Today, many local government organizations are making their broadcasts available to the public on the internet. City council meetings, city boards, and a multitude of commissions from parks and recreation to nuisance abatement are live streaming their sessions online.
Only a decade ago, government broadcasting required access to a public or cable channel along with a staff of AV professionals to organize the process. Now, it’s much easier for local government communications directors, clerks, elected officials, or IT directors to broadcast events.
Why do local governments use live streaming?
Several States and cities require governments to broadcast their meetings to the public. For example, in 2014, New York City passed legislation requiring all community boards to livestream their board meetings. Though many government events are broadcast on public and cable channels, smaller organizations do not always have the resources to be included on these platforms. With the global democratization of live streaming however, it’s much easier for local governments to go live on the internet and reach their constituents.
Provide information and increase engagement
Even though public access channels do broadcast many city council events, the number of people who have access to these channels is decreasing. People, especially the younger generation, are opting to go digital. More people are connected to the internet than ever, and reaching constituents where they are is a good way to increase their engagement. It is easy to gather citizen feedback using the live stream, which gives the audience a voice. In addition, live streaming makes the event available for those who aren’t able to attend in person. As a result, more people are involved in the real-time democratic process, wherever they are.
We live in the era of total marketing, and the political process is no exception. Having a strong digital presence is important to large brands and politicians alike. Political figures and local governments choose to go live to be more connected with their constituents. Even if a government organization isn’t required to broadcast their public sessions, going live is a good way to demonstrate transparency and accountability. It creates a strong direct link between representatives and their audience.
Also see: A Practical Guide to Webcasting