Thursday, April 23, 2015

Live-stream video apps: Will they reshape your comms strategy?

It's here: Apps now make it easy for anyone observing an event to broadcast it online, in real time. Online video, always the strongest of social options, just got more powerful.

If you haven't yet caught up with the advent of easy live-streaming, right now it seems to be a battle between Periscope, Twitter's live-stream app, and Meerkat. Both broadcast live streaming video to Twitter, and when Periscope launched, Twitter cut off Meerkat's access to its social graph, creating a flurry of publicity for both apps, including:
For communicators, once you get beyond test-driving these apps, it's time to take a step back and consider the impact Periscope and Meerkat will have on your efforts. What will your company or organization do when users broadcast your event for free? That's already happening in the music industry, where singer Katy Perry, speaking of concert live streams, says "embrace the future." Will you be ready for that in your industry or sector? Are you training your executives to understand the nature of the fishbowl they're in when they speak in public? Even though some observers doubt that many people will jump to live-streaming what they are observing, all it takes is one to make a difference, and you should be anticipating that one. In the real tradition of "don't get caught," you should be ready to march forth without having to slam the live-streamer for the mistakes your spokes-folk make in public. After all, they're sharing your stuff. Make the content great.

Live-streaming apps also are expected to have an impact on the news business, and with it, media relations. Some think Periscope and Meerkat will be the new Twitter for reporters, an appealing place for news junkies and reporters to hang out. And Periscope could make Twitter an even more powerful news source, thanks to the veracity of live-streaming video: It's more difficult to doubt a tweeted report if there's real-time video rolling in it. As Journalistics puts it, "every smartphone is now the camera crew – a crew that is already on-site, ready for you to cut over to their live feed and take you to the scene as the story develops." Time for you to build that assumption into your strategies, training, and mindset, communicators.

(Creative Commons licensed photo by Paul Riismandel)

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