Civic Participation Webcasting Guidebook

First Edition

Published by the International Centre of Excelence for Local eDemocracy, Uniteed Kingdom © 2007 www.icele.org

About this guidebook
This guide has been complied from a number of sources including industry experts on webcasting with a particular focus on civic participation. Many of the examples are based on the experiences of a government backed pilot into webcasting in the public sector. The International Centre of Excellence for Local eDemocracy (ICELE) has a number of resources for Local Authorities around good practice in eDemocracy and is a continuation of the UK government funded Local eDemocracy National Project. This guide provides advice for civic leaders and councils regarding best practice in relation to the subject matter.

ICELE would like to thank a number of people for their contributions to this guide:Catherine Howe: Public-i RSe consulting North East Connects Ian Franklyn: Multimedia Strategies Lorraine Trenchard: London Borough of Lewisham Fraser Henderson, Lichfield District Councill

Preface
Video is just one of the technologies whose use is massively on the
increase on many websites as a result of the rapid increases in broadband take-up. Local authorities who are using video are finding that it matches many people’s preferences in terms of the format of information and creates new and engaging ways of communicating with the public. Webcasting is broadcasting video over the Internet. In a local authority context, it usually means broadcasting council meetings, although increasingly councils are using it to provide coverage of civic events and to convey public service messages. Viewers can watch meetings online, like a television broadcast, through their computer, either live or on demand at another more convenient time. Webcasts can be edited and can have additional information and functionality added, for example a meeting can be indexed by agenda item so that the viewer can choose to only watch sections that they’re interested in. Useful information can be displayed alongside the broadcast window, such as relevant reports or presentations, or links to information on the people speaking. Live meetings can be run so that online viewers can type in real-time comments which are sent to the Council. Webcasting is the most effective way of distributing video to website users. In simple terms it is the broadcast of audio and video over the internet. Unlike a web-cam it provides a moving image with synchronised audio and video. Webcasts can be produced in such a way as to enable viewers with older, dial-up internet connections to view them – however picture quality is largely dependent on the speed of the recipients’ internet connection so viewers with a better connection will see better results. As a well established technology webcasting software and hardware is now accessible and useable for most people and does not require specialist technicians to capture the webcast content. There are, however, many different ways in which you may want to go about webcasting. Like most eDemocracy projects there are as many nontechnical as technical project considerations to think about. Past local authority experiences provide some guidance as to the best ways of using this technology as an effective communication tool. This guide shares that good practice.

Contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING......................1 Barriers to entry ...............................................................................2 Lack of understanding................................................................2 Cost...........................................................................................3 Response from the public ..........................................................4 Accessibility ...............................................................................4 Connectivity ...............................................................................4 Network infrastructure ................................................................5 Firewalls ....................................................................................5 Video pluggins ...........................................................................5 CODECs ...................................................................................5 User based barriers to entry ............................................................6 Technical literacty ......................................................................6 Special Needs ...........................................................................6 Resources .................................................................................6 Risk ...........................................................................................6 Webcasting ownership ...............................................................7 Inter-departmental coordination .................................................7 Transparent government ............................................................7 Early considerations ........................................................................8 Ease of use ...............................................................................8 Accessibility ...............................................................................8 Adaptability ................................................................................9 Interactivity ................................................................................9 Network issues and bandwidth................................................. 10 Security ................................................................................... 10 Content.................................................................................... 10 Management and support ........................................................ 11 Cost......................................................................................... 12 Features .................................................................................. 12 Benefits .......................................................................................... 15

Types of webcasts ......................................................................... 17 Chamber meetings / Committee meetings................................ 18 General public announcements................................................ 18 Public enquiries ....................................................................... 18 Online surgeries ...................................................................... 19 Promoting council and public services...................................... 19 Weddings and civil ceremonies ................................................ 20 Internal council communications .............................................. 20 Online learning ........................................................................ 21 Community service and minority groups ................................... 21 For profit by renting services at conferences ............................ 21 Staff & resource ....................................................................... 22 Getting support ........................................................................ 23 Is there a business case? ........................................................ 24 CHAPTER TWO: BUILDING A STRATEGY .................................... 25 Steps to adoption..................................................................... 26 Content Strategy...................................................................... 28 Strategy Workflow.......................................................................... 30 CHAPTER THREE: INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY....... 39 What is the webcasting process? ............................................. 40 Audio only ............................................................................... 40 Video only ............................................................................... 41 Audio and Video interactive multimedia webcasts .................... 42 The webcasting process ................................................................ 43 The webcast player.................................................................. 45 CHAPTER FOUR: WEBCASTING FORMAL MEETINGS................ 48 Meeting Organisers ................................................................. 50 Meeting Participants ................................................................ 50 Meeting Chairs ........................................................................ 52 Meeting Audience .................................................................... 54 CHAPTER FIVE: WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY ........... 55

CHAPTER SIX: WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS ............... 58 Briefings from the Leader or Chief Executive............................ 59 Consultation process support ................................................... 60 Introductions from key staff ...................................................... 60 Content creation ...................................................................... 60 The stickines factor .................................................................. 61 CHAPTER SEVEN: EVALUATION .................................................. 64 Improvement ........................................................................... 65 Statistics .................................................................................. 66 Registration ............................................................................. 67 Audience satisfaction ............................................................... 68 Making use of the statistics ...................................................... 68 CHAPTER EIGHT: ENGAGING THE PUBLIC ................................. 69 Marketing ................................................................................ 70 Calls to action .......................................................................... 71 CHAPTER NINE: VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING ................ 72 Viewing the output ................................................................... 73 System Checker ...................................................................... 75 CHAPTER TEN: PORTABLE SOLUTIONS ..................................... 77 Lewisham Webcasting Project Objectives ................................ 78

APPENDIX ONE: Further Reading ................................................. 79 Documents .............................................................................. 79 Title ......................................................................................... 79 Author ..................................................................................... 79 Location................................................................................... 79 Websites ................................................................................. 80 Title ......................................................................................... 80 Description .............................................................................. 80 Location................................................................................... 80

APPENDIX TWO: Detailed checklists ............................................ 81 Deciding to webcast ................................................................. 82 Is the content suitable? ............................................................ 82 Is there a budget available? ..................................................... 83 Appointing a supplier ............................................................... 83 The Venue: General Assesment .............................................. 85 Is there sufficient connectivity on-site? ..................................... 86 Is there sufficient power available? .......................................... 87 Is the lighting suitable? ............................................................ 88 How will audio be provided? .................................................... 89 Is there adequate access to the venue? ................................... 90 Identifying the audience ................................................................ 91 Has the potential audience been identified? ............................. 91 Before the webcast ........................................................................ 92 Marketing the webcast ............................................................. 92 Define the project team ............................................................ 93 Setting-up feedback routes ...................................................... 94 Preparing materials.................................................................. 95 Agree room layout ................................................................... 96 Setting up at the venue .................................................................. 97 List of equipment at the event .................................................. 97 Data protection / Legal issues .................................................. 98 Managing the webcast ............................................................. 99 Setting-up for the remote viewing ........................................... 100 Preparing the venue .............................................................. 102 During the event........................................................................... 103 Communication protocols....................................................... 103 Monitoring during the webcast ............................................... 104 Contingency plan for connection problems ............................. 105

After the webcast ......................................................................... 107 Follow-up after the event ....................................................... 107 Pre-event test plans ..................................................................... 108 Webcast event ....................................................................... 108 Remote viewing ..................................................................... 109 APPENDIX THREE: Webcasting protocol from Croydon ........... 110

INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING
Webcasting is a way of delivering recorded and/or live audio and video content over a network (usually the internet or intranet). Live events are broadcast to online users as they happen in ‘real time’. After the event the content can be made available for access at anytime as ‘ondemand’ webcasts. Content can also be pre-recorded and webcast ‘as live’. This happens frequently on public radio when a DJ will prerecord a session and then it is presented as a live broadcast. This is a useful technique when clients need to rehearse presentations or edit content. An advantage of webcasting over other broadcast techniques is the fact that graphics and text can be synchronised to video and audio. This increases understanding through visual representation while increasing accessibility for Special Needs users by allowing captions and transcripts to be synchronised alongside the media. Webcasting is also interactive, with users typically sending in comments and questions via a text tool of some kind. It is also possible to connect standard communication tools, such as webcams, Voice-over-IP, Video Conference Systems, and telephone hubs to a webcast system so that the audience and event contributors can participate in the webcast from a remote location. In essence, webcasting is both a broadcast tool as well as a point to point communication tool.

