Communicating Heritage, Embracing Change

by Prospero Laput

November 17, 2018, Palm Grass Hotel

When the top management of Palm Grass spoke to me about creating a corporate video for the heritage hotel early this year, I didn’t blink an eye. Then and there, I came up with a perspective how to create videos.  It was not just about the videos itself – what kind of videos, what concepts we can draw to create it. But that early, we already laid down the overall thinking underlying video creation itself. That’s why it is a question of perspective. A perspective that informs not only the narrative but also the creation process itself. Perhaps one could say it’s a rethinking of the whole idea of creating videos.

We know that in creating videos, though it’s still basically the same in terms of production and techniques, we come face to face with immense technological pressures in delivery and audience segmentation.  The landscape expanded beyond our typical understanding of audience targeting because uncharted territories brought principally by Facebook and Instagram are now so easily and inexpensively reachable to everyone. The landscape is no longer the same as creating your typical corporate or marketing videos where big TV networks dictate the rules of the game. In fact we found it hilarious that when we at some point approached a TV station to see how we can work with them in this new landscape, they responded by giving us their typical rate cards. Are these people living in a time capsule? And perhaps this is true in print and radio.

Over ten years ago, I was part of the change in the newsroom of Voice of America or VOA. VOA as many old hands remember, is the American version of UK’s BBC. Its editorial policy and business plan (so to speak), was to deliver two-sourced news from mostly third world or developing countries through terrestrial and satellite radio broadcasts. Many of these countries suppressed information for political ends, and that gave VOA following in areas where suppression of information were flagrant.  But that landscape, as we know it now, is no longer the same. And when VOA responded to the change, the newsroom transformed from an all radio into TV and web – basically, an Internet newsroom. And this happened more than 10 years ago.

The change too has to be embraced in marketing and communications. And I was very excited to find that Palm Grass, with its astute management leadership, being a heritage hotel, embraces it. We know that we have to reach out to young people who are pretty savvy at social media and that they could take us to our audiences.  So we involve them to the point that we can say most of our projects, and forthcoming ones, are basically community-driven. These kids are part in the video creation process itself. I’m talking about the students and young musicians we engaged since we started producing videos this year. They help us figure out the balance between content that young people understand and the social and heritage messages that we are trying to impart.

These two music videos we present here are just the beginning of more to come as we also try to expand the communities we are engaging.