A short while back we were asked to film an interview with the head of training at a certain insurance company. This is a regular occurrence for us when a message needs to be sent out across the business.
Normally a person like this has worked their way up through the ranks or come across from a similar company and as a reward they’ve ended up with a swanky office towards the top of a high rise building. This is quite often the location they want to film their message in too, even though we always try to break tradition by suggesting other locations – depending on the project requirements of course.
This person was different. When I was talking on the phone to his PA she suggested the filming should take place in his office, as is the norm. Usually my next line of questioning tries to break that mould a little bit and get them thinking of areas which could be more appropriate by suggesting there could be a problem with filming in the office, something along the lines of the office being too small for us to film in but in this case her answer took me by surprise.
“Oh I think you won’t have a problem there, it’s open plan!”
You see, this particular head of department had snubbed the high rise office and chosen instead to have a desk in amongst his team.
This says a great deal, and we came away with an amazing interview.
In a similar way Seth Godin made a post on his blog recently about a bank manager in the town of Pleasantville aways parking directly outside the branch in a potential customer spot. Not only does this send out a message to the customer, it also sends one out to the staff too.