Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the 'visual content for internal communications' morning at The Brewery (great venue) run by Communicate. Once I'd got over the early start and the 6.46am packed train, I settled in to listen to an introduction from Brittany (of Communicate) and then various talks around visual content in internal communications, namely, video. I could talk about every presentation but I'd be here all day, so, I want to highlight the talk that stuck out for me - and that was Jenny Avarley's slot called 'ripping up the rule book: how do you build a community across 72 countries?'. Jenny is the Managing Editor of HSBC and her talk demonstrated how the business has built an employee brand, turning distrust into pride and creating genuine engagement. And I believe it, boy was I engaged, not only by the way Jenny held the room, but by how I felt watching the videos she had to show.

During Jenny's allocated half an hour she introduced us to HSBC NOW, a platform all about the people of HSBC, their trials and tribulations, mainly shown in video. It was clear that the platform has changed the culture of HSBC, and more -  some of Jenny's points really stuck out for me so I thought I'd share them:

- We wanted to hand the microphone back to the people and share THEIR stories - We realised that if we wanted employees to be courageous at work, we had to be courageous in our communications - Involving employees emotionally makes it harder for them to just stand by and watch at work - An open and honest culture isn't just about what your business does - it's about all the taboo subjects out there - Put your values on display and make it personal

Within the first 12 months of launching HSBC NOW, its videos were averaging 48,000 views and their numbers now show that views are 1200% higher than before the platform went live. And it doesn't end there...

Employees were so engaged with the platform that they wanted to share videos with their friends and family. So what did HSBC do? Having thrown the question out there and discovered that 98% of employees agreed with wanting to share their stories, and then getting board approval, HSBC NOW has been launched on YouTube and Twitter! Jenny ended by saying that HSBC NOW has shown that you can feel like neighbours in the same village if you take the right risk on the right platform. 'Stories trigger stories', she said, and she's absolutely right about that.