Salvage Canceled Presentations & Conferences with Online Video

Many of us are quickly coming to realize that amid the current concerns around coronavirus COVID-19 transmission, those meetings, presentations, speeches and even conferences on our schedule will likely be canceled if they have not been already. In some cases, a phone or conference call can replace many face-to-face meetings, but from a public relations and marketing perspective, it falls short of the desired impact you want to have. Luckily, live video streaming technology has advanced to the point that you have many opportunities to salvage canceled presentations, speeches and even conferences with live online video.

Whether you look to Facebook Live or YouTube Live for publicly available events or webinars/webcasts for client briefings and presentations, here are a few tips from our experience to both maintain your company’s momentum and exemplify your resilience.

Take That Town Hall or Community Event to Facebook Live

While emails, conference calls and Twitter chats are all potential options, when you still need that face time with a group of people without the option to meet face-to-face, consider Facebook Live. It allows you to share live video and engage in real-time with your followers on social media. That means the ability to answer questions and have open feedback without things devolving into a thousand emails or individual social messages. 

Our team has used Facebook Live to highlight client reports with live Q&A and integrated graphics or even conduct 30-minute panel discussions where all the questions come from online viewers. We’ve even produced live walkthrough tours with professional audio. And our client, Catholic High School for Boys, recently used the technology to broadcast their morning mass amid the school’s closure following the Coronavirus crisis. 

Facebook Live provides a recording of the final event that remains on your page for anyone who missed the event, also allowing you to share it with others by email afterward.

Transform Canceled Conferences Into Virtual Events

Even small conferences get complicated with space reservations, speaker coordination and program development – and that doesn’t even account for all of the travel. While the travel planning is a bust, you can save much of that work by taking the conference online. There are many options here, depending on the time you have to prepare, your appetite for ingenuity and the technical ability of the people on your team. 

One excellent option is to use webinar platforms that allow you to coordinate registration for individual presentations, calendar reminders, links, reminders and follow-up notes. Depending on your service, you could even hold multiple presentations simultaneously just like you were planning, meaning you can simply recycle the existing schedule. Just spin up a microsite to organize all the registrations or add the links for individual webcasts to your existing online schedules.

Presenters – who may still be scattered around the state, country or world – can join each event remotely with the assistance of a coordinator, turn on their webcam and present their slides in real time. They can even take questions. In the past, our team has coordinated webinar presentations that included up to six presenters from four different countries, each with a live video feed and shared presentation deck. And now with platforms such as Zoom, you can even conduct breakout sessions within the wider meeting, coming back together whenever the organizer decides.

It may seem like a lot of moving parts, but these platforms offer the opportunity to highlight key thought leaders in dynamic ways. And like Facebook Live, another great benefit of this strategy is that you’ll still get recordings of all the presentations to share later. As for networking associated with live conferences, you can always set up separate chat rooms to share at the end of presentations where attendees can continue the conversation on their own.

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Get the Presentation Right

An important thing to remember when it comes to online video is that presentation still matters. Speakers don’t have the same adrenaline rush they get from presenting in front of a group of people, but they still need to bring that same energy to their live video webcast, even if they’re doing it from their home office. Consider developing some guidelines to help them with things like lighting, audio and framing for their online appearance if they haven’t done this before. Presentation slides still need to be dynamic as well. 

If you have time, set up media training and/or rehearsals with everyone to make sure they’re comfortable in front of the camera too. We’ve seen some of the greatest in-person speakers struggle when they suddenly find themselves addressing an inanimate camera versus a crowd of excited people. With some practice and your help, they can often adapt to the new virtual presentation environment quickly. 

Quality Matters in Live Video

While you can’t practice complete control over remote webcam video feeds from presenters scattered around the world, you can make sure your principal speakers look and sound great. Consider laptop webcams entry-level for webinar presentations. And while everyone loves to rave about smartphone video quality (and you can do a virtual video webinar from a smartphone on many platforms) it still only looks or sounds good with the right lighting, a dedicated microphone and someone who knows what they’re doing. 

At minimum, develop some live video standards in a user-friendly document and then distribute it to everyone you’re going to put on camera. Network television bookers distribute these whenever they do Skype interviews with guests, but our team has consistently been able to exceed their expectations by replacing webcams and laptop microphones with professional cameras, microphones, studio lighting and high-quality Skype video feeds. That same technical know-how applies to other live online video streaming events like Facebook Live, YouTube or webinars/webcasts as well.

If you want to wow your online presentation or virtual conference, consider tracking down someone who’s done it before and knows what they’re doing. Not all public relations and digital marketing practitioners today have experience incorporating professional video, audio and production elements into live online events, including the incorporation of multiple cameras. Be sure to track down those who have the experience because that kind of quality could absolutely impress your audiences, particularly when they were almost sure the entire thing was going to be called off completely.

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Marketing / Communications

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.