Modern video falls flat in a postmodern world

One reason why video usually fails to motivate people is that its user still holds the Modern flat-earth concept of authoritative messages:

Modernism. Institutions tend to gravitate toward this top-down communications model.

Modernism. Institutions tend to gravitate toward this top-down communications model.

The communication style here is to present an audience with a complete perspective. No questions except rhetorical ones. In preparation for my talk I spent an hour perusing the web for fundraising videos, and every one I found used the same basic approach: tell an audience what to think, and state it formally, authoritatively, in linear fashion.

Today, companies and institutions who want to exert influence effectively through media like video need to recognize that it’s NOT just a stylistic shift that’s required. The fundamental paradigm of communication has shifted from a vertical model to a horizontal one, in which there are no accepted authorities, only opinions and relationships.

Today's reality: institutional and corporate viewpoints can only be shared horizontally

Today's reality: institutional and corporate viewpoints can only be shared horizontally

What I’m trying to show in this diagram is that the relationships an institution can have with the public are essentially horizontal. There is no longer any corporate relationship with a group; there are only individual relationships. Even the most loyal customers will not hesitate to question and criticize every message they receive. And the connections they form are quite informal, vary widely in frequency and intensity, and are often filtered through the contexts of what closer friends may think.

Therefore, it is essential that messages be sensitive, emotionally aware, self-deprecating, and non-judgmental in tone. There may be sacred cows, but there are no sacred people or institutions to be found anywhere on the planet.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: