CEO Comments


Continuing to Tell Our Surety Stories Through Videos

The human brain processes visual imagery faster than text. In fact, 3M Corporation researchers reported a study finding that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Other studies found that human brains retain a greater percentage of visual communication messages than the percentage of messages communicated through words. We are indeed seemingly hardwired to favor visual content over word or text content, as text content requires sequential, not simultaneous, processing by the brain. Perhaps that explains, at least in part, why visual communication forms seem more favored over other forms, as demonstrated through the rapid rise in popularity of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. It is not surprising, then, that video marketing continues to rise in prevalence and in impact.

At almost any meeting of surety professionals, someone remarks that few outside the industry, or even those touched by the industry, truly understand the value and import of surety bonding. And yet, the overall industry continues to experience profitability, and surety premiums continue to rise, reaching over $7 billion in 2021. Quite rightly, surety professionals understand that their status and their product’s status cannot be taken for granted. The many advocacy efforts undertaken over the years, including the annual NASBP legislative fly-ins, underscore the industry’s desire to protect and promote itself. Oftentimes, however, such efforts are reactionary or in the moment, beating back embraced misconceptions or worse. In such instances, an opinion already was formed likely without the benefit of front-end surety awareness or perspective.

NASBP set out to address such circumstances by creating visual resources to tell “surety stories.” As you may have seen, NASBP has produced and disseminated via social media and through other means, such as Engineering News-Record, surety story videos as part of the Be Guaranteed to Succeed outreach campaign conceived and commenced some years ago. Though mindful of limited resources, NASBP leadership made the commitment to make public relations a priority, engaging an outside consultant, creating a communications toolkit, branding a campaign (Be Guaranteed to Succeed), forming and populating a campaign website, and producing a succession of short videos that continues to the present. If you attended the recent 2022 Annual Meeting, you may have seen the latest Be Guaranteed to Succeed video, which debuted after then President Tucker’s address. This video has been released on social media and elsewhere.

Plans also are already underway to produce a second series of surety videos--possibly eight to nine new videos--for release in the second half of this year. These will be stylistically distinctive from the earlier “surety story” videos, with vibrant pace, movement, and energy, combining text and appealing visual graphics. They also are intended to be shorter in length, likely averaging around 30 seconds or so. They should be ideal for social media distribution and for sharing. More to come on this as these videos are finalized.

The irony of providing you this information in text form is not lost on me. You may not remember this Pipeline column, but I will bet that you will remember one or more NASBP surety videos released this year! Use these videos for your own surety awareness efforts, and thanks in advance for all you do to spread the gossip of surety!