As the need for real-time exposure to information grows, government PR and communications professionals should start to re-evaluate their plan of attack for press releases and public announcements. After handling all Granicus PR efforts and working with PIO’s and publicly directors at all levels of government, I’ve come to realize the importance of ensuring your public announcements give audiences something more transparent than just text—linking to a live or archived video is quickly becoming the new standard.
One good example came up yesterday with Womenshealth.gov, part of the U.S. HHS Office on Women's Health, the federal government's resource for women's health information. They issued a news release about the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action” to support breastfeeding. Beyond just giving the public the facts and background details, they also delivered a live webcast of the Surgeon General’s CTA through Granicus, tweeted live about it from the event, and created a flood of re-tweets and buzz about the issue.
Earlier this month, the Aransas House of Representatives also made sure to engage audiences live through video. They convened for the first time in 2011. Despite being snowed in, they issued a news release about the meeting and made sure to encourage the public to watch their proceedings online.
Similarly, the U.S. House Rules Committee also chose to start increasing transparency by streaming their hearings and mark-ups live with Granicus. Since then, the House Rules Committee has webcasted and archived a total of three of their meetings held this month. They are on the cutting edge of information delivery. And it comes at a truely important time in Federal Government when transparency and delivering information in the "right" formats is clearly a hot topic. Under the new House rules, H.RES.5, committees will be required to meet enhanced transparency standards, which includes making “audio and video coverage of committee hearings and meetings” easily accessible to the public. See HouseLive.gov and the House Rules Committee Increase Transparency with Granicus for more information.
Local governments like Mecklenburg County, NC are also doing a good job of keeping citizens aware and engaged in their board meetings live and on-demand through video—and educational PR. Beyond creating buzz about their meeting webcasts on Twitter @MeckCounty, they do a convenient re-cap of the key things that occurred in their commission meetings, the “Commission Capsule,” so citizens can quickly consume the actions and decisions. Not to mention, they have a convenient keyword searchable video portal of meeting information readily available for the public to browse through.
Broadcasting a live event and recording it for on-demand playback does not have to be an overwhelming or expensive task, we specialize in making it easy for government to do this through a variety ofofferings included in our new platform and suites. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board even has a mobile solution to keep their community involved in meetings occurring in various locations. See Gaming Board Gets a Mobile Solution to Increase Access to Meetings.
What other ideas, beyond the standard press release, have you used to successfully keep your citizens informed?