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Live Video Meets Public Relations: Tips for Getting Started with Live Streaming Video

Brands across B2B, consumer, government and non-profit have begun experimenting with live streaming video as part of their ongoing communications program. Some of the most recognizable names include Sony, NASA, The White House, Salesforce, and Martha Stewart.

Brands aren’t doing this just for fun; stats point to the effectiveness of video as a communications medium. According to a study by Livestream, 80 percent of a brand’s audience would rather watch a live video than read a blog, and 82 percent prefer live video to social posts.

Most organizations already plan press events, attend trade shows, launch products, organize webinars and more – adding video today is as easy as pointing your mobile device. Turning on the camera makes everyday public relations activities more engaging for your audience, and can help expand your reach and impact. Live video adds another layer of depth to your campaign, circumventing typical media outlets and expanding your reach directly onto viewers’ phones, tablets, and computers. Here’s how to get started:

Choose your service.

Getting to the point where you are ready to hit the “Go Live” button is the difficult part. There are a handful of free and reliable live video services that offer easy to use features.

Some of the most reliable services include Snapchat, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Livestream. To figure out which one works the best for your needs, create free profiles for each of them and play around a bit.

Once you’ve determined the best service for your needs, work on the quality of your video.  Quality live video live boils down to four components:

  1. Ample Lighting
  2. A quality camera
  3. Fast Internet
  4. Clear audio

Related Post: 5 of Our Favorite Tools for Public Relations and Marketing Professionals

Practice, practice, practice…especially before a crisis.

Effective video often requires an effective spokesperson.  Make sure that person/people are trained in the setting they will present.  This is especially important if your organization has the potential to experience crises – cybersecurity breaches, customer lawsuits, etc.

For everyday video, however, it’s okay to not be perfect. When creating a video for a new product or service, or participation in a trade show, flaws can be endearing to your audience and ultimately make your spokesperson more relatable.

Measure the effectiveness of live video.

Many streaming services include real-time analytics tools with their free services. Make sure to track viewership, video shares, social media mentions in order to gauge your success and measure where you can improve next time.

Related Post: Curating Content: Reuse, Recycle & Repurpose

Keep the live feeling alive.

But what about time zones, you say? How will your audience in Tokyo witness a live product launch taking place in California? Not an issue. YouTube Live and Livestream allow you to record your event to share with viewers later. By putting your content on a continuous loop, viewers are able to continue the social conversation long after the event is done.

If you are still uncertain about live video, why not test it out? Next time an employee is homesick during a meeting or an executive plans on making a company-wide announcement, take out your smartphone, download a live video app, and go live. If that’s too much, then quickly stream yourself from the webcam on your laptop.  You won’t regret taking a chance on live video.

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