The thing that pisses me off most about the video production industry is the lack of diversity behind the camera.

Storytime. I was lucky enough to secure employment out of college at a small boutique video production company with a female creative director and a female producer. I became the third female on the production team with six other male crew members. There was age diversity, but we were all very pale. At my next job, I was the only female on the production team with four white guys. This is a very typical experience in the industry, and that’s only speaking from my limited perspective as a white female.

You might have had your own experience with lack of diversity on the production side of the industry if you’re a marginalized group. But what problems does this lack of diversity create when you are the client hiring someone to create video content?

 

A lack of diversity behind the camera means a lack of diverse storytelling.

When you outsource as a business, you might have problems finding a content creator that relates to your target audience or can really tell your brand’s story. To make dynamic content that speaks to your prospects, you need a team. And those team members should be as diverse as possible, so you can create a deeper connection with your audience.

One perspective is boring and halts innovation. If everyone was the same, no one would stand out. That is the exact opposite of what you want your marketing campaign to do.

Having a content creator with diverse life experience, especially when that diverse background relates to the experience of your target audience, is a benefit. You get deeper connections and more effective marketing. You also avoid the pitfall of hiring a content creator to tell your story that misunderstands your audience and gives you not only less effective marketing material, but material that attracts negative attention from your audience.

 

So, what can I do?

Before you hire a production company or marketer, see who is on their leadership team. Then look at your customer base. How similar or different are they? You vote for change with your wallet and departmental budgets. Pick a partner who understands you, your brand voice, and your people.

You can also look to hire WBE and MBE-certified businesses (women-owned and minority-owned business enterprises) or some other marginalized group you want to see telling stories. Change comes by giving opportunity. For me, I’ll continue partnering with and championing the underrepresented content creators in the industry. Video Story Studios practices outsourcing to diverse partners as one of our core values.

Let me end by saying I will also be the first to admit this is a topic that cannot be addressed or solved in one blog post or even several. Like I said, my own experience and voice on diversity is limited by being white and female. But this topic is one I’m passionate about, angry even. To further explore diversity on the blog, I’ll be bringing on a diverse set of voices from the industry to speak on their experiences. Ensuring that there are diverse storytellers ensures we form deeper connections with people, and that’s the key to better communication and creativity within the industry.

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She may have launched the company in 2016, but Beth’s love of video actually began by learning to edit with two VCRs and a camcorder (throwback!) Beth Menduni is a born storyteller with a background in theatre, visual communications, and graphic design. She worked in video production houses for a decade before launching her own full-service video marketing company based in Columbus, OH. An all-around creative, Beth is also a singer, ceramicist, OU alumna, and proud mom.

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