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Episode Description 

In this episode of The Video Marketing Show, our Managing Director, Phil Arkinstall, is joined by Head of Communications, Louise Roden, from construction heavy weight Willmott Dixon. They discuss how such a large firm uses video for both internal and external communications. The benefits they have seen since using video and their future plans for video. Watch the full episode here 



Hi, I’m Phil Arkinstall from Ark Media, and this is The Video Marketing Show. Today I am joined by a special guest, it’s Louise Roden from Willmott Dixon. Today, we’re going to talk about the construction sector and how they use video. So, Louise, can you tell us a little bit about how Willmott Dixon use video.

In my role, I’m responsible for internal communications and external communications and we use video across both of those. From an internal communications perspective, we use video for virtual events, like creating pre-recorded content. We also, pre pandemic, we use video to capture business events and highlight reels for people who aren’t able to attend. For external communications, we use video to share the impact that we have on local communities, to capture unique stories from our construction projects. They’re typically quite technical so we use video to talk about that in simple terms.

Do you use your videos as part of your calendar of events, do you plan them in?

Yeah, we use video as part of our calendar of events and we schedule those in from year to year. I guess the main one that we have done recently, is our virtual Building on Better awards and these are internal awards where we recognise the efforts of our people. We had to find a way to do it virtually that would A) be engaging, B) be cost effective as well as allowing us to share the stories of those people who were being recognised. We had a theme around travel, so we picked out a theme that people would’ve missed from the past 12 moths. We captured all the stories of people that would have nominated others, then all edited together and created a really powerful piece, and the feedback we have had from within the business about that has been brilliant.

So, do you also use video for internal comms as well as a way of communication?

Yes, we do. We use video for training, sharing site stories, leadership briefings and sharing learning as well and best practice.

And what about CSR? I imagine as a large organisation you have to do quite a bit of CSR, so how do you use video in that sense?

Our CSR programme is split into two halves, and one is around sustainability and the other around social value and community engagement. From a social value perspective, we capture community stories and the work that we do with local communities. From an environmental sustainability perspective, we appreciate that what we do can be quite technical so we try to use video to explain the why, the results and the benefits of the work that we do in an easy to understand way.

So, what would you say to another comms professional that works in construction who’s perhaps thinking about using video for the first time?

It doesn’t have to be as super expensive or as time consuming as you may think, if you pick a good video production company you can really reap the benefits of it.

With Willmott Dixon being quite a large firm, what challenges do you where video can actually help to overcome a problem?

Our biggest challenge at the minute is the geographical spread of our workforce. Traditionally, reaching those teams out on sites has been a challenge, they don’t have a lot of time and they generally don’t like to read heaps and heaps of information, so we find that video really captures their attention.

Having worked with a video production company for a while now, what would you say are the best and worst things about working with a video company?

The best thing about working with a video production company is that they really challenge your thinking. You may have an idea or purpose that you’ve got in mind but by having people that are experts in storytelling and producing content you really get extra benefits.

So, finally, could you give us three tips for anyone in the construction sector who’s thinking about using video.

I’d say really define your purpose and why you are creating each piece of content. Think about the story first, focus on the B-roll afterwards. The other thing I’d say is put time into creating the brief and working closely with Ark to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Spend some time coaching some of your key speakers and key voices within your organisation to enable them to be more confident in front of the camera.

That’s brilliant, thank you Louise, that’s really good, and some real good insight there. So, thanks very much for joining us for this episode of The Video Marketing Show and hope to see you again soon.