Why Governments Should Live Stream

Why Governments Should Live Stream

The old adage that governments are ‘slow moving beasts’ when it comes to adapting new technology is particularly true in the field of communication. The majority of governments still prefer publicly communicating through traditional media, which is great, but it ignores one of the fastest growing markets, live streaming. In this blog post, I take a close look at why governments should live stream.

Live streaming helps governments share their message directly from the source

Live streaming a governmental message helps:

  • create a direct link between representatives and their audience
  • people see and hear their representatives
  • increase authenticity as the messages come straight from the source

Live streaming helps governments strengthen their brand

Governments have only a few years to take action before the elections are due again. This is a great opportunity for the party in power to strengthen its brand with live streaming because:

  • it is the swiftest way to communicate a PR response on a large scale
  • government representatives can take questions and answer in real-time with a live stream event
  • efforts being made by the government and what happens behind-the-scenes can be shown when it happens

Live streaming video is more engaging and can be targeted

Governments can increase the engagement with their audiences through live video streaming:

  • Facebook stats indicate audiences watch live videos three times longer than ordinary video and also make 10 times more comments
  • The live stream can be  embedded on government websites, Facebook pages and profiles and external websites simultaneously

Live streaming securely can make government staff more connected 

Encrypted live streams with restricted access can allow government departments to:

  • Be more connected across its departments and geographies
  • Perform regular updates by departments which can be shared across the government
  • Allow leadership to communicate challenges, strategy and actions while building unity within the government
  • Encourage participation by representatives who cannot be physically present for meetings and events

Examples of how governments have used live streaming

Facebook Live Stream on C-Span

Democrats live stream gun control vote proceedings to Facebook Live

Just recently in the US, the Democrats were attempting to force a debate on two gun control bills to a vote in the House of Representatives. TV cameras had been covering the proceedings and broadcasting to C-SPAN (the American cable and satellite TV network). When the sit-in began, the house speaker called a recess and ordered the TV cameras to be turned off and cease the feed to C-SPAN as the House was formally in session. However, they couldn’t control the phones the Democrats used to live stream many hours of speeches on gun control bills. The Democrats wanted their messages to be heard by the people and to make them aware of what was happening during their attempt to bring the gun control bills to a vote. Without access to their own feed, C-SPAN started rebroadcasting their Facebook live streams.

President Obama and The White House have embraced live streaming

The White House has a calendar of live events covering various topics such as important speeches (like President Obama’s final State of the Union address) that are streamed live and then offered as video-on-demand, after the fact. Gaining exclusive access to Facebook Live last year, The White House has streamed live events regularly to its own page as well as President Obama’s pages. In the next week, President Obama is scheduled to participate in a Facebook Live discussion with Mark Zuckerberg as part of a conference on technology from emerging markets.

Delivering live streams for government

Governments need their video content strategy and PR strategy to adopt live streaming and make it a critical tool that the government uses for external (public) and internal communication. Delivery of live streams is an important consideration and governments need to seek partners that can:

  • offer high reliability of the stream i.e. the stream is flawless without any technical issues or failure, and in the event there are technical issues there are back-up options setup for a smooth transition
  • maximise reach by publishing stream to all preferred destinations
  • provide support and help prepare in the lead up to critical streams as well as during such streams

If you’re interested in learning more about live streaming for governments or have a few questions, you can contact us here.

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