Webcast marketing: Pros and cons

The marketing of Webcast services is seen as necessary but also as something

that could produce unwanted results.

For state organizations that provide Webcast services to government

agencies, advertising Webcast programs is something that needs to be done

but is often one of the forgotten aspects of the process, according to Renee

Klosterman, multimedia production manager for Washington's Department of

Information Services.

"One of the lessons we learned is that people won't just happen to find

their way to the Web site where the video is available," she said. "It's

essential that whoever is the responsible agency work with the [government]

customer's publicity people."

Michael Armstrong, the chief information officer for Des Moines, Iowa,

has quickly learned the same lesson since his city began Webcasting in January.

There hasn't been much marketing of the Webcast facility so far, so there

has not been much business.

"We are trying to cross-market now," he said. "We are doing a series

of short videos for the city cable channel, and we are looking for press

opportunities to help get the message out, as well as producing articles

for our own newsletters. And we'll take advantage of message stuffers with

things such as water bills."

However, not everyone wants to be so aggressive. Cupertino, for one,

is worried about the bandwidth available for Webcasting and what might happen

if demand suddenly explodes because of advertising. The city has 60 simultaneous

video streams available and will be upgrading to 500 streams in the summer.

"We want to be modest about how we introduce Webcasting and get feedback,"

said Pete Coglianese, program director for the City Channel. "Once we evolve

and have more bandwidth, then we'll see what we can do."

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached

at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.


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