Going Live is Really, Really Hard


For the last two years, I’ve co-led a live broadcast offering for Weber Shandwick.

It’s called – ta da! – GoLive.

GoLive differs from a regular “live stream” in that it is a produced TV-quality show – scripted, multi-camera and with high-quality roll-in content. A GoLive is interactive and embedded within social media. It’s a like a TV show on your website or Facebook page that you can engage with.

We have produced dozens of them and have gone live from three continents.

So that’s why when Apple’s live broadcast yesterday went horrible wrong, I felt that sickening sensation in my belly followed by a utter relief. Relief that the Apple broadcast wasn’t a GoLive. I know that’s terrible, but true. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun.

In case you missed it – and I’m not sure how you could have – Apple’s live broadcast was riddled with mistakes.

The stream kept cutting out. Internal slates popped up in the middle of the broadcast. And for about 30 minutes the Chinese translator spoke simultaneously over the main audio.

It was a disaster.

It’s too late to help Apple, but if you’re going live remember these three tips:

1. Rehearse

2. Rehearse again

3. Rehearse a third time

This means from a content standpoint and from a technical one.

There are so many moving parts in a live broadcast that rehearsing is very important. So is having checklists, best practices and a solid run of show. Something will go wrong – that’s a given. Watch any live broadcast on TV – from the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards – and you’ll see mistakes. But because the directors and producers are experienced and understand live, they know how to disguise them.

That comes from practice.

Going live and real-time communications is what the Internet was made for. It pumps energy, engagement and excitement into any event, product launch or news announcement.

Apple had a rough time of it yesterday, but don’t let that dissuade from going live. It’s worth it.


If Apple can’t stream an iPhone 6 event… via ZDNet

Viewers on Apple live stream… via MarketWatch

More about Weber Shandwick’s GoLive

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