Live video is an emerging comms channel. But ways to use it are still being worked out. Here are some ideas to get you going.
by Dan Slee
Our survey into how comms is using live video showed 40 per cent of teams were starting to use it.
It is a channel that Facebook and Twitter are pushing strongly and a chance to reach a wider audience.
Best practice advice is to be creative with your title before you go live, tell people you are going live, think about your sound. In addition, think of having some tension to keep people watching.
I’ve blogged about the business case for live video is strong. With that in mind, here’s 10 ideas where the public sector can use it. The post also looks at some tech obstacles too.
Public sector pitfalls
There’s a few things to think about before going live. Firstly, permission. If you need permission to take a picture of someone you’ll need the same for a live video. Secondly, be aware that if there is an issue that’s bothering people and people get shouty, they may shout. But that’s not a reason not to do it.
10 ways to use it
1. Election results.
Elections are a proving ground for new ideas. In 2010, it was a bold move to use Facebook to tell people election results. Now it is expected. Facebook Live broadcasts are a useful way to communicate. CNN on US election night used one single broadcast. But… I’d be tempted to use a fresh broadcast for each announcement. Why? Because its unlikely people will sit through a three-hour broadcast and many people only want to see the ward where they live.
If your bag is encouraging healthy eating, you may have seen that chefs are using Facebook Live for showing recipes. A healthy recipe may be part of your approach.
3. DIY advice.
The how to video is a staple of YouTube. But there’s mileage in talking through a problem or an issue in real time too and the Q&A functionality may make the advice more targeted.
When Kent Fire and Rescue were looking at recruitment, they staged a Facebook Live and Periscope broadcast for a Q&A with firefighters to explain what the job was. You can read the blog on lessons learned here.
5. Go to where the eyeballs are: use the media’s Facebook Live.
Local media often have large Facebook page followings. They are keen to get content. Birmingham Mail hosted Birmingham City Council’s Leader John Clancy for a Q&A on the budget. Clearly, you don’t have control of the broadcast. But a well briefed elected member can talk to people.
6. Behind the scenes tour
What people often like to see is a behind-the-scenes look. Art galleries, exhibitions, leisure centres and other places that have a public face. Museums often have a vast storeroom where up to 90 per cent of assets are held in storage and people can’t see. A live broadcast with a history expert from the museum stores with artefacts would be a way to go.
7. Emergency comms
The Westminster attack recently showed the impact of an emergency. Thankfully, there were some great examples of how the public sector responded. But there remains a use for live video to give a briefing or an update.
Over the past two years we've co-delivered a workshop on ESSENTIAL VIDEO SKILLS FOR COMMS with freelance camerman, filmmaker and academic Steven Davies. We were the first to offer this workshop dedicated to comms people. We've trained more than 500 people across the UK and Ireland. We're now offering a workshop to help you give you the skills.
BIRMINGHAM May 2 Skills You Need for Live Video. For more info and book here.
LEEDS June 20 Skills You Need for Live Video. For more info and book here.
LONDON May 16 Skills You Need for Live Video. For more info and book here.
Dan Slee is co-creator of comms2point0.
Picture credit: National Archief / Flickr