Feedback to City of Jacksonville re: Tropical Storm Livestreams!

Hi guys! Great job on Periscope with the storm. This was the fastest way to give you some feedback, via this unlinked page on my site. (By the way, my background is media and Sacramento County PIO, I teach the social media side of disaster communications to responders, and I'm a livestream expert and pioneer on Periscope).

For the news conferences, I'd suggest:
-Cater your scopes to your live audience. Start a couple minutes early and have a PIO intro themselves, what's going to be happening at the news conference, who we'll be hearing from, and welcome your viewers. It needs to be more personal and involve the viewer to at least some degree. See if you can pull the mayor aside after the official news conference ends and get him on scope for some Q and A with residents and the PIO.

-Audio is a big issue with your scopes, I'm noticing. Get a smartphone lavaliere or handheld mic with a TRRS connector and several TRRS extension cords so you can get a mic at the podium. Or get a wireless system that will work with the smartphone. (You NEED the right gear long-term if you're going to do effective livestreaming). Either that, or get the smartphone much much closer, or near a PA speaker. A tighter shot with good audio will aid viewers and shares. Remember you can also pinch the screen to move in tighter, but you lose quality because it's a digital zoom. So the best thing is to place the phone where you need it for a properly-framed view.

Between news conferences, I'd suggest:
-Do some Periscopes and Facebook Live broadcasts that are not official news conferences. This is THE way to actually involve residents, teach and show them what you want them to do, and answer their questions. I'd recommend doing some broadcasts hosted by a PIO and featuring a guest for each one, such as someone from emergency ops talking about having a go-bag ready; someone from public health talking about those issues; etc. etc. Even just a PIO or two conversationally recapping and expanding upon news conference points. These broadcasts don't have to be perfect, so don't sweat it. Viewers respond to and appreciate authentic and real and don't require perfection. Show viewers behind the scenes what's happening and narrate everything so they feel involved and confident in the response effort.

-You can do your livestreams with the EOC as a background, or a step-and-repeat backdrop if you have one, or wheel in a large HDTV monitor and stand beside it. Put a graphic with the storm track on the monitor, or feed it a PowerPoint with bullet points or even a simple graphic with the words "Tropical Storm Update".

-Promote your upcoming Periscope and Facebook Live broadcasts on social media, and post-promote them too. In every broadcast, ask live viewers specifically to SHARE the broadcast containing this critical information and ask them to FOLLOW you on Periscope and SUBSCRIBE to your livestreams on Facebook Live. You'll get a LOT more viewers if you do those things. Remember, Periscope feeds Twitter, and your scopes autoplay, so use hashtags in the title. And Facebook's algorithim pushes out live videos like crazy, far more than any standard text or graphic post, so I'd use FB Live to the hilt.

If you use these techniques with livestreaming, your communications efforts will stand out above almost everyone else, you will reach more people, and residents who watch will be safer! Remember that livestreaming gives YOU the power to control the message, host your OWN shows, and have more impact.

Hope this helps,

Kerry Shearer