Video is a highly engaging format for distributing information and could help cities connect more with residents, says Chris Shields, BinumiPro.
The British government has been entertaining the idea of a US-style text alert system since as far back as 2014. Considering recent events such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the recent floods and, of course, coronavirus, it seems this need is increasing.
Supporters have claimed that if the service had been in place, lives could have been saved, whereas sceptics argue that the technology is prone to attack from nefarious sources and also risks causing mass public panic.
Connectivity has improved exponentially since 2014 and the advent of 5G will boost it further. This has shifted the discussion to using better alternatives to a simple text message.
Connectivity has improved exponentially since 2014 and the advent of 5G will boost it further. This has shifted the discussion to using better alternatives to a simple text message. Video is by far a more engaging format for distributing information than the humble text, as evidenced by the growth in video content on social media. It could bring major benefits to city leaders too.
The media has come under fire recently with accusations of ‘fake news’ dominating coverage of national events such as Brexit and the last US presidential campaign, and the public is rightfully demanding greater levels of transparency at both national and regional government levels.
The filming of local council meetings and news conferences is starting to gain traction, and this could be the first step into a much bigger world of open, inclusive dialogue with citizens.
Certainly, most people engage better when they can put a face to a name or see their politicians in action as opposed to reading about them. A video-led approach can also help allay concerns about political bias in reporting.
Text and video both score highly in terms of immediacy of information, but where video beats text is in the clarity of message and information provided. People simply engage more when they see something rather than read it.
A video from city officials could provide reassurance to citizens during difficult times and emergencies, and make complex information easier to understand and more impactful. It can also create a better sense of community when there is good news to share.
Most people engage better when they can put a face to a name or see their politicians in action.
Further, as the world shuts down in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, conferences, events and business meetings are being cancelled. Video can also help cities, as well as their private partners, to keep communication channels open between each other and with citizens and customers.
Video has perhaps historically been seen as an expensive and logistically onerous communication method but new tools make it much more accessible, supporting the capture of professional-quality clips with a mobile phone, which can then be quickly edited for moderation and brand-compliant approval.
For example, KPMG’s head office in Canada works as a command-and-control centre, maintaining the flow of important communication to those working in other facilities around the globe. Video content is uploaded to a secure cloud platform with ISO 27001 certification, ensuring internal compliance teams have the ability to authorise the content from wherever they are in the world, at any time of day. This process could work similarly within cities to allow government offices and departments to distribute approved information – from meetings and expert interviews to vox pops and event wraps – to the public quickly.
Binumi Pro enables users to shoot and deliver professional on-brand content at a fraction of the cost of traditional video production. All video content is uploaded to a secure cloud platform which allows internal compliance teams to collaborate. See some examples here