COVID-19 Update

Video Can Provide A Vital Trusted Source Of Information In A Crisis

  • Written by Jim O’Neill, Brightcove
  • Published in Demanding Views

JimAs concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on business around the globe continue to ramp up, it’s never been more obvious that establishing sound business continuity plans is crucial.

In many ways, “business continuity” really is just another way of saying keeping the lines of communications open. And doing so on all levels … to customers, to suppliers, to partners and to employees.

A big part of that is communications delivered digitally, especially video.

As Gartner wrote earlier this month, COVID-19 has the potential to be as disruptive “to an organization’s continuity of operations as a cyber intrusion or natural disaster.” The health crisis, it said, should serve as “a wake-up call to organizations that focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience.”

We’ve already seen, during this crisis, how important information that comes from a “single source of truth,” can be. Misinformation — ranging from scams online to less-than-transparent communications from officials globally — has created confusion and, in many cases, anxiety.

Since the beginning of March, the cadence of industry event cancellations has accelerated, throwing companies’ travel — and sales meetings calendars – into turmoil. But, for a company conversant in video streaming, those cancellations can be opportunities to offer more engaging virtual meetings with interactive demonstrations of technology and product. And, customers can be given a digital record of the meeting to share with others in their company.

Closer to home, having a video link internally that allows core management to communicate with staff can help maintain focus during stressful times, leverage institutional knowledge and provide a touchpoint for employees that may be working remotely for the first time (nearly 50% of American businesses now have remote-work policies, according to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson).

Adopting a video strategy can help event companies supplement offline offerings with online content by live streaming conference tracks and by publishing videos on websites and social media. They also can make that content available on-demand as soon as they happen. Brightcove’s video platform, for instance, can scale to live-stream some of the biggest events in the world, including sports, political elections, and industry conferences.

In Italy, the government has closed all stores but food markets and pharmacies in reaction to COVID-19. But most retailers already were suffering from reduced foot traffic. It’s been a boon for online retailers, as consumers have opted to go online rather than go out to shop. Both brick and mortar retailers with an online presence and dedicated eCommerce sites can benefit from using online video to promote, display and explain their wares. Some, are using video to stream live events, like the Hugo Boss fashion show.

As more communities consider quarantines to help flatten the curve of the virus’s spread, lifestyle and wellness brands can leverage their engagement with at-home customers, helping to spike signups and video usage.

Short of quarantine, experts are suggesting that social isolation also could slow the spread of the virus. And, it’s apparent that people are spending less time away from home. Some governments have banned or at least warned against, large gatherings. It is also a time that government agencies are being asked to communicate with citizens on a nationwide basis. But there are smaller governmental bodies, towns, counties and the like, that also need to reach out to their communities. Live streaming video from officials can provide that trusted source of information that can be critical in a crisis.

During any unexpected situation, brands and organizations need a business continuity plan that includes engaging and informing their customers and employees through offline and online channels.

Brightcove, in an effort to support the business community and to limit disruption where possible, is offering 50 free hours of HD Live for 90 days. If you’d like to learn more about this offer, visit our page here.

Jim O’Neill, is Brightcove’s Principal Analyst, a journalist with more than 30 years of experience, including more than 10 years in the online video space as a writer, editor and analyst.