By Tobias Heinrich, Junior Consultant, Broadcast Unit, Germany, MSLGROUP
It’s a boundless world and corporate communications is also adapting quickly to the needs of companies and journalists. Digital video is one of the top interactive ways to share news and information to stakeholders. Here we bring you a short summary of how we helped our client Siemens Drive Technologies share their story with the media using a webcast and the difference it made.
Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components (Integrated Drive Systems). Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment.
Their approach, like most corporate, was to disseminate news by holding press conferences. Events such as these are local and suffer from increasing cost pressures and dwindling attention spans from journalists. When Siemens approached us, our advice was to take a holistic communications approach and include digital measures such as webcasts.
Why You Should Choose To Webcast Your Next News
The benefits of webcasting are many, when compared to traditional press events:
- Global reach: You can simultaneously address many stakeholders around the globe independently
- Convenience: There are no travel costs involved,
- Extends the life of your event: Recordings can be saved, reviewed and shared via corporate channels.
- Cost effective: Webcasts turn out to be much cheaper than trade fairs and hosting a local event
For companies who have tried this on their own, It isn’t as easy as picking out a webcast software and going live. You will find many cheap services but will encounter technical issues and there’s no quality control.
Google+ Hangouts have become popular ways to connect with audiences, especially if they are consumers, customers or followers. We’ve seen many politicians and public figures adopting Hangouts favourably. They aren’t yet very popular amongst corporate houses with the popular opinion being that the tool is not professional enough for corporate public relations. Some issues that we hear about are – not being able to incorporate corporate design and branding, the inconsistent streaming and sound quality and the fact that there’s only one camera angle.
Pitching for a Dialogue-oriented Webcast
Our idea for the webcast was to create a dialogue-oriented digital solution, a livestream or webcast for simultaneously addressing many people around the globe and allowing interaction between viewers, experts and the moderator. With such a format, press communications for Siemens would become independent from local events such as conferences and trade fairs.
We were short on time for preparations, with just about two weeks to bring our webcast to life. We set about designing and implementing the website, writing the scripts, organizing the technical equipment and performing rehearsals with the corporate teams. Then came the invitation management – we had to convince as many top-tier specialized journalists as possible to login to the webcast during the live-stream.
Going Live: Siemens Mining Webcast
On February 19th, at 7 am, the Siemens Mining webcast went live on air from a small attic office in the tranquil city of Erlangen, Germany. The topic was the latest success story from the Drive Technologies Division. An exclusive group of specialized journalists in India, China and Australia had logged into the webcast as the primary audience.
This transmission was followed by a second live stream at 5 pm to reach journalists in Germany, England, USA and South America during their working hours.
Conversations, Interactions and On-Demand Video
Around 120 viewers, including the 20 journalists (whose names were erased from the recording for privacy reasons), Siemens and our staff attended the webcasts. Questions flowed through the 30-minute session – around 30 queries from the journalists were fielded by Siemens, proving the solution was successful in creating meaningful conversations. We also found that all the viewers continued to stay tuned during whole transmission and the format was able to capture and keep the stakeholder’s attention.
The icing on the cake: The above-average feedback from the professional audience.
Pallavi Zemann, Media Relations, Siemens Drive Technologies Division, said, “We were especially delighted about the attendance and positive resonance of the stakeholders. We’ve got feedback from some journalists that they really enjoyed the innovative dialogue format for corporate communications. The active involvement of the participants during the Q&A and the large number of questions raised added a real value to the webcast.”
“The journalists’ feedback was excellent. Most of the viewers wrote to us that they would have liked a duration of one hour instead of thirty minutes for having a longer discussion. That was the best possible feedback as the attention span in the internet in general is very short. That shows us that this format – a mix of interviews, inserts, infographics and participation – was able to facilitate the contents in a way that was very compelling for the target group,” adds Dr. Anja Klein-Zirbes, Associate Director Head of Broadcast Unit, MSLGROUP Germany.
The HDTV-quality webcast was recorded to be available on-demand for those who wanted to watch it again or to share with other journalists. Here’s a link to the webcast, if you’d like to see it for yourself.
Follow Tobias on Twitter: @ToHeinrich