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Barriers to entry
The aim of this section is to outline obstacles that prevent councils from adopting webcasting as a strategy for e-democracy.

Lack of understanding
There is a common misconception that webcasting is simply TV on the internet. This misconception has been very damaging to webcasting because as a result, users are disappointed with quality and many of the interactive multimedia attributes of webcasting are ignored. Webcasting is one-to-one or one-to-many, interactive tool. It allows any producer to create and broadcast content to any consumer who has internet connection in real time. This content can be as simple as an audio narrative or as complex as a video presentation complete with synchronised graphics, multiple choice questions and instant chat. It is one of the few methods of communication that combines compelling multimedia delivery with real time exchange of information. When developing a webcasting strategy, consider the use of multiple media; the ability for the audience to participate through questions, comment and voting; the re-use of ‘shelved’ content and pre-recorded content; and the effectiveness of real time communication with an online audience. The combination of interactivity, live delivery and multimedia makes webcasting a very powerful weapon in any council’s communication armoury. See the document ‘The role of webcasting within councils’ for more information about webcasting application. In order to improve webcasting understanding and to encourage its inclusion in strategic planning, a council can take a number of steps: 1. Circulate a short ‘Introduction to Webcasting’ document to all departments, focusing on key attributes. An example can be found in Document 6 of this adoption package. 2. Invite a webcasting provider to come in to present to those who have expressed an interest in webcasting. Most webcasting companies would do this for free and so it’s a good way to get hands on feel for how webcasting works, what it costs and how it could be used within the council.

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3. Do a trial webcast either by leasing DIY equipment or have a third party contractor produce a webcast for you. It’s a good idea to get involved with every step, shadowing the contractor to see what is involved, how issues are overcome and just how all elements come together

Cost
Councils often site cost as being a primary reason for not adopting webcasting. A simple numbers exercise shows that a fairly modest, but imaginative application of webcasting leads to a low cost method for involving the public in council affairs and services. Webcasts can be produced in-house using special ‘DIY’ systems or contracted to a specialist webcasting company. So the first concern is deciding which option to invest in. The cost of a contracted, multicamera live webcast is often in the region of £3,000 - £6,000 per event, depending on needs. If 500 users participate in a key online event, the average cost per user is £6-12. For those councils wishing to webcast on a more frequent basis, the only realistic option is to invest in a DIY solution and use it as much as possible. The cost of a DIY webcasting system is in the region of £15,000 - £20,000 per annum, depending on AV requirements. A council’s first year webcasts could be as follows: § § 5 key events per year with a total annual audience of 2,500 30 committee meetings per year with an annual audience of 1,500 § 100 miscellaneous webcasts (workshops, announcements, meetings, and presentations etc) per year with a total annual audience of 5,000 The total number of users would be approximately 9,000 a year.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING Based on the average cost of a contracted webcast, this would cost between £54,000 and £108,000 per year. By adopting a DIY solution, the costs are fixed at £15,000 - £20,000 giving an average webcast cost of £1.60 to £2.20 per user.

Response from the public
All too often, local authorities’ site poor take up from the public as being a reason why they do not webcast. In the vast majority of cases this is because marketing is poor or non-existent. Many members of the public don’t even know what webcasting is so it is little wonder there are so few viewers to most webcasts. For a surprising number of councils, it was necessary to type ‘webcast’ into the search engine to find webcast. Without mention of why the public should attend, what benefits they can expect and how they can participate, it is little wonder that viewing figures are low. Good take up of a Webcasting solution will require marketing – both through the website and ‘non-e’ channels such as posters and bills.

Accessibility
As demonstrated in the previous section, webcasting can only be justified if the public and employees view the webcasts. All too often, users are unable to access webcasts and consequently, the viewing figures are low, the average production costs are high, and the justification for not webcasting is confirmed. Therefore, one of the primary barriers to overcome is accessibility and this can be divided into Technical Accessibility and User Accessibility.

Connectivity
If there is not enough bandwidth from the broadcast venue or on the user’s own internet connection, the video quality will be very poor and the end user will stop viewing. If the connection is unreliable or contended (such as ADSL), the line may drop out and the webcast will be lost.

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Network infrastructure
Most IT departments are anti-webcasting as they feel too much bandwidth is consumed and viewers on the council network could watch and download inappropriate content. Therefore, IT departments often block webcasts. Private networks use dynamic IP addresses which are constantly changing. A webcasting system uses and encoding computer which must connect to servers on the public domain. Network configurations often prevent the server from ‘seeing’ the encoder and therefore a connection cannot be established.

Firewalls
If the end user is behind a firewall, the video stream could be blocked, thus preventing the user from accessing the webcast.

Video pluggins
In order to watch a webcast, a user needs to have a media player installed on the computer. The most common media players include Real Media Player and Windows Media Player.

CODECs
Webcasts are compressed files that need to be ‘decompressed’ for playback. This ‘decompression’ takes place at the Media Player. If the original video has been compressed using new CODECs, and the Media Player on the user’s computer is using old CODECs, the Media Player automatically tries to install the latest CODECs from the internet so that the video file will play. If the user if on a Apple and/or behind a firewall, this may not be possible and access to the webcast is denied.

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User based barriers to entry
Technical literacty
Many users of the internet are now familiar with webcasting, but for those who have never watched a webcast before, this can be a daunting challenge. In most cases these days, the user simply has to click on a ‘watch webcast’ link. But if the user has a technical issue (see above), unless they are reasonably confident about installing a plug in, or amending a firewall, they simply do not gain access to the webcast.

Special Needs
As outlined in the Disabilities Discrimination Act (DDA), all ‘reasonable effort’ must be made to make content accessible to those with special needs. Although this is perfectly achievable using modern webcasting technologies, many councils who have top accessibility ratings are disinclined to add webcasts to their websites because they feel it an ‘accessibility’ minefield.

Resources
Many councils’ feel that webcasting is resource intensive because it takes a great deal of time and money to prepare, produce and manage webcasting. This is one of the primary reasons for councils outsourcing webcasts rather then producing them in-house. For those considering a DIY solution, at least 2 people need to know how to operate the webcasting system. This can place a burden on personnel as well as budget.

Risk
Many implementers have experienced or witnessed considerable issues related to webcasts. Common issues include poor broadcast quality, complete broadcast drop out as a result of network failure, poor sound engineering, inability to synchronise PowerPoint slides, inability for the audience to access the webcast to name a few. As webcasting is live, involves key stakeholders within council and is associated with technical problems, it is perceived as being very high risk.

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Webcasting ownership
In general, councils do not recruit dedicated webcast managers and therefore this role must be delegated to a department or individual. In many cases, this department or individual is reluctant to expose themselves to the high profile risk associated with webcasting and therefore is it very difficult to find a ‘webcast’ champion within councils.

