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July 12, 2010

One of the best ways to get your message out to your target audience is to hold a virtual press conference. Virtual press conferences give businesses the opportunity to communicate with their virtual community in real time. The live broadcast gives followers the opportunity to feel that they are, or can be, a part of something real.

Take the virtual press conference held by Tiger Woods, for example. Woods' online press conference drew over 683,000 viewers who tuned into see and hear Tiger Woods speak about his latest reputation management scandal, back in November. Or, more recently, the live trial of Lindsay Lohan, which aired last week drawing a record 2.3 million viewers. The trial gave fans and foes alike the opportunity to see Lohan in action and make up their own mind about the starlet and her sentence.

Virtual press conferences can also give viewers the opportunity to interact with you and your company in a moderated space. For example, viewers of the recent Lohan conference were able to participate in a poll which drew over 800,000 responses. Since the poll was organized by Lohan's representatives, the questions were written in a way that garnered support for Lohan and created a participatory experience for her fans. In addition to polls, virtual press conferences also can provide online viewers and online journalists the chance to ask media spokespeople questions -- making it more like old fashioned press conferences, just with a much broader reach. 

Even if not a lot of people attend your virtual press conference, the footage can be posted to YouTube, Vimeo or other online networks for viewers to watch afterwards. They can also be sent out in newsletters and posted to your company's blog or website -- making them a long time part of your company's media campaign and reputation management strategy.


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