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How Salvi Is Helping Leaders Communicate More Effectively in a Video-First World William and Christopher Salvi discuss how their production company is bringing the personal touch to corporate communications.

By Dan Bova

Salvi Media

Smart entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities to expand and grow their businesses. In the case of William Salvi and Christopher Salvi, the brother team behind Salvi, that meant taking a media company that they initially built to entertain and inform external audiences and turning its focus inward. "Our show The CEO Series shares life stories and great advice from the top business minds," explains executive producer and host William. "As we created these profiles for our show, we saw a great opportunity to create video content that leaders could use internally to share information and updates with company employees and stakeholders. It's an amazing way to connect with a large group but have it feel personal and intimate."

Producing video corporate messaging has been a huge success for Salvi, asF well as for its clients. Those who have appeared on their Emmy-nominated show and utilized its internal communication capabilities report across-the-board positive results with their team members. Speaking about Ridell CEO Dan Arment's appearance on The CEO Series, Erin Griffin, Senior VP of Marketing & Communications at Riddell, explains, "The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, as we all appreciated how both the company and our CEO Dan Arment were presented as approachable, innovative, and visionary within our industry." She continued, "We are prouder than ever to work for Riddell and with Dan each day."

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Dave Tovar, Senior VP of Communications and Government Relations at Grubhub, echoes those sentiments. "The feedback from employees was incredible. They were so excited to watch the episode, to learn more about the company, its origin story, and its leader." He adds, "The episode continues to pay dividends for us because we're able to show aspects of it at different meetings and Town Halls to motivate and inspire employees."

Entrepreneur recently spoke with William and Christopher about the rise of Salvi, and how they continue to evolve to meet customer needs.

How do you divide duties at the company?

Chris Salvi: I am the CEO and Will is the Executive Producer and host of our show The CEO Series, which we're thrilled to have featured on Entrepreneur TV. Will is essentially the tip of the spear of our business development and I am in charge of all things business strategy, and most importantly, understanding what the clients need and working with our team to deliver it for them.

How did you get started?

William Salvi: We always wanted to work together in a company and always had that entrepreneurial spirit to try our own thing. We wanted to start a production company and had an in the legal industry, so we started off creating content for professional services, law firms, and doctors. The funny thing is we really didn't know what we were doing technically speaking. We had no training in photography, but we ran to Best Buy and bought the nicest camera they had and didn't know how to use it!

CS: I was the videographer on our first project, which led to our first "aha moment": we needed to learn the power of delegation. If you want to grow your business, you have to know how to delegate and enlist top-tier talent to get to where you want to go. We spent our whole lives playing football — I played two seasons in Italy — so we inherently know that you need a great team to win.

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When did your company expand its offering?

WS: We started out the company as a pure content production company and did that for about three and a half years. Once COVID hit, we started going into live stream production since a lot of businesses were no longer doing live events. And success with that evolved into the type of content we're producing for now, which is focused on helping CEOs deliver effective messages to their companies.

CS: Our tagline is that we help brand storytelling through executive communications in a video-first world. So what does that mean? It means that CEOs need to be out making personal connections. If you want to retain more talent, speaking to your employees is a very important thing to do. Individual brands have more leverage than company brands do. It's just a natural human thing. We relate to people's faces, their voices, their energy. So CEOs shouldn't just send out mass emails — employees and stakeholders want a more personal touch. They expect to hear from their CEO, and they want to feel connected and proud to be a part of a brand's mission.

WS: We developed a really great process for telling executive stories, and I think that stems from the fact that Chris and I are genuinely interested in these people and what they do. Being the CEO of a publicly traded company is really unique. It's not something that everyone's done. And they all have incredible stories. Like Michael Osanloo, the CEO of Portillo's Restaurants here in Illinois. He came from Iran and he said he had to be a kind of cultural ambassador and translator for his family as a kid — like he had to explain to his parents what Halloween was, and why all these kids were showing up asking for candy.

CS: We help pull those kinds of great humanizing stories out of CEOs, and also we help them address serious topics and company crises. Our thesis is simple: forget what you've learned about in media training. Don't try to gloss over things, or worse, pretend nothing bad has happened. People want to know what is going on, and they want to hear it from you. Transparency is key in good times and bad. It really takes a special person to be a great CEO, and that's what our show and our communication productions are designed to spotlight.

Related: 6 Steps to Becoming a Recession-Proof CEO

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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