Going Live: The Future of PR

With technology being the number one driver for PR’s relevance in the era of digital media, it is no surprise that live streaming is taking the industry, and internet, by storm. Periscope, Facebook Live, Instagram Live… the list continues to grow. And since the latest technology has been forecasted as one of 2017’s top PR trends by many industry heavy-weights, brands and practitioners are now being forced to step outside their comfort zone in order to keep up.

According to Twitter’s 2016 Online Video Playbook, live streaming an event increases brand favourability by 63%. Whilst in a survey conducted by Livestream, they found that 80% of respondents would prefer to watch live video from a brand than a read a blog post. These statistics only highlight the publics increasing desire for all things instant, and confirms that live streaming is not a social communications strategy to ignore.

wersm-twitter-buys-periscope-video-streaming-app-657x360source: itbusiness.ca


Interaction – Live streaming provides yet another way for brands to interact with their audience and key stakeholders. This enhanced level of engagement helps build better relationships, as well as attracting more conversation within the streamers social media comments box.

Cost effective – Unlike other video content where production or editing is required, live streaming allows brands to create content without the need to invest heavily. And what makes this format better is that it has all the benefits of being ephemeral, which means it can continue to be shared, downloaded or stored for further content marketing.

Transparent – Transparency within business is often an overlooked value, yet a key quality many customers want from a brand. Going live humanises the brand. By cutting through forced professionalism and scripted responses, companies are able to produce real and compelling content instead.


Quality – Whilst live streaming may be a cheaper way to create video content, this reflects in the quality. The shaky and delayed streams shouldn’t be off-putting to brands practicing, as I’m sure technology will grace us with HD live soon enough. Until then, as long as the internet connection is strong and recording with half-decent equipment, everything else will simply fall into place.

Getting it wrong – Okay, so this is more of a warning than a negative, but use this exciting new medium for exactly what it is designed for. By over-preparing or trying too hard, brands will fail to expose their raw personality in their natural environment, defeating the whole point of going live.

With so many perks, it’s understandable why so many PR professionals are beginning to put the medium on such a high pedestal. With immediacy and authenticity becoming highly sought out qualities within a brand, live streaming is the perfect opportunity for practitioners to bring both consumer and company together. And as for the written word within the world of PR? It remains relevant, for now. But failure to embrace all things live will result in brands being left behind.

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Blog. (2017). 62 Must-Know Live Video Statistics | Livestream. [online] Available at: https://livestream.com/blog/62-must-know-stats-live-video-streaming [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].

Cummings, C. and Cummings, C. (2017). Infographic: Latest Twitter Study Sheds Light on Just How Well Video Is Doing. [online] Adweek.com. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/digital/infographic-latest-twitter-study-sheds-light-just-how-well-video-doing-173661/ [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].


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