Webcasts miss the social tack

The Special Report on business presentations “Going the distance” (MW May 28) seemed to miss the point. Yes, there is a market for Webcasting and for video conferencing and there is still a market for live events that’s likely to be there for many years yet. But the real point was missed by the article; communication is not about the technology, it is about the techniques.

It is true that the ability to beam the chairman’s face onto a PC screen could be an advantage, although where Francios Mazoudier gets the idea that people are waiting in their thousands to see a message from the chairman beats me.

But there is a risk in this. Suppose the chairman does begin making regular Webcasts. They may be watched initially because they will have a novelty value, but unless the chairman takes care to make sure that every Webcast really communicates, interest will wane very quickly. The risk is that all this technology will only enable companies to generate even more material that fails to communicate.

Psychologists tell us that the social aspects of work are as important as money when it comes to the reasons we go to work. Where will the remote conferencing networks leave us in terms of social contact?

Again, people at work need to talk to each other on an ad-hoc basis. This opportunity to talk through work problems is also one of the factors that will ensure a continuing need for live events. Have a remote meeting and there can be no networking over lunch or in the bar.

Nor will remote conferencing allow an employer to encourage employees to identify with the team of which they are a part.

But the idea that bothers me is the proliferation of Webmeeting dross. There is a real danger that this technology will follow in the steps of Websites. If the evangelists have their way, companies will start using Webmeetings, not because they understand them or have a need for them, but because they can have them.

So what needs to be done? It is very simple. Companies have to figure out what their communication needs are and choose the right technique because it suits the need, not because it is the latest gizmo.

Ken Clayton

Managing director

Michael Rines Communications

Alderton

Northants

Recommended

Center Parcs in UK director hunt

Marketing Week

Center Parcs is looking for a UK sales and marketing director to replace Tom Wright, after his promotion to the new role of marketing sales and development director for Center Parcs Europe. The new marketing director will report to Center Parcs UK managing director Peter Moore and will also work closely with Wright, who is […]

Digital dilemma for advertisers

Marketing Week

This month BSkyB will inaugurate a momentous period in British broadcasting with the launch of the first digital television channels. True, it won’t be as momentous as BSkyB had hoped – thanks to the failure of the satellite TV company to secure a spectacular pay-per-view deal with the Premier League. But no matter: BIB (the […]

Service is key to survival of new media agencies

Marketing Week

It’s been an interesting few months for everyone in new media. Frustrated clients have abandoned bad agencies; hungry marketing services conglomerates have gobbled-up other agencies, with Omnicom’s absorption of Online Magic and CHBi in the UK. And some other mainstream advertising agencies, fearing failure, have hurriedly closed their Web shops. Does all this change indicate […]

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now