Smartphone tips from the BBC

Over the last year I’ve been working closely with the talent acquisition team at the BBC. last week marked the soft launch of Inside BBC Future Media, which includes plenty of content about working in the dept, and a Work4labs tab to check out the jobs whilst you are there. I say soft launch because there is a host of other things going on under the hood at BBC Careers around the technology, candidate experience, people, brand advocates and process. First, everyone is a bit distracted by the small matter of the Olympics, but it will be worth watching what is coming from October, and you can do that by becoming a fan of the page.

The BBC is full of great content in every department. This week I picked up a really interesting post on the page about how the BBC Academy are running training courses for journalists in getting the most out of Smart phones. I think the Smart phone has been the real reason behind the explosion in employer branding content. The device makes content creation, updating and sharing instant, once you open up your social places. This week Johnathan Campbell over at Social Talent posted about using Instagram channels for employer branding through images and following. The filters within Instagram make it easy for the least technical amongst us to create studio quality content every time. Rather than go on about Instagram, you can read Johnathan’s post HERE. He makes a very strong case for adding the channel in to your thinking.

Video is another area that has been brought alive by the Smart phone. The first big step in the explosion of video content was the Flipcam, which made uploads possible instantly. Video content became less about editing and camera angles, and more about quick upload and instant posting. YouTube editing features and filters has also made it possible to upload, edit and enhance content direct from your pocket media center that is your Smart phone. With the popularity of video for employer brand content, the technology turns every employee in to a potential story-teller and brand reporter. If the BBC are adopting photo and video content from Smart phones for news, then it should convince any employer that quality is not going to be an issue in reflecting brand.

The post by Marc Settle, of the college of journalism, gives some good examples of how Smart phone reporting is becoming more common in news reporting, particularly for breaking news. The most popular area of adoption is in radio, using audio apps to record interviews. I have used audio-boo in the past to report on events. Smart phones make regular audio content a reality from job descriptions, discussing teams, successes and war story’s. There are plenty of opportunities for content during work, and blending audio, video, images and text gives visitors to your web places to consume content when and how they want it.

The post has got me thinking about how we train brand advocates at the start of any program, offering additional training in Smart phone reporting with a few technical tips is definitely something I’m going to be including in future brand advocate programs. The tips from the post as examples of what is included in the reporter training are:

Top tips

Here are just a few tips you might find useful (these will in broad terms apply to all smartphones as general principles, but results will differ by make and model):

+ When taking photos, don’t tap the shutter button with your finger, as this could shake the camera and lead to a blurry photo. Instead, put your finger on the shutter button and lift it off. This much smoother action won’t risk jogging the camera as you take your snap.

+ When recording audio, don’t talk directly into the microphone, as you may see happen on The Apprentice. Instead, hold the phone as you would normally when making a phone call (for some voices, it works better held under the chin).

+ When recording video, don’t hold the camera vertically. Our eyes are horizontal; TV screens are horizontal; computer monitors are horizontal. Vertical video looks wrong, and the finished product will more than likely have nasty thick black borders.

With some thought, it is easy to put together some really useful content and interactive training in this area which will only enhance the quality and volume of employer branding content. A comment that has stuck with me from the Recruiting Innovation Summit last year came from @JenniferIntuit. It was my biggest take-away from the day and has stuck with me since. Jennifer included a slide in her presentation to the effect that if you want people to share content for you then you are going to have to make it simple and quick to do so. In Jennifer’s example this was about making sure that all content was packaged for sharing including using link shorteners, and sitting down one to one to make sure people know how to share. The same applies to content. We can’t expect employees to just know what good content looks like and how to share it. Smart phone content training and technique should be an essential part of this.