Webinars provide participants interactive experience

Many agencies see webinars as the next generation of press releases. Unlike webcasts, which function as online conference calls, webinars produce an interactive - and more interesting - experience for participants at home or the office, says Doug Winfield, VP of digital strategy at Waggener Edstrom, who points out that the technology has taken a foothold in retail, healthcare, and financial PR.

Many agencies see webinars as the next generation of press releases. Unlike webcasts, which function as online conference calls, webinars produce an interactive - and more interesting - experience for participants at home or the office, says Doug Winfield, VP of digital strategy at Waggener Edstrom, who points out that the technology has taken a foothold in retail, healthcare, and financial PR.

Webinars shift users' focus to interactive features, such as slides, visuals, polling, and video and audio options. Therefore, agencies can create webinars that take on more of a video blogging experience, says Tom Miale, global account manager at Streaming Media.

"(In the financial industry), if you're not doing a webcast, people wonder what's going on," he says.
Communications pros can allow commenting or Twittering to make webinars more interactive and to keep pace with consumers, who expect online content to be continually appealing, Winfield says.

Microsoft, a WE client, uses interactive webinars to help the company tell its story in a compelling way, and with richer content than a traditional press release, Winfield says. The webinar also boosts the message of a campaign by including a live element, he adds.

Vocus' PRWeb newswire conducts daily webinars teaching PR pros and small business owners how to develop interactive press releases for online distribution, says Jiyan Wei, product manager. The agency keeps sessions to 10 to 15 participants to prevent the audience from becoming too passive, she says.

Communications pros can use webinars to interact with journalists and provide them with information to reference later, Miale says. Graphics, images, and audio clips provided in webinars can also be released for publication. Miale says webinars allow for one-on-one interaction between a journalist and CEO in a controlled environment.

KEY POINTS:
  • Video, audio, and interactive features make webinars compelling to users
  • Webinars can reach consumers directly, aid customer relations, and be used as marketing tools
  • Journalists can access webinars after initial sessions, like a press release

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in