Inter-departmental coordination
There are many departments within a council who would benefit from having access to a webcasting service, but due to lack of information and exposure, many departments are not aware of the webcasting benefits, or that there is a council webcasting capability at all. There are huge incentives in establishing inter-departmental collaboration. Not only could resources be shared and investment justified, it would mean a greater volume and variety of webcasts available to the general public. This would raise webcasting awareness, allow for ‘cross-marketing’ of webcast events, and consolidate skills and resources dedicated to webcasting.

Transparent government
Despite the efforts of DCLG to encourage councils to adopt new technologies and to be more transparent in the eyes of the public, there is often reluctance from councilors to embrace webcasting because it exposes the council and individuals within the council to direct public scrutiny. Even when all other barriers have been overcome, the ultimate decision rests with the councilors and in some cases they are intimidated by the prospect of live transmission and direct interaction with the public.

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Early considerations
As needs vary from council to council, outlined here are some of the more pressing concerns gathered from research to-date.

Ease of use
Councils wish to have complete control over the webcasting process and recognise that contracting a third party provider is both costly and inflexible. As resources are limited, the system should be operated by 1 person. This applies to all councils no matter the size or complexity of the webcast project. In order to justify the system it is important to get maximum use from it. Therefore any person, no matter how technically literate, should be able to manage and produce a webcast.

Accessibility
Councils must adhere to the guidelines recommended in the DDA of 1995, namely ‘all reasonable effort’ must be made to make all content accessible by Special Needs users. The system must therefore be designed so that the user interface complies with DDA regulations and is within the WAI rating. In addition to HTML design practice, this means that media should be accompanied by a text version of the content, whether in full (transcript) or part (caption). The system must allow captions to be inserted under the video and for users to access transcripts of the webcasts if available. Users should be provided with clear instructions on how to access the webcasts and whether or not their computers will allow them to do so. The system should have a mechanism for self-diagnosis and automatic link to support.

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Adaptability
Most councils wish to broadcast meetings live directly from the council chamber while others wish to webcast from a variety of committee rooms within the same facility. Others have a need to webcast from a remote location such as a school, civic centre or such like. The system must be portable and be compliant with a wide range of AV systems. Whenever PowerPoint slides are used in a presentation, they must be made available to the online audience. The webcast must sychronise PowerPoint slides and graphics to the video or audio. Councils wishing to attract local investment have expressed a need to produce promotion and information videos as well as broadcast local events. This means pre-recorded video needs to be encoded and made available on the website. The system must therefore allow a variety of different formats to be connected to the system, such as DVD, VHS, Mini DV and Beta SP players. An interest has been expressed in using webcasting for training purposes, both for the public learning courses, and also as an internal resource for employee training. This will mean the webcasts will need to be broadcast on intranets as well as internets. The system needs to provide the council with the tools to quickly create informative, interactive learning applications to include multimedia presentations and multiple choice questionnaires if needed. The larger councils usually wish to integrate the webcasting system into their AV system and therefore do not require cameras or audio systems. The system must therefore be offered with or without AV equipment.

Interactivity
If the online audience needs to participate in the debate or to question a speaker, they need instant interactive tools to do so. During debates the venue audience may be asked to vote. The online audience must be given the same opportunity to do so and therefore a voting or polling system needs to be provided.

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Network issues and bandwidth
Connectivity has been a major consideration both for sending and receiving webcast content. The system therefore needs to offer a variety of connectivity options from source to server and from server to user and these needs will differ for each council. In addition to providing a variety of different connectivity options, consideration must be given to bandwidth consumption on a council’s network. Councils wish to webcast whenever they feel like it without having to notify the webcast service provider. Currently all webcasting solutions require the council to telephone and book bandwidth for live broadcasting. This greatly restricts flexibility of use.

Security
Councils are also concerned about security issues. Streaming protocols are often prevented from penetrating firewalls. Streaming protocols must be compliant with network standards where possible and the user, if behind a firewall, must be alerted to the fact they may not be able to view the content. Although individual councils may be willing to reconfigure their firewalls, very often IT departments prevent network users accessing streamed content because of bandwidth concerns and downloading ‘inappropriate’ content. The system therefore needs to have a ‘restricted access’ option to allow allocated content only to pass through the firewalls.

Content
In order to make the webcasts as compelling and as informative as possible, speaker profiles, event agenda and other supporting information should be made available both during and after the event. As most events could take between 2 and 3 hours, it is unreasonable to expect a user to watch the entire event as an archive. Therefore a search engine and index menu needs to be made available so that the user can quickly find and retrieve relevant content.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING Some councils have content created in the past, such as training videos and promotion videos. There is therefore a need to allow councils to incorporate pre-recorded content into the webcasting initiative.

Management and support
In order to measure the success of the webcasts, the council must be able to view user statistics for each event. Statistics must be made available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For webcasts requiring restricted access, the operator needs to be able to set up password protected gateways. This is particularly important for internal communications. At anytime, the manager needs to be able to see who accessed content. This facilitates marketing and gives a clear indication of webcasting success. For the interactive features, the management needs to be able to see responses as they come in and to keep these responses on a database for future reference. If for some reason the council is unable to produce a webcast, an immediate support service needs to be available to make sure the webcast is produced without fail. Ideally the system must have a remote access system in place so webcasts can be produced remotely. In the early stages of webcasting, most councils do not know how much hosting they will need as they are unsure about audience size and number of events. The hosting system must be flexible to adjust to the changing demands.

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Cost
As the councils need to budget well in advance for any investment they wish to make, the system must have a fixed cost for the duration of the year. For smaller councils, the cost of investing in a dedicated, integrated system is too great to be born alone. In this case, the councils would prefer to share systems in order to share cost. Some councils would rather purchase hardware outright, while others prefer to lease.

Features
A list of essential and desireable fearures is provided below. Use this to evaluate webcasting solutions:Essential features The solution can broadcast live Webcasts a. The council can upload live video streams from the Webcasting equipment Any webcasting solution must include a combination of hardware and software that allow the council to record a meeting and simultaneously upload it to a website.

b. The video steam is broadcast in real time over the internet An end user should be able to watch the meeting in real time, or almost-real-time.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING The Webcasting equipment and software is easy to use for the council a. The council user can set up the hardware with a small amount of training If the solution is portable, a council officer who is not familiar with webcasting equipment should be able to set it up easily with a couple of hours of instruction. This includes making the webcast available to internet viewers.

b. The Webcasting equipment is portable (if it is not built into a meeting room) c. A portable solution means that the equipment can be used in a number of meeting rooms.

Detailed technical knowledge is not required to run live Webcasts, upload recorded Webcasts or edit other content on the Webcasting site The entire solution should be accessible to nonICT staff.

The end user can navigate and use the Webcasting system easily a. A calendar of upcoming Webcasts is available This should be prominent on the webcasting home page, so that users are aware of meetings that they can watch in the future as well as recorded Webcasts.

b. Links to other relevant documents or reports accessible from the council’s corporate website are available Users have the opportunity to research the background to a decision that they're interested in.

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Desirable features The end user can participate in meetings a. A real-time ‘chat-room’ function allows end users to contribute their views to an officer in a live meeting This helps narrow the distinction between citizens that attend council meetings in person and those that view Webcasts.

b. End users can comment on meetings Citizens who have questions or comments about meetings should have a simple channel for communication with the council. Comments an be picked up and responded to either during live meetings or after the meeting.

The solution can broadcast recorded Webcasts a. The council can upload pre-recorded video files, which are stored on the Webcasting site’s server This allows users to watch meetings that they were unable to see in real-time due to other commitments.

b. The council can add index points to recorded Webcasts to help end users find a specific point in a meeting Most viewers will only be interested in a specific part of a council meeting. An index allows a user to skip straight to that point rather than watching the entire meeting.

