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Concept of a "Fair Story"

Future of corporate films and presentations.

Many years of experience in struggling to create really effective and interesting corporate films brought us to an obvious conclusion which is not so easy to make. It says that a film should essentially answer questions from an interested audience, and it should not be a self-assertive monologue. This is how the best documentarians of the world work, and PR development is following precisely the same trend.

Is it possible to make a film like this? Yes. Although questions of the "audience" are not always favorable for a company, and not always are they addressed precisely at it. All you need to do is to formulate them clearly and honestly, possibly, after interviewing representatives of the target audience directly, and select those who will answer them (internal experts of the company and independent ones). The Questions and Answers model does not necessarily imply questions and answers in a literal sense, but it is a model for shaping the plot of a film. A film that would be sharp, interesting and maximally effective.

Naturally any company would find it easier and more pleasant to spend its money on a simple story telling how wonderful it is. But how efficient and useful would that be? It is considerably more useful to spend the same amount of money to make a product which we call a "fair story".

So far only the most advanced companies that are transparent to their investors and customers are ready to take this step. But we are positive that in the course of time this approach will become an indispensable standard for any promotional materials. Just like mandatory audits of financial reports became a standard in their time.

It does not mean that a company must reveal all its problems and weaknesses. But it must provide answers to questions that the market might have. Of course a material designed at the expense of a company can not be considered objective and independent by default. But it is quite capable of satisfying interests and needs of its audience.

Besides the fact that this approach greatly enhances trust, it crates an intriguing drama of the overall storytelling. It makes the film really interesting! And this result is worth a lot.

A script of such a film is generated not only and not so much by copy writers, but by experts of the market on which you operate. Not infrequently you are perfectly aware of all the questions that are to be raised to you.

If the objective of the film is to promote a positive image, to enhance loyalty, investors' trust or o increase sales, then, I think, you yourselves understand now that these objectives will be attained faster if you rely on the concept of a "fair film". If you go to the trouble of making a film, it should be an honest one.

Appendix:

Rules of making a corporate film by the "Mercator" Company
(extract).

We strive to make best corporate films in Russia. If you want your film to be one of them, placing an order with us and paying us money is not enough. It takes a certain involvement and some additional commitments on your part which we have listed for you below.

  1. A prerequisite is an interview with a top-ranking manager of your Company who is able to explain the strategic objectives of the film, describe the target audience, and also (the most important thing!) enumerate competitive advantages, value and drawbacks of the Company. The duration of such an interview is one hour.
  2. For the making of the film it is indispensable to conduct interviews with at least two customers of the Company. They will be asked the following basic questions: "Why do you cooperate with the Company?", "What do you like about this cooperation?", "What would you like to change?", "What question would you like to ask the Company?" and "What would you like to recommend to the Company?" These questions can be modified depending on the objectives and tasks of the film.
  3. Your Company recommends us at least three experts who can give us an interview free of charge (this is a fundamental condition). Experts will be asked the following basic questions: "What is the place of the Company on the market?", "How do you evaluate the quality of the Company's goods/services?", "How do you assess the Company's development?", "What, in your view, should the Company change or improve?" These questions can be modified depending on the objectives and tasks of the film.
  4. The representatives of the Company should provide an answer to film-related questions asked by experts and customers of the Company. Naturally, you can pick those questions, but it is in your interest to answer those which you sincerely believe to be important.
  5. The Company selects the stylistics of the film's off screen text before the work begins and it does not concern itself with editing the stylistics of the text (foreign languages are no exception).

There are also other rules referring to the productive and creative process, we shall tell you about them when we meet.

Andrey Skvortsov
CEO, Mercator group


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