Welcome back to Creative Corner, an ongoing series that explores the journey towards building brand affinity at a company through the lens of the individual creator.
In our latest edition, we chatted with Josh Weathers, Video Marketing Lead at WebPT. WebPT is a SaaS company helping rehab therapists enhance patient care and fuel business growth with their all-in-one platform. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh’s team turned inward to create two distinct video series designed to foster connectedness in the new remote work environment. Little did the team realize how impactful these videos would become.
Take a look at this quick video overview:
Read on to hear all about the inspiration behind the project, the series’ impact on WebPT’s culture, and lessons learned about storytelling.
Thanks so much for joining us! Could you tell us a little bit more about WebPT and your role at the company?
I’ve been on the team for about four and a half years, working out of WebPT’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. WebPT also has several other hubs across the nation, bringing the company’s employee count to more than 500 people. Over the years, our video production team has created videos showcasing our culture here and there, but we’ve never focused on producing a consistent flow of that type of content. We focused most of our efforts on marketing content.
With the onset of COVID-19, we were all sent home to work remotely. So, we felt like we could use our video production talents internally to help the company feel more connected. The two series we made even showcased our other hubs and connected teams across locations, bringing them into the bigger WebPT world.
WebPT has always had a really strong work culture. Our offices all have open layouts and a really collaborative atmosphere. We’ve become a work family. So, when the pandemic forced us to transition to a fully remote work environment, the camaraderie and organic interactions we’d have in-person at our Phoenix location started to suffer.
The initial idea for the WhereWeWork series was a collaborative effort. I shot the first episode to show proof of concept and worked with the marketing team to flesh out our ideas. While this was 100% our own project — it wasn’t spurred by our HR team or any HR-related initiatives — the entire company rallied around it. The Co-Founder and CEO were also super supportive. They embody the mission of the series.
As I mentioned, we had a really strong in-person work culture.
Desk decorations, a small and often overlooked work-life element, were also a big part of our culture. You could walk through the building and tell a lot about someone just by the things they had on their desk.
Our first series, WhereWeWork, was inspired by this cultural quirk. We thought it would be fun to recreate this experience and have folks show off their at-home work setups.
We’re all figuring out how to work from home. So, we wanted to showcase what this experience has been like for our teammates, what setups are working for them, and what’s been helpful — and encourage them to share their challenges and lessons learned.
“The show’s initial goal was to help others be better at working from home, but the series ended up connecting our team in ways we never thought possible.”
The show’s initial goal was to help others be better at working from home, but the series ended up connecting our team in ways we never thought possible. We posted them weekly on our Slack channel, and it was nice hearing from people you don’t usually interact with.
The first series was so well received that we decided to launch a second, more personal series that allowed people to be vulnerable about their current situations.
The Feel-Good Files is all about finding silver linings amid the chaos. This year has been extremely challenging for many reasons, and we could tell some people were wearing thin. The goal of this second series was to share how people were staying positive and to shine a light on the good that’s happened under these circumstances. We really wanted to boost team morale and spirits across the company.
We started by sending out an email to solicit volunteers. We only had a few responses at first, but after we shared the first few episodes, other employees quickly jumped on board to share their stories. It was really amazing to see.
What stood out to me was how surprisingly comfortable people were being vulnerable. Maybe it’s because the show was just shared internally and wasn’t used for anything outside of the WebPT team. But it was really amazing to see people open up about non-work-related stresses. All of the stories were very personal — ranging from spouses struggling to find work to dealing with fertility issues — which really added an element of authenticity and connectedness that we felt the team was missing.
As it progressed, we realized how cool a thing it was. People really enjoyed it and looked forward to it. We posted new episodes every Friday, and a lot of people said it was the highlight of their week.
“We posted new episodes every Friday, and a lot of people said it was the highlight of their week.”
An added bonus was that the people who shared stories felt good about sharing them. They would get messages after their episode had aired from others who enjoyed or appreciated their story. It has really helped people feel more connected to others and has even connected people who otherwise might not have met.
We communicated with folks over Slack to set up WhereWeWork interviews. We’d then schedule a Zoom call to provide them with a list of questions in advance to make sure they felt comfortable.
We would record the interviews over Zoom and send a list of follow-up requests to get some at-home pictures and short clips we could weave into the video. Those were primarily shot on their phones. Then we’d edit everything to create the episode. We intentionally kept the project low-lift so we could manage everything in-house.
On the other hand, The Feel-Good Files was more story-driven. We couldn’t capture as much footage, so we leaned on animation in post-production to bring the stories to life.
Overall, we leaned into at-homeness with more editing and graphics to make everything come together. I also got a ton of tips from the Wistia blog for capturing audio and remote production.
I have a background in shooting documentaries with a focus on storytelling, and it was really fun for me to return to my storytelling roots for these series.
There really is a power to storytelling and what it can do to help a company both externally sell more products and internally support culture. If you can do something like this in-house, your co-workers and employees will feel more motivated and connected with the company’s vision.
“There really is a power to storytelling and what it can do to help a company.”
We were at the point where we were all looking for some way to remain connected — and creating these series actually worked to support this. Video is such an incredible tool you can use to foster friendships among co-workers, even while separated. It was cool to experience this first-hand.
Creating these series has definitely inspired new video projects and a YouTube series in the future. We’ve figured out a format that works where we’ll be highlighting different rehab therapy clinics and their stories — though we can’t give away all the details yet. It follows the idea of brand affinity marketing to create content that’s simply good content without focusing on driving leads. Stay tuned!