How to Harness the Power of Livestreaming for Your School
by Nailea Ayala Sahagún, on Aug 12, 2021 9:00:00 AM
Recent studies show that engagement is higher with livestreams than with conventional video content. Their popularity makes sense: livestreams can make your audience feel as though they are genuinely present at your event. Seeing something in real time makes a massive difference for viewers’ experience.
School districts have learned a lot about livestreaming ever since the COVID-19 pandemic first shifted classes and events to a virtual format in 2020. Even this year, school districts still found it necessary to establish safety protocols for their graduation ceremonies and plan for a limited number of attendees.
So, what happens to the remaining school community who eagerly wishes to see their child walk across the stage to receive their diploma? Pandemic aside, what happens to parents who cannot make their student’s after-school games or activities? For these cases, we say hello to the world of livestreaming.
What is a livestream?
A livestream is a way to broadcast live feeds via social media platforms. Worldwide, big brands and corporations frequently livestream their events, but local churches and schools are also joining the livestreaming world to make themselves accessible to their communities.
Where should you livestream?
Most social media platforms now have a livestreaming feature, so we recommend you take note of which social media platform is most commonly used within your community. You should also record all livestreams and upload them to YouTube, where the streams can be viewed by those who did not watch live. Adding a livestreaming section to your website is also a great way to share your content with a larger audience, since you can reach people who don’t regularly use social media platforms.
Promoting your livestream
You need to treat your livestream like you do the actual event: promoting it is critical. Be sure to post frequently on social media to inform your community where and when they may view the event. To maximize viewership, plan for a reminder post to go out on social media 10 minutes before your event goes live.
To livestream successfully, you’ll need six key pieces of equipment:
1. Camera: A professional camera will provide a more polished stream than a smartphone. For larger events, we recommend using two cameras to capture different angles. Doing this will give your audience a better viewing experience.
2. Tripod: Having a steady camera is key to a successful livestream. A tripod will not only hold your camera still for an extended period of time but will also allow for smooth transitions whenever you’d like to give your viewers a different angle.
3. Microphones: One of the most important aspects of a livestream is good audio.Though viewers care about the visuals, they really what to hear what’s happening above all. Be sure to have mics ready for all those participating in your livestream.
Pro Tip: Always have extra batteries on hand.
4. Streaming destination: Decide which platform(s) you’ll be streaming to and be sure to set up the necessary login credentials and stream settings before the day of the event.
5. Video encoder: A video encoder gathers the image and sound from your live event and converts it into a livestream suitable for the final streaming destination. To do this, you can download streaming software onto your computer. However, computers have different processing power and may slow down or crash mid-event. The most reliable way to stream is by purchasing a hardware encoder like a YoloBox or the Pearl-2, which allows you to switch, stream, monitor, and record all at once.
6. Reliable internet: Without a good internet connection, there’s no livestream. Be sure to test that the internet uplink is not congested. To mitigate risks, we recommend using a hard-wired connection that allows internet access to pass directly to your encoder through an ethernet cable. Check that all cables are in good condition because any damage may affect your connection.
Streaming has become such a powerful tool that allows school districts to build a stronger sense of community. Busy parents appreciate being able to see their children’s sports games or dance recitals in real time. Livestreaming also helps highlight specific programs that competing school districts may not offer, all while developing a positive image around your school district. Still not sure how to get started? Reach out to Presidio for a consultation.
You can also download a free communications audit checklist here!
Nailea Ayala Sahagún
Nailea is an accomplished public relations professional with experience in education, digital marketing, and multicultural communications. Prior to joining Presidio, Nailea worked with Fortune 500 companies like The Lincoln Motor Company and McDonald’s on media relations, focusing on top–tier Hispanic media. Nailea was also involved in community outreach efforts for statewide campaigns and local measures. Additionally, Nailea holds over 7 years of experience working with school districts in Southern California. Today, Nailea leads Presidio's creative team and handles content creation, social media management, and video production for our clients.