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December 7th, 2011

The First Part of Live-Publishing is the Plan

This past weekend, while attending WordCamp Orlando, I was doing there what I’ve been doing quite a bit of lately: Covering the event live, posting updates to Twitter and to the event’s blog as the day went on and sessions progressed.The specifics of how these things play out are pretty well known at this point – live-tweeting isn’t anything new – but having done this more than a few times now I started to think about the lessons that have been learned and how I’m taking those lessons and applying them to what’s coming down the road. And for the sake of brevity I’m going to avoid anything like “Make sure you have some sort of wireless signal” since that’s both a no-brainer and likely an impossibility.
  • An editorial calendar is essential: While spontaneity is a great thing when it comes to bringing the happenings on the show floor to remote audiences, it can’t be overstated how important a planned editorial calendar is. As much as possible it helps to know when certain announcements are being made, when panels or speakers are taking the stage and more. Things can always be removed from that calendar but this helps whoever is covering the event know where they should be, what needs maximum distribution and more.
  • Be prepared for video: Even if it’s not planned for ahead of time have some means to shoot a quick video. At the last two events I’ve been to there’s been an opportunity to steal a minute of someone’s time to do a one-minute video interview. At WCO someone asked a question on Twitter about the font on the t-shirt so I went out, found Jeremy Harrington who designed the shirts and got the full background on the fonts and more. Yeah, it’s a little shaky but that can be adjusted for in the future.
  • Know who’s going to be there: As much as is possible find out what press will be in attendance so you can specifically track what they’re saying and engage with them on Twitter or other social platforms. Same goes for staff, talent or other folks who will be on panels or speaking. Mentioning not just their name but their Twitter handles increases the likelihood that they themselves will respond or amplify the core program messaging.
  • Monitor the conversation: This shouldn’t really need to be said but I’m going to go ahead and do so because it’s just that important. There are all sorts of tools that will allow you to not only publish but to see what’s being said. Not only that but then make the response to or amplification of what other people are saying an integral part of that publishing. Choose moments where, instead of tooting your own horn you amplify someone else’s excitement about an announcement.
  • Plan for the before and plan for the after: What’s being published before and after the event? How are you setting the audience up for what’s to come and how are you putting a ribbon on what’s been published? It’s not enough to plan for the day itself but also for what happens around that event and how you’re providing for regular, more substantive touchpoints inbetween the regular stream of activity updates.
These are just some of the things that allow for a fully-fleshed out publishing plan to be developed. And the better that plan is the more likelihood that not only will be plan be approved but that it will lead to a successful execution.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Publishing Programs

Add Your Comment1 Response to “The First Part of Live-Publishing is the Plan”

Dave C. on December 22nd, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Always be ready with a camera in case a live Tebow breaks out.