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Benefits
Webcasting has to date been applied by Local Authorities to support two main strategic agendas: · · Strategic communication Democratic renewal

Most Local Authorities have tended to concentrate on one or other of these agendas – at least as a first step – and there are common benefits in the use of webcasting for both of these areas:

· ·

It provides information in the format of choice for most residents – video It makes information accessible to residents who are not confident with the written word – either because of language or literacy barriers It’s a cost effective way of communicating directly with your residents without the filter of the media – taking direct control of your message It addresses viewers growing expectations of the functionality they will find on websites It enhances internal communication It can make your website more visually exciting and engaging Making decision making process more transparent Open and accessible meetings - anyone can watch and interact Increase familiarity with technology An archive of webcasts means meeting can be re-visited Meet DDA requirements e.g. alternative access (reasonable adjustment) to meetings Address social exclusion issues – webcasts can be watched from anywhere at anytime.

·

· · · · · · · · ·

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING Use of webcasting for strategic communication builds on work already going on in this area to use new technologies in order to reach residents more effectively. As websites evolve and broadband becomes more ubiquitous use of multimedia is becoming increasingly common. Examples of uses of webcasting in this would be:

· · · ·

for executive briefings – short clips from senior members and officers on important issues providing general summaries of important issues providing background information and promotional content for local services and initiatives, crisis communication (this includes the audit record of available knowledge and actions which may be vital after the event as evidence) internal communication across different sites.

·

The private and entertainment sectors are already making extensive use of webcasting in these ways.

Democratic renewal is in many ways a more exciting application of tools such as webcasting. There is a strong starting position for a process of re-engagement of the electorate which is to say that the first steps need to be twofold – making the public more informed in the democratic process and engendering an atmosphere of trust to encourage them to start applying this knowledge. Activities such as the webcasting of meetings, consultation briefings and community updates develop trust by demonstrating transparency and showing the people involved in the process. By developing this further and enabling community groups to webcast for themselves this openness and transparency is pushed even further. For instance webcasting could also be used for “on site” progress reports on significant items that will be of interest to residents e.g. a Leisure Centre or Materials Recovery Facility being built.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING Provision of services There is a third area where webcasting is starting to make an impact – in the provision of services. This covers a variety of ideas such as internal training, webcasting of civic ceremonies (for example weddings or citizenship ceremonies) and the supply of webcasting services to third parties such as Local Strategic Partners. As Local Authorities start to take the lead on these kinds of technologies there are increasing opportunities to use them in a more commercial way.

Types of webcasts
Despite the different types of content it is possible to define five core webcast formats that are being used by Local Government. These include: · · · · · · Formal meetings (key public meetings) Public enquiries Meetings in the community Webcasting of clips and briefings (for both internal and external audiences) Marketing or consultation videos Youth engagement projects

The first three are all being regularly created by Local Authorities and this document describes these in more detail. The fourth format and fifth formats are not covered by this document. The fourth format is currently more likely to be outsourced to a production company rather than created in-house by a Local Authority. The fifth format is being used by youth workers and used video to work with young people around issues which matter to them – it’s a big area and one where the use of video is growing rapidly.

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Chamber meetings / Committee meetings
The most common application of webcasting within councils is in the live broadcasting of meetings from the council chambers. Content various significantly from council to council but there is some likelihood that committees will invite in specialists and require the use of supporting assets such as PowerPoint slides, photos and graphics. To this end, is favorable to provide the public with either video and/or audio coverage supported by synchronised PowerPoints. Committee meetings may invoke reactions from the public and indeed, this may be encouraged. If this is the case, then the decision may be made to allow the public to send in questions to the committee members and/or to vote on outcomes.

General public announcements
Webcasting is a very efficient method of explaining to the public about changes to policy, announcing new developments and investment, and generally keeping the public up-to-date on council current affairs. So if for example, there has been a decision to raise council tax, the mayor could explain in person why this is happening and the benefits to the public. This goes along way to generating confidence within the public. Most announcement type webcasts only require single camera coverage and can be pre-recorded. This is a very simple and effective method of webcasting.

Public enquiries
For contentious issues and for scenarios where the public are invited to attend meetings and to express views and concerns, webcasting is the ideal method for reaching a far wider cross section of the community. As the enquiries are saved, along with the questions, comments and votes from the online audience, webcasting is a very efficient method of archiving valuable content that can be referred to by council staff, the public and the media.

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Online surgeries
In addition to conducting face to face surgeries with individual members of the public, councilors could hold online surgeries with individuals or groups. Councilors could announce an online surgery and request members of the public e-mail to reserve a slot. The schedule can be divided into group or private sessions. Members of the public can send in questions and comments in real time directly to the councilor.

Promoting council and public services
Councils could make greater use of webcasting as a means to promote services and community attractions. Examples include: · Business - Councils could create video footage of the benefits of locating a business to the region. These benefits may include logistics, tax incentives, local skills and so on. It may be possible to find a commercial sponsor such as a local recruitment company or haulage firm to finance the production. Tourism – Many regions rely on tourism so why not create videos showcasing the attractions. Once again, a commercial sponsor could finance the production.

·

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Weddings and civil ceremonies
Webcasting weddings and civil ceremonies is an excellent method of generating revenue for the council and this use of webcasting could finance the entire annual webcasting needs of the council. Fixed cameras can easily be set up in the Registrars office and, using a DIY webcasting system, the images webcast live to family and friends. The archive would then be available to download from the website, and/or kept on a ‘weddings’ archive section of the website for a few months. If a council charged £50 for a wedding webcast and conducted 1,000 weddings a year, this would generate £50,000. Considering a DIY webcast system costs in the region of £15,000 – £20,000 a year, it is easy to see what the return could be. If you add sponsorship revenue to this amount (by placing a banner advert of a local restaurant on the website for example), the return on investment could be doubled.

Internal council communications
Many councils have regionally dispersed offices and find it hard to maintain close contact between members of staff and departments. Many councils are part of larger, regional stakeholder groups and have merged certain services for efficiency. Webcasting is an excellent internal communications tool that binds these groups together. If a department or council wants to make a change that will impact others because of dependencies, logistics or joint resources, inviting the other departments or neighbouring councils to a live, interactive, multimedia webcast will not only raise awareness and understanding, it will demonstrate thoughtfulness and a desire for effective communication. Webcasts do not have to be complex; they can be as simple as a single camera coverage or audio broadcast with PowerPoint.

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Online learning
Many councils hold course for members of the public on subjects ranging from fixing the tap, filling in benefit claims, computer literacy and how to be a better parent. By simply placing a camera in the room and recording a workshop, this valuable content can be made available to anyone at anytime. For council staff, webcasting can be used for induction training and for Continuing Progressive Development. The production costs are not great. All that is required is a recording of the next training course being held within the council. This can then go on the intranet and be available for everyone as a pre-course taster, support during the course and for revision.

Community service and minority groups
Community groups within the council, such as youth groups, single parents, youth offenders, senior citizens and refugee groups could make use of webcasting services provided by the council. These community groups are often marginalised because of accessibility, special needs, finance and language issues. These marginal groups can achieve greater social inclusion through the internet as both producers and consumers. As producers, they can communicate their views and needs to the public and to the council. As consumers, they can benefit from content webcast for them by the council, such as training course and help packages designed with their specific needs in mind.

