outlets

It establishes a relationship, letting the recipient know that the CEO - and not a spokesperson - created the message

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