What Does it Take for a CEO to be Effective in Live Social Video?
Martin Waxman Reviews the Results of Our 2018 Live Video Report
Martin Waxman, CEO of Martin Waxman Communications, again joins Doug Simon to discuss the “How to Integrate Live Social Video into Your 2019 Comms Plan” report. The two touch upon the evolving role of CEO, and how on-camera tendencies can have a major impact on brand authenticity. Martin also sheds light on key trends for successful communication in 2019.
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DOUG: I’m Doug Simon CEO at D.S. Simon Media and I’m here with Martin Waxman, president of Martin Waxman communications, as well as a college professor teaching massive amounts of human beings about communication in a great way. Martin, thanks again for being with us.
MARTIN: Thank you Doug. Always great to talk to you.
DOUG: Yes, so we’ve given you the preliminary results of our social media video survey and we wanted to get a couple of your takeaways. What did you find interesting?
MARTIN: Well one: I found the results fascinating because what it seemed to point to is that the future is live stream video right now a lot of organizations are—it feels like they’re dipping their toes into the water, but there’s so much more potential to do, in order to do that you need to do it well and that I don’t think has ever been easy yet.
DOUG: The stats about CEO engagement in live video it’s already at 40 percent of communicators are working with CEOs engaging them in live video, and you expect that to grow?
MARTIN: Yeah it seems like it’s growing, and at 40 percent it’s still pretty significant, but it underscores the importance of figuring out how communications people can do a different type of training because it’s one thing to media train someone as CEO and to get comfortable. It’s another thing to train them to essentially be you know, the James Corden or the Stephen Colbert of their organization. You know, going out there live, it’s very easy to slip up. You need to make sure you’re authentic, that your personality comes through, that you can pay attention to the lights but also forget about them in the same way, that you look people in the eye. All of those things that maintain credibility and authenticity, and I think not only for advancing kind of soft news or announcements, but it’s a great tool, potentially, in a crisis because you can go out directly to the people you’re trying to reach
DOUG: You covered a lot of ground there, a couple of points to take a deeper dive in there. A lot of it is about how communicators are setting up their CEOs to be successful in live video environments. What I always discuss is there’s one level of skill set on camera where you can be the host of an event, so you’re equivalent to a network news anchor and that’s the performance that’s expected. Another is you can be a talk show host and you’ve got to be versatile able to respond in the moment. Another is you can be a guest, and oftentimes for a CEO being a guest puts them in a position of authority, and does not come with the expectation that they can be a James Corden song and dance person. So you really want to be able to match the skill set of the CEO with the way you present them, so you put them in a position to succeed. Some of the live video stats that are so key: Facebook already is saying that it is three times the engagement of pre-recorded video live also has the benefit of having a live presentation to create excitement and authenticity as well as being chopped up later for use. What were some of the other things that might have caught your interest in the survey?
MARTIN: Well I wasn’t surprised that Facebook was the number one live streaming platform and that YouTube was number two but I was really surprised to see that Twitter was sitting at 4 percent because that seemed really low to me. And one of the things that Twitter has done recently on their mobile platform is they put live stream videos right at the top. So if I’m following an organization or a person and their live streaming, that’s the top of my feed, so it really is encouraging me to tune in. So I think Twitter is maybe an opportunity for organizations, provided their audiences there. But certainly if it’s some kind of news or breaking news, it’s the place to be I think.
DOUG: Yeah and compared to Facebook, Twitter asks you to jump through a couple of extra steps to get live video, especially if you’re trying to integrate it from broadcast. So that might be some of the complexity involved. Facebook, we found, makes it really easy to participate in a live. They’re really pushing and encouraging that. Twitter, it’s being used frequently for live by media themselves but it’s also a great opportunity for behind the scenes action to sort of piggy back on big events that are out there.
MARTIN: Yeah. And I saw you present these results and also your tips at the West Client Summit not too long ago. And one thing that stood out for me, and I had actually a little light bulb went off in my head, that is vertical video—to know where to use vertical video, Facebook video for example or on Instagram because a friend of mine got a new a copy of a new book she wrote. She was unboxing it live and she had her camera set to landscape and that kind of look around in a funny way and no one had the heart to tell her turn your camera. So that’s an important consideration.
DOUG: Yeah I think a key when do you go phone and when do you need Broadcast Production quality, and a key factor in that is if you want to make news with that. While we still have you with us: any final thoughts?
MARTIN: One thing stood out to me and this was again a bit of surprise so I think 86 percent of communicators are using video to increase engagement on social channels. Makes a lot of sense. We know it works but about half that number are using it to engage earned media. And why wouldn’t you provide earned media with some video too because all the platforms. you know, the print outlets or video outlets the video outlets using print so why not provide some great video to them? At least give them another option of content using their story.
DOUG: Yeah I mean I think you’ve made that point. That’s a no brainer. You’ve already got this stuff. You’re creating it but you’re not necessarily thinking of how it can appeal to journalists and create use there, and we know that well over 80 percent of journalists will use video that’s provided to them by third party organizations as is. Thanks again for your awesome insights. Really appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thank you Doug.