For profit by renting services at conferences
Many councils have excellent conference and event resources available to them. In the commercial sector it is becoming standard practice for conference centres to webcast the events that are taking place at the venue. As a revenue generating strategy, it would be easy enough for a council to include webcasting as either a value add or chargeable service. Considering that a very basic webcast costs upwards of £1,500 an event, this could be a useful source of income for councils.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING

Staff & resource
Webcasting can be approached as a one-off activity for special events, however if you have more than a few relevant events then it can be more cost effective to equip staff to carry out webcasts themselves. This makes it easier for webcasting to become part of the ongoing operation of the Council. It’s important not to underestimate the resources (especially people) required to webcast effectively. Levels of resourcing will of course depend on the volumes of webcasting that is being done. It is reasonable to expect that each webcast will require an additional member of staff at the event being webcast as well as some preparation work. The other area where resource is required is in marketing the webcasts as it is important to make sure that they are pushed effectively to the public in order to achieve significant viewership. Training is essential and initial training should be followed by regular practice/refreshers to build up a pool of expertise amongst staff, and links should be made with the relevant user forums to share information and experience with other authorities. As with any project webcasting needs the support of both members and officers in order to work well. From the Council’s who are already using webcasting on a regular basis it is clear that the most effective projects draw on a cross departmental team. The project is probably best led either by democratic services or by communications, depending on the strategic emphasis for the project. However support is required from both these groups as well as from the IT department. The eGovernment officer and member should also be involved and if there is a physical install then the facilities team will need to be included.

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING

Getting support
One of the first challenges a webcasting project can face is in establishing ownership and a ‘home’ for the project. As happened with early website projects, the webcasting can often bounce between different departments. As mentioned, the experience of Local Authorities to date has been that webcasting sits most comfortably either with Democratic Services or with Communications departments. Getting ownership and support for webcasting in the organisation is essential as there can be resistance due to individual fears and suspicions about being videoed or about the value to the public. In the local authority it is important to find ‘champions’ at member and officer level, and provide them with information on the benefits/reassurance. There are a number of specific points here: Members involved in quasi-judicial processes (eg planning/licensing) may be particularly concerned (but of course these are amongst the most useful meetings to webcast from the public’s point of view). Some legal advice may be reassuring (see Appendix three for an example from the London Borough of Croydon). It’s important to make sure that your key champions and decision makers have been able to view the example webcasts – this may involve working with your IT department to deal with problems with firewalls etc (see chaperer nine). There is a need to manage expectations on picture style and quality as Members and others may initially be disappointed with the quality (in comparison with e.g. TV).

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INTRODUCTION TO WEBCASTING

Is there a business case?
As with any democratic activity it can be difficult to build a financial business case to support webcasting. However as a communication channel webcasting competes favourably with print methods as its costs are extremely scalable. Many of the Local Authorities who are currently webcasting reject the idea of identifying a business case as they see the kind of openness and transparency which webcasting brings as being an essential cost of democracy in a digital age. However cost benefits can be expressed for webcasting and it is worth exploring these are part of your planning. It is also worth noting that when measured against the cost of other democratic activities such as public meetings webcasting can be seen as an extremely cost effective way of reaching citizens. RSe Consulting have written a Business Case for Local Authority Webcasting which you can find at www.icele.org. Alternatively you can use the automatic ‘needs analysis engine’ and PID creation tool at www.webcastguide.co.uk

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BUILDING A STRATEGY
In many ways the most difficult aspect of a webcasting project is in building a strategy. For example, a content strategy needs to be considered even before you decide on the implementation solution that you want as the types of content, the location and the frequency of your webcasts will all inform your webcasting solution choice.

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

Steps to adoption
1. Identify the webcasting needs. 2. Identify the obstacles that could prevent webcasting. 3. List the solutions to those obstacles. 4. Review the list of considerations. 5. Liaise with the personnel who could help provide the solutions. 6. Consult with stakeholders within the council to measure the level of understanding. 7. Circulate information about webcasting to raise the level of understanding. 8. Invite departments to submit ideas for webcast content. 9. Establish a webcast stakeholder group. 10. Invite webcasting companies or consultants to make a presentation. 11. Request the webcasting companies to present solutions to your needs. 12. Compare solutions and weigh up the pros and cons.

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

13. Conduct an online and offline audience survey to measure the level of interest. 14. Contract a webcast company to produce 1 event and measure the response. Make sure there is effective marketing and lead time so the public have chance to prepare. 15. Webcast pre-recorded content and build up a variety aimed at specific user groups. 16. Create a webcast section on the website. 17. Experiment with audio webcasts using as much available equipment as possible and basic webcasting tools. 18. Progress to video only webcasts using a single camera. 19. Measure statistics and adapt your techniques accordingly. 20. Invest in a ‘DIY’ multimedia webcasting system. If you cannot afford to invest in one, consider sharing a system with neighbouring councils.

Alternatively, consider negotiating a contract with a webcast production company for providing a fixed volume of webcasts per year for reduced cost.

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

Content Strategy
In building your content strategy you could go through the following steps: Deciding which strategic objectives you want to support with your webcasting Starting with a clear reason for webcasting is going to keep a focus to your project and avoid the trap of technology for technologies sake. It will also make it easier to see who in the organisation needs to be involved in the project and who should lead. As part of this process you also need to make sure that you have a clear idea of your webcast audience – are they internal or external? Are they young people or are you trying to access elderly residents? This may not affect the content but will have a big affect on how you market the webcasts.

Engaging decision makers Once you have identified the areas where you want to make an impact with webcasting then you will need to engage the relevant decision makers. This means looking for both member and officer support. Webcasting projects tend to be one of the most cross-functional / cross-departmental type of projects and so buy in from all the relevant parties is essential for success.

Decide what content is available to webcast Once you have decided what you want to achieve with your webcasting then the relevant content will start to suggest itself. Ideally you will come up with a balance of formal and informal content which is accessible and useful to the viewer.

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BUILDING A STRATEGY Decide what to webcast Once you have worked out what it is possible to webcast then you need to whittle it down to what you want to webcast. When defining content you need to think from the viewer’s perspective. You need to make sure that your content is interesting and relevant to the audience that you have identified and you need to make sure that you can present it in a way which is accessible to people who may not be at all familiar with the way in which the Local Authority works.

Process creation Once you have identified your initial content then you need to look at how you will refresh this and continue to grow it – the management of your content plan should be an ongoing process.

Marketing your webcasts Assuming that viewership is important to you it is essential to define a marketing plan for your webcasts alongside your content plan.

Evaluating your webcasting Your evaluation methodology will depend on the format of your webcasts and the objectives that you defined at the start of the project. Section Seven discusses evaluation in more detail.

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

Strategy Workflow
1.0 Budget

Check

Is your annual webcasting budget: a Less then £5,000 per year? You can afford to contract a webcasting company for 1 event per year. Or You can afford to produce simple audio webcasts within the council. You can also webcast pre-recorded content. You can afford to contract a webcasting company for 3 events per year. Or You can afford to produce simple webcasts within the council. These will be audio or video only. The video will be single camera. You can also webcast pre-recorded content. You afford to contract a webcasting company for 5-7 events per year. Or You can afford to produce complex webcasts within the council. These will multimedia and interactive. The video will be multicamera. You can also webcast pre-recorded content.

b

£5,000 £10,000 per year

c

£10,000 £20,000 per year

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

d

More then £20,000 per year

You can afford to contract a webcasting company for complex, high risk webcasts and use a DIY webcasting system for all other productions.

2.0

Council Stakeholders Do you have a webcasting champion? Do you have personnel available who could produce webcasts? It is vital that someone takes ownership of the webcast initiative and drives the project to conclusion. You need to delegate someone to be responsible for producing the webcasts. Ideally this will be someone from IT or AV, but it could be any staff member who could be shown how to produce a webcast. Ideally, each department would contribute someone. You need to raise councilors' level of understanding so they know what webcasting is and how it can benefit the council. Begin with a proof of concept webcast, then possibly a pilot running for a few months. If councilors are concerned about negative appearances, begin with audio webcasts and release them ‘on-demand’ only.

a

b

c

Do the councilors support webcasting?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

d

Do decision makers understand webcasting benefits?

