Patching the Patchwork

Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

So, as many others I’ve had quite a lot to do over the past six months. As the pandemic struck, some of our projects were immediately canned, and we right away tried to look at the situation as creatively as possible. There’s always a silver lining somewhere. We found ours when combining our many decades long experience of TV production, online production and live events with the sharp increase in demand for high quality live streaming events and content.

We’ve been able to offer clients live streamed and tailor made events and content, with great flexibility with regards to size and scope.  We’ve always worked with a guaranteed level of quality that gives everyone participating a great experience. As such, we’ve not had a lot of downtime over the past months – especially combining all of this with all the other projects we’re working on.

Having been this involved in most aspects of dealing with audiences in this “new normal”, I’ve come to realise some things that are more crucial than ever before. Since our options for reaching audiences are fewer than before, and since the opportunities we have come with a considerable amount of competition for attention, the need for us to be on point from the first step has never been more important. 

Here are three things I’d really like for you to take with you when you start planning your next content, event or live stream.

Collaborate. This is something which has never been more important than now. Find common ground with people who can help you and who you can help (or, of course, hire) in return. Your graphics need to be good – can you find someone who can help you design that? Your sound needs to be of good quality – if you don’t have proper microphones, can you borrow from someone if you don’t want to buy new ones? Can someone come in and handle the chat or the Q&A and help you, so the experience is better for all participants? Basically – at every step, analyse if someone else can do it better than you, or quicker, or more cost efficient, and consider engaging them.

Outreach. This is not the time, I feel, to sit with your ideas and thoughts for yourself, honing them until they are ready to be released to the adoring audiences. You do that, there will be no audiences there when you feel you’re finished. No – this is the time to start involving audiences in your process from the very first moment you feel you can talk about what you’re doing. You want to get reactions in as soon as possible, to be able to reassess your assumptions and your content as quickly as possible. You also want to start building that audience – way before you would actually need them.

Authenticity. Today, this might be what makes you differ from everyone else, in a positive way. While we’re more distanced than ever, we’re also more naked than ever. And no, I don’t mean unintended consequences of believing we’ll have time to take a shower in between Zoom meetings! We’re getting closer to each other, albeit non-physically. Instead, we’re growing closer through communication – which is more revealing than any swimsuit or underwear. As creators and producers, if we can create the personas we can comfortably and truthfully say represent us – i.e., based 100% on who we truly are – we will come across as genuine and believable… because we are. 

What this strange period in time is, in my book, is a time to get our shit together. We have ample opportunities to create, to share, to engage, to produce, and we have the tools and the platforms to do it. Now is the time to take a good look at the patchwork that are the sum of us as creators and see what needs patching next. Good luck!

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