Virtual press conferences

Press conferences are among the most important PR tools due to their relevance to the target audience. However, this tool is also being increasingly “digitalized” using modern technologies. Parallel streaming, for example, is being used to enhance or even fully replace press conferences. Where will the journey take us?

Those who are considering using digital streaming technologies for press conferences basically have two options:

  1. Live broadcasting of an actual press conference to reach those journalists who can not attend due to lack of time or budget. The fact that this type of additional platform is becoming increasingly popular is reflected in research conducted by news-aktuell. According to this study, only five percent of the editors surveyed in 2012 considered live video streaming to be “important” or “very important” and one year later this number had risen to 25 percent. In the meantime, this form has become entirely normal. President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, the German Football Association DFB and international companies such as Continental or Messe Frankfurt all take advantage of virtual conference rooms.
    One example of this is the recordings of the Techtextil and Texprocess press conferences at the beginning of 2015, in which viewers had the option to enter their questions via chat.
  2. Another increasingly popular format is the digital web conference, which takes place entirely virtually without an audience on location. This provides an effective means of informing an exclusive group of participants about specific issues without incurring excessive costs and effort, and providing further detail in a web conference with expert talks.
    Thus, a large international group of participants can be reached from anywhere and video recording provides the opportunity to generate content that can also be viewed later on.

The quality of the broadcast and media design of course heavily depend on the budget. From the smallest solution with only one camera and simple streaming to the use of an entire camera team with live editing, external audio input, integration of chat dialogues, inclusion of presentations, etc., the possibilities are virtually limitless. Streaming service providers such as Ustream or GotoMeeting offer numerous options, but free streaming offerings such as “YouTube live” or Google “Hangouts” can also be used to achieve impressive results

These do not serve to replace conventional press releases, but form a very important addition. It makes a big difference to journalists whether they obtain their news directly from the source with extensive background information, as this often offers much more substance than a press release does for their articles. A computer or smartphone with an internet connection and speakers is entirely sufficient as a receiving device.

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