Educate the decision makers by providing them with information about webcasting. Invite them to a presentation about webcasting. Suggest a pilot webcast before progressing to more complex webcasts.

3.0 a

Public Stakeholders Does the public understand webcasting? Place a short description about webcasting on the council's website. Use terms the public understand. Start with simple webcasts. You will need a custom built website player and a software program for synchronising slides. This requires either contracting a webcast company or a sophisticated DIY system. You will need a custom built website player so the audience can submit, and you can receive questions in real time. This requires either contracting a webcast company or a sophisticated DIY system. You will need a custom built website player so the audience can vote, and you can receive responses in real time. This requires either contracting a webcast company or a sophisticated DIY system.

b

Is there a need for the public to see slides and graphics synchronised with the media? Is there a need for the public to contribute during webcasts?

c

d

Is there a need for the public to vote on some issues?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

e

Does the public include a mixture of technically literate and illiterate users using both old and new computers on both fast and slow connections? Technical Will your IT department support webcasting efforts?

Use a custom built website player with accessibility features such as System Checkers and index points. Use multibitrate encoding.

4.0 a

Webcasting is difficult without IT support. Make IT aware of your intentions, suggest audio only webcasts at first and begin with a pilot and invite them to participate without long term commitment. You will need to configure your network or use an alternative, stand alone solution such as using ISDN lines or DSL to connect from the encoder to the server. IT will need to configure the network. Both Real Media and Windows Media have support sections on their websites giving instructions to network managers on how to do this. You will need to increase bandwidth or use an alternative connection such as ISDN lines or DSL to connect from the encoder to the server. It is advisable to have BT install at least and ISDN 2E line as a back up and incase there are issues with the network and bandwidth.

b

Can you use your network to send content up to the media servers on the internet?

c

Can you watch webcasts on your network?

d

Do you have sufficient bandwidth available to webcast content from your network?

e

Do you have ISDN lines?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

5.0 a

Audio Visual Do you have a sound system? At the very least you need to be able to capture audio. Audio systems differ according to your needs. Find out what your sound system is capable of, whether it is portable or static and whether is could connect to remote controlled cameras for automated coverage. Find out what cameras you have and who knows how to use them. You can use standard ‘manual’ video cameras for creating pre-recorded videos such as interviews, training videos and promotions. For coverage of a council chamber you will need at least 3 cameras. If you have not invested in cameras, find out if you really need then (i.e you are happy with audio only webcasts) and then match the camera to the need. You may decide on remote controlled cameras that are easy to operate and can be set up to work without camera operators. Confirm whether you AV department would set up and operate the AV system required to webcast. You should include the AV team in webcasting discussions.

b

Do you have cameras?

c

Do you have an AV department or someone who looks after the AV system?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

6.0 a

Venue Do you intend webcasting from the council chamber only? Do you intend webcasting from other rooms in the same building? If so, a fixed system will be adequate. This will lower cost and risk and simplify webcast production. In this case, you need a system that can be moved from room to room. Complete mobility is not a requirement because you can probably connect to the same facility network. Also, the distances required to move the equipment will not be great so the system does not have to be small. You will require a portable system that is capable of plugging into any internet connection. Also, you will need to carry the equipment greater distances and use cars to move the gear.

b

c

Do you intend webcasting from other buildings?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

7.0 a

Content Do you wish to webcast audio only? If this is the case, you only need to invest in a simple encoding system. This is a very low cost, low risk solution. In this case, you’ll need a camera to film the content and to play the content into the encoder for webcasting. If you have prerecorded content on other formats, such VHS, DVD, CD and Beta, you need a media player or device that connects to the encoder. Production doesn’t have to be complicated. You could learn simple camera and webcasting techniques in half a day. This is more complicated then simple video or audio webcasts and therefore you need to invest in software that will allow you to synchronise graphics to the media. The end user will need to watch the multimedia broadcast in a purpose built webpage. Or Contract a webcasting company to do the webcast for you. If you are only doing a few events a year, this is the best policy. You can use exactly the same synchronisation software as used in audio webcasts (see above). Or Contract a webcast company.

b

Do wish to broadcast prerecorded content, presentations, interviews, and other projects where there is only 1 or 2 'actors'?

c

Do you wish to webcast audio with synchronised slides, graphics and text?

d

Do you wish to webcast video with synchronised slides, graphics and text?

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

e

Do you wish to create and maintain a webcast section on the council website?

This is a recommended approach but will depend on your resources. If plan on webcasting in-house, you will need to get the web team to build this for you. This does require some specialist understanding of code used in webcasting. Or Contract the webpage build to a webcasting specialist. As you will need to maintain the webcast web page, you will need full support of your web team. Or Have the web page designers (whether in-house or contracted) to build a Content Management System (CMS) so you can do this yourself.

f

Do you have full support from your web development team?

8.0

Volume of webcasting How many webcasts do you propose per year: 1 Between 2 and 5 events Contract this to a webcast company. Contract these to a webcast company unless they are very simple in which case you may consider investing in an encoder and doing it yourself. Consider investing in a DIY webcasting system.

a

More then 5 events

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BUILDING A STRATEGY

9.0

Collaboration Will more then one department be webcasting? You will need a mobile, easy to use webcasting system that can be moved from room to room. Ideally, a member of staff from each department will be familiar with the system. You will need a portable system that can easily be picked up, transported and set up quickly and easily. It will need to be compliant with a variety of different internet connection types and AV systems. Consideration must be given to branding. Will each council require its own web interface or will a standard interface be shared.

Does your council collaborate with other councils?

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY
This
section provides a brief overview of the technology behind webcasting. This should provide a high level introduction for a project leader though it will be useful for a member of the project team to have more detailed technical knowledge than this.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

What is the webcasting process?
There are many different types of webcasting, the most common being: Audio only webcasts · · · Video only webcasts Audio and video webcasts with synchronised PowerPoint slides and other media. Interactive, media rich webcasts with features that allow the audience to submit questions and vote in ‘real time’.

Audio only
This is the simplest type of webcast. The end user listens to the event on a default Media Player. There is no synchronised media, indexing or interactivity, just the complete broadcast. Most councils have audio systems in house so all you need do is download the free Windows Media encoding software and install it on a standard computer. You will need a streaming media hosting account which will cost about £1,500 - £2,000 per year. You can therefore expect to be webcasting for £2,000 to £3,000 per year including set up. As audio files are small, the bandwidth requirement for audio webcasts is a lot less then for video webcasts. This means that the connectivity and hosting costs are low. As audio webcasting is very simple, you can do this easily in-house without a contractor and without specialist equipment. From the end-users perspective, audio webcasts are more accessible then video webcasts for those on slower internet connections. They are also less obtrusive and therefore users can get on with other things while listening to the broadcasts.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

Video only
This is a lot more complicated then audio only webcasting because of the video production element. If you only use 1 camera, it is very easy because all you need do is connect the camera to the encoding computer. This is fine for events like presentations, interviews, announcement and even workshops. You can easily do a single camera webcast in-house without specialist equipment. The cost would be in the region of £3,500 - £5,000 depending on quality of equipment. However, most council meetings require between 3 and 4 cameras and this is complicated because you need to use a vision mixer and all sorts of other equipment. You have the option of buying in webcasting production services or investing in a DIY webcasting system. The cost for a contracted webcast is usually £3,000 - £6,000 per event and a standard DIY system is £15,000 - £20,000 per year. Consideration must also be given to bandwidth, as video webcasts consume a great deal of bandwidth which means you need to invest in broadband connections to the internet and pay for more storage and bandwidth consumption. From the end users perspective, video webcasts can be more compelling then audio webcasts and if the content is educational, more informative. However, video webcasts are not good on slow internet connections and can lead to more accessibility issues. The cost of a single camera webcast is considerably less then a multicamera webcast and can be easily produced in-house at any time.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

