By Mike Newman, CEO of Mediaplatform
In the past, I’ve been reluctant to distinguish, arbitrarily, among the webcasting requirements of enterprises based on them being in different verticals. At the end of the day, large, distributed (often public) enterprises share many of the same pressures to communicate internally and externally in a timely, reliable, and highly engaging fashion. A recent trip to Manhattan, however, revealed that while companies everywhere are struggling with post Covid return-to-office policies, financial services companies seem the most uniformly intent upon bringing their workforces back to the office . . . in some cases five days a week.
Employees, many of whom have since relocated out of the City or never had to make a long commute in, are being challenged: Prove you can be as effective out of the office as in it. For content producers, this means demonstrating that physical studio investments can be fully leveraged while preserving distributed, often out-of-office, production capabilities. In short, with so much attention being paid to hybrid audiences, it’s now time to focus on the requirements of hybrid production teams.
One critical component of distributed production is an ability to delegate critical functions, including: i) launching and ending a webcast event; ii) monitoring one or more events including encoder health, slides, and Q&A; iii) assigning live event roles to flip slides, manage a teleprompter, or rotate in other graphical materials; and iv) reviewing Q&A and either forwarding relevant questions and/or preparing responses. Each of these responsibilities should be easy to delegate (and reassign during production if necessary) to an individual member of the team without creating unnecessary production complexity or security risks. Additionally, each of these functions should be cloud-based, and able to be performed anywhere that has a reliable internet connection. Lastly, there is the question of video production which, for your most important shoots, may need to be in an on-site studio with the best cameras, lighting, and sound control. But with the right team and a webcast platform that enables the delegation of responsibilities, it would be extremely easy to implement a model that minimizes the number of required people onsite at any given time and/or enables an in-office rotation.
Forcing people onsite five days a week in Manhattan (and many other big cities) is going to be hugely disruptive. Without opining on the fairness or effectiveness of such mandates, an appropriate consideration should be whether a production team can provide as good a service with at least some members working remotely and, arguably, with the flexibility that comes with avoiding long commutes, potentially a better service that is well aligned with the 24/7 communication requirements of large enterprises. In that vein, look out for our upcoming announcement of a new suite of capabilities design specifically to help our corporate video production teams meet these evolving hybrid production challenges.