IN CONVERSATION WITH… GEMMA TONER/TONE NETWORKS
TONE Networks, a subscription online resource and community for women, is growing its pool of experts and amping up its short-form video offerings, which currently total close to 500. TONE CEO Gemma Toner, former SVP, business insights and strategy at Cablevision Systems, talks with Cyn Short Form about why in an over-scheduled universe, short form is the most effective way to break through.
What is the mission of TONE and what makes it different from what’s out there?
GT: Our mission is to help every woman we can get to their fullest potential at the highest level. Women attracted to TONE are highly capable achievers already, but we all need a little help. And we have sensitivity to the very busy, time-strapped woman, which is what led us to determining short-form content was where we wanted to go.
Why does it make sense to tell stories and share advice in smaller bites?
GT: We did a lot of research in the marketplace and consumer research, and from the beginning we knew there is a lot of long-form out there for women, and a lot of scripted content for women. We wanted to be in the space of delivering informational short-form learning for personal and professional growth.
What have you learned specifically about creating informational short-form content?
GT: Short form is hard to do. It’s hard to write short, it’s hard to talk short. It took us a while to come to a tight format. We keep videos at about two minutes and no more five minutes, and each video has an executive summary so members get what we call the TONE takeaway. If you’ve taken a few minutes to watch, we reinforce that with these takeaways that help jog your memory… And the videos need to be highly descriptive and nothing fancy in terms of the production. We put content in front of many focus groups and what they said was… “Don’t tell me what I should think about, just tell me what to do and let me do it.”