Audio and Video interactive multimedia webcasts
In order to provide the end user with more event information, the means to navigate more freely through the webcast, ask questions and to be more ‘involved’, it is desirable to produce interactive, multimedia webcasts. These webcasts play in a purpose built webpage that includes all the multimedia and interactive elements. Most councils do not have the in-house skill sets to build this type of webpage and therefore there is an immediate investment requirement. Typically, webcast websites cost approximately £1,500 depending on design. When producing an interactive multimedia webcast, a special ‘synchronisation’ and ‘indexing’ software program has to be used to make PowerPoint slides change and to allow the end user to jump to specific points within the webcast. This requires investment into special ‘DIY’ webcasting systems or contracting to a professional webcast provider. As stated, the costs are £3,000 to £6,000 per event for a contracted webcast and £15,000 - £20,000 per year for a DIY solution. The only saving between an audio and video interactive multimedia webcast is the production cost and bandwidth. From the end users perspective, the interactive multimedia webcasts are more compelling, more informative, and easier to navigate through and allow direct interaction with the speakers.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

The webcasting process
All types of webcast can be produced as ‘live’, ‘on-demand’ or ‘as live’ productions. Technically, webcasting is a four stage process: · · · · Capture of video and audio content Encoding of the content by passing it through a specialist PC – the Encoder Streaming of the content by passing it from the encoder to the Server Viewing of the content by connecting to the stream being webcast from the Server

Alongside the audio/video content contextual information such as the name of the speaker or the slides from the speaker’s presentation can also be transmitted. Best practice suggests that it is important to include this additional information as it makes the webcast far more relevant and informative for the viewer. The encoding process can be carried out in a number of different formats. The most common ones currently are Windows Media format and Real format. It is also possible to stream in more than one format of course but as this adds considerably to the costs most Local Authorities will need to make a choice between these two formats. There are pros and cons to each of these formats which the organisers of any webcast need to evaluate.1 The other major variable with webcasting is with the rate at which the content is encoded. The rate relates to the size of the internet connection that you want to be able to send content to and the rate, or rates, chosen need to balance picture quality with webcast accessibility. A lower rate is accessible to more viewers; however a higher rate provides a better quality picture.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

A: Video and audio production
This is the filming and recording of the content. This can be as simple as recording from a £15 microphone or as complex as a multi-camera production.

B: Encoding
Encoding compresses the media and converts it into a format that can be broadcast over the internet or intranet. Real Media and Windows Media are the primary formats, the most prolific webcasting format being Windows Media. Encoding software is free to download from the internet.

C: Hosting
Hosting is the term used for storing and broadcasting the webcasts. Webcasts require special ‘streaming’ servers that are designed to broadcast webcast in the most efficient way. If you put an encoded file on a standard web server the file will download to the viewer’s computer and can only be watched when the whole file has been downloaded. Streaming servers drip feed the file to the viewer’s computer and allow it to be viewed as it arrives at the computer. Live webcasts only work using streaming servers. Servers are specific to the webcasting format. Windows Media files will only stream from a Windows Media server while Real Media files play from Real Media servers.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

D: Web interface
A user accesses a webcast by clicking on a URL in a webpage. The URL can link to a live broadcast or an encoded file stored on the servers. Content encoded in Windows Media format plays in a Windows Media Player on the viewer’s computer, while Real Media plays in a Real Player.

Example of default media players

The webcast player
Webcast players can be as simple as a default Media Player or as complex as a multimedia webpage with interactive features such as: § § §
45

Real time Questions to the presenters Multiple Choice Voting and polling

INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

§ § § § §

Speaker profiles Meeting agendas PowerPoint slides Seek-to menu Transcripts

Bespoke, custom branded ‘microsites’ tembed video players in a webpage and synchronise the media content with associated graphic and text content. Interactive features, such as text boxes, voting systems and multiple choice questionnaires can also added.

Example of a multimedia webcast player

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INTRODUCTION TO THE TECHNOLOGY

Overview of the webcasting process

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WEBCASTING FORMAL MEETINGS
Formal meetings normally have one of two formats – a round table or
council chamber set up with multiple speakers or a panel style discussion with questions and answers from the audience. This section applies to both these styles of meeting. Webcasting does not need to have a big impact on the way in which meetings are run and should be a quick and easy way of capturing content. Detailed planning and preparation suggestions for webcasting are included in the accompanying checklists (see Appendix Two). The ideas in this document are best practice suggestions from current webcasting practitioners, designed to help you present the best possible content for the webcast. What is important however is that webcasts are contextualised for the viewer and that the relevant papers and presentations are provided in order to make sure that the webcast viewer is getting a meaningful view of the live meeting. Some Local Authorities prefer to send formal protocols for webcasting which provide participants with a framework for how the webcasts will run during a formal meeting.

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY The London Borough of Croydon’s protocol is included as Appendix Three. Other Local Authorities prefer not to formalise the webcasting to this extent and work without a formal protocol. There are pro’s and con’s to both approaches and you will need to decide which works best for your authority. The behaviour of your meeting attendees will obviously have a big impact on the quality of the content that is created. For most Webcasting Authorities it is of primary importance that the webcasting does not interfere with the running of the meeting/event. That being said there are still a number of ways in which a participant at the meeting can behave which will improve their presentation on the webcast, as well as the overall quality of the webcast. It is up to the event organiser to decide what they want to ask the meeting attendees to do and whether they want to brief them specifically on the webcast process. For the purposes of this document we have split the audience and “actors” for formal meetings into five sections:

· · · · ·

Meeting organisers Meeting participants: meeting Anyone formally speaking at the

Meeting Chair: Running the meeting Meeting audience: Members of the public (or Council Officers) viewing the meeting on site Webcast audience: Anyone viewing the webcast over the Internet - either for the live or archive content

In the next section are some suggestions as to briefing points you could consider for your different groups.

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Meeting Organisers
Preparation There is a need to prepare as much as possible in advance of the meeting, identify and enter names, seating plan and pre-set camera positions if you are using them. The web team needs to be on board/involved in advance of the meeting both to advertise the webcast and to make links with agenda papers/other parts of the Council site.

During the meeting There is a tension between just witnessing/recording the proceedings and actually influencing them. Hopefully any changes to enhance the webcast would represent general good practice anyway, but it is important to negotiate these in a sensitive way.

Meeting Participants
Preparation There is no special preparation needed to participate in a webcast however as any comments or presentations are going to be ‘recorded for posterity’ the speaker will probably be more comfortable if they have had some chance to think through what they are going to say so that they can make sure that they come across clearly and professionally.

