Damien Johnson

Distributing information to your entire organization can be difficult, especially in a time of transition. Damien Johnson was a member of our Communications Director Mentoring Program and shared this great idea on using video for internal communications. ~Kristina

Guest Post by Damien Johnson

Touchstone Health Services is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides behavioral health therapy from birth to 17 years old. The organization has been providing services in the Phoenix area since 1968 and treats over 10,000 families a year through 16 different programs. My time with the organization began in June of 2016. I was hired into the position of Communications & Public Relations Coordinator, a newly created position within the organization.

Over the last year, I have been searching for ways to better internal communications within our rapidly growing organization. It wasn’t until a recent change in executive management that the idea of sending our message through video came about. Up until this point, we had various ways of communication being tested. These forms included email, weekly newsletters, skype, and even an attempt at Yammer. With all of these outlets being utilized, we were still finding that the message was not being received by many of the employees. They felt uninformed of changes and that they were always the last to know what was happening in and around our organization.

The idea of video messaging came up from a simple meeting between myself and our Chief Executive Officer. His vision of building a new culture within our administration had opened up a dialogue on how to not only better his transition into this new role, but also how we can keep all 400+ employees updated on the transition and where Touchstone stood moving forward.

Who would be recorded?

We discussed who would speak in these videos, when they would be distributed, and what form we would distribute them. A rotation was made to include our Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to rotate videos every other week. Our CCO would update on clinical changes and needs moving forward, while our CEO would cover organization changes and overall messages needing to be distributed to all employees.

How would we record these videos?

To meet the quick demand of implementing these videos, it was decided to begin recording them on my iPhone 7 plus. I purchased a Joby® Gorillapod Tripod for $20 to help with stabilization of the phone during video recording. Not having much prior experience with videography, I quickly realized that this posed to be a problem with finding where to place the phone during the recording (as you will see in the first video address). The tripod only stood at just under 6 inches in height and at this point, improvising came into play.

The video quality turned out great from the iPhone 7 Plus. All editing was minor and able to complete under the iMovie app provided on the phone. Directly uploading the video to YouTube and providing this content through our MailChimp newsletter every Friday.


Once the videos began to catch on, I brought in my personal Nikon D3300 camera and tripod to continue recording these videos in a higher quality format. With still being new to this process I would attach my phone to the Nikon tripod and record from both devices as a backup to each other.

Some feedback from various employees have included:

“Very personal approach to addressing employees across the valley” -Touchstone Employee

“Enjoyed getting updated by the CEO directly” -Touchstone Employee

“With all the changes as we grow, it’s great to see how much focus administration puts on keeping us informed” -Touchstone Employee

Moving forward, we plan to continue utilizing video and voice messaging to our employees with gathering feedback and making sure everyone remains informed. This was a true test of finding and utilizing resources that were already at our fingertips.