Webcasts provide visual experience for global audience

Agencies and corporate clients are more closely watching expenditures during this recession. One way they are doing so is by replacing glitzy press conferences at remote venues with webcasts.

Agencies and corporate clients are more closely watching expenditures during this recession. One way they are doing so is by replacing glitzy press conferences at remote venues with webcasts.

Webcasts combine the visual experience of a press event with the ability to participate from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

“It's becoming increasingly difficult for media to budget travel to important events for us,” says Sandy Hillman, president of Sandy Hillman Communications, who created a webcast for World Market Center Las Vegas before many travel budgets were slashed.

With video segments and a panel discussion, this webcast saw a decided uptick in attendance over expectations, Hillman says.

The tool also enables media and other influencers to stand side-by-side with equal access to press materials, says Julian Teixeira, director of media relations at Zeno Group.

Web simulcasts are also becoming an effective way for overseas companies to break into US markets, while also best utilizing the time of their own spokespeople, says Martin Jones, managing partner at March Communications.

Last year, March created a webcast on a partnership between TM Forum & IPsphere, and found that the tool created “great coverage because [media] could develop their own angles and explore [the subject matter] collectively,” Jones notes.

Additionally, PR pros are using webcasts to directly target online audiences, particularly with product launches, says Tom Barritt, partner at Ketchum.

Barritt adds that a webcast, unlike a press release, “is an extended conversation... and a whole new forum to engage consumers in a different way, and expand on what a product is about.”

Key Points:

Webcasts provide opportunities to have a convo with media and key influencers across geographies

Spokespeople's time can be more effectively used with webcasts

Online targets can engage in a robust convo with visuals and feedback

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