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY Meeting behaviour advice Again, during the meeting there is no particular need to change behaviour in order to accommodate the webcast but there are a few simple points that can improve the quality of the webcast - most of these are steps that will be taken anyway as part of good meeting protocol: Ø Always use the microphone – good audio is essential to webcast quality and unless the microphones are used the speaker will not be heard on the webcast Ø If the speaker is not familiar with using a microphone then make sure that the organisers brief them as to the best way of using the microphone system. General points are: Ø If the microphone is a fixed one on the desk all you need to do is make sure it is switched on when it is your turn to speak (there is usually a switch on the base unit). You don’t need to lean into the microphone but you do need to make sure that you are always facing it when you speak Ø Handheld microphones should be kept an even distance (probably about 30cm) from your mouth as you speak. You should ask for a quick test before you speak to make sure that you have the distance right Ø Speak slowly and clearly Ø Speakers need to remember to introduce themselves so that the viewers at home know who they are Ø Make sure the speaker always goes through the chair – this gives the webcast operator the opportunity to move the camera to focus on them before they start speaking Ø Try to avoid moving around and using expansive arm gestures – rapid movement does not webcast well for viewers with a small (i.e. 56k dial-up) internet connection

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY Ø If you are using PowerPoint make sure that slides are given to the organisers in advance so that they can make them available to the remote viewers Try and remember to ask for feedback from the webcast audience as well as the meeting audience – people respond much more positively to a verbal request and will feel more involved in the process

Meeting Chairs
Chairing a meeting that is being webcast does not require a lot of extra work – below are a few protocol points which should make things go more smoothly. Most of these are basic good practice for meeting protocols anyway and will probably already be in place. As a webcast organiser you may choose to brief the Chairs of your meetings on these issues. Preparation There is little to do in advance of the meeting however it is a good idea to: Ø Make sure that the webcast operator who is capturing the content is aware of any sections of the agenda which you do not want webcast Ø Agree with the webcast operator when you want to start the webcast – will you give them a signal or do you want them to start automatically after you take your seat? Ø Make sure that any papers or presentations supporting the event have been, where possible, made available to the webcast operator so that they can also be made available to the webcast viewer Ø If you have a protocol then let the webcast operator know if people will be seated or standing to speak – this helps them line up camera shots in advance and gives a smoother production for the viewer Ø Agree with the webcast operator what you want to happen during breaks in the event. It should be possible to display a message to the webcast viewer during any breaks explaining what is happening so that they know when to come back to view the content

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY Initial announcements In order to make sure that everyone at the meeting is aware that they are being webcast and to cover data protection issues some kind of initial announcement is required at the start of the meeting. This is also a good opportunity to welcome remote viewers to the event. There is no set formula for these announcements but they should cover: Ø Informing everyone that the meeting is being webcast – making it clear if the webcast is going to be paused or stopped for any private content Ø Welcome to the webcast viewers Ø Explaining who will be webcast – in most cases this will just be the speakers but you need to mention that other people may be caught in the shot (if they are sitting immediately behind for instance) and should move if they do not want to be webcast

Meeting protocols

Ø Once the initial announcement has been made then there are a few meeting protocols to be recommended: Ø Ensure that all speakers use their microphones so that they will be audible on the webcast. This should be enforced even for short interjections as it can be very frustrating for the webcast viewer to miss parts of the meeting Ø Make sure that agenda items are announced and any supporting documents named so that the viewer at home can follow the meeting Ø Make sure that you introduce each speaker – or that each speaker introduces themselves for the benefit of the public

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY

Meeting Audience
The meeting audience should not be affected by the webcast in the main, however it is important to make sure that they are aware that it is taking place so that they have the option not to be webcast if they choose. This is normally done by: Ø Putting up signs in the venue making it clear that the meeting is being webcast Ø Asking the chair to make an announcement at the start of the meeting

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY
Our
early viewership figures suggest that community meetings are particularly popular. They can therefore be good publicity for the webcasting process as well as for community engagement/groups themselves. Webcasting from the community will normally take the form of webcasting formal meetings or clips and briefings. In these cases the differences are mainly technical in terms of internet connectivity and audio systems. These are not to be underestimated however. Alternatively bespoke social video services can be deployed, such as Bristol Viewfinder (http://www.viewfinder.public-i.tv/). The Viewfinder project uses video clips generated by the community as a means of consultaion with the council.

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY There are some specific planning points to be taken into consideration when webcating from the community:-

·

Venue selection: If you have a choice, go for a venue with adequate lighting and sufficient space for the expected audience plus safe working areas for cameras, cabling etc. Cameras need to be placed away from walkways and ideally raised above head height. At least two cameras are needed to ensure the meeting (top table and audience) can be adequately covered. Sight lines should be tested both before the meeting and when the audience are present. Ensure the venue has an internet connection if a live broadcast is required. Ensure adequate transport facilities (and people) to take weighty equipment to the venue. Make sure you arrive in good time to set up the venue and webcasting equipment, carry out tests and preset camera angles. As far as possible identify names of likely attendees before the meeting for captions – or obtain participants’ details in order to edit in afterwards (but see below). Take care re: publicising names and information about individuals (inc. apologies for absence etc) – security considerations. Issue re: ownership of the material/copyright (if community group) Use microphones, train people to use them. Ensure helpers can get the roving mic quickly to participants (and/or repeat contributions when the microphone arrives) Consider if you will need an ambient microphone to pick up missed comments (but be aware of likely background noise issues)

·

· ·

·

·

· ·

·

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WEBCASTING FROM THE COMMUNITY If you are webcasting from Council property you will usually be using the same venues multiple times. This tends not to be the case with webcasting from the Community and you will need to get to grips with a wide range of venues each with their own particular issues. An experienced team will be able to get the most out of each venue but you will need to make sure that they are resourced to be able to plan and test for each event if you want a consistent quality of output. You will also need to make sure that you give any members of the public who are speaking some kind of briefing on the use of the microphones. These are essential if their points are going to be heard on the webcasts and the experience to date has been that people who have not used microphones before will need a little coaching on their use beforehand. This will make a big difference to the quality of the webcast but more importantly to how comfortable the speaker feels in using the equipment. You may have a range of objectives in webcasting from a community location:

· · ·

Making the formal meetings more accessible to the community Engaging the local community in key decisions Engaging in an ongoing dialogue with community groups

In all these instances it may help to engage with Community groups in content planning so that you can be sure that you are webcasting the content that they are most interested in. Finally, community webcasts are an excellent marketing opportunity for all your webcasts so it’s a good idea to have some marketing materials on hand pointing to the webcasts.

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS
Clips and briefings are perhaps the most interesting area of growth for local government webcasting as Authorities are just starting to explore the ways in which webcasting can be used to provide quick and effective communication to the public. Some councils are leveraging free social video sites such as YouTube (www.youtube.com) in an effort to place clips directly into the public arena at very low cost. For example, Somerset County Council has submitted a clip on YouTube to defend the decision to split-up the regional council framework (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjv-4-PNWDc ).

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS The main ways in which this has been done to date are: Briefings from the Leader or Chief Executive – these have been carried out for both internal and external audiences Consultation process support – short videos explaining issues such as the transfer of housing stock have been used to support formal consultation processes Introductions from key staff – people’s website profiles have been complemented with a short video introducing themselves and their role in the Authority Feedback from these has been extremely positive and they provide an accessible way of communicating important messages to the public.

Briefings from the Leader or Chief Executive
These webcasts are very simple to produce and just consist of a simple head and shoulders shot of the speaker making a short speech straight to camera. They can be supported with presentation content or with additional contextual information on the website. A good example of this would be an explanation of the budget or council tax setting process where a webcast would compliment existing explanatory materials. The content could either be captured during a live event or you could arrange a specific recording session for the briefing. Though these clips are relatively simple to create there are a few points that are worth noting: Some speakers prefer to write their own speeches but others will ask for briefing materials from the relevant department. Find out in advance which your speaker prefers. You will need to discuss with the speaker if they are going to want to repeat the speech a few times and then choose the best one or if they are happy for you to record it just once. Either can be done but you need to plan in advance if they are going to want to edit their content at all. Audio is as ever extremely important so you will need to make sure that you have good audio capture for your event If they are using a presentation try and get a copy in advance.

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS

Consultation process support
Short films can be an excellent way of condensing and communicating consultation content. A simple way of achieving this is with a ‘talking heads’ series of webcasts where you ask representatives of different parts of the debate or different experts to give short presentations about their part in the consultation. These can then be webcast from a single web page which provides more information about the consultation.

Introductions from key staff
These work exactly the same as the briefings from the Leader or Chief Executive but instead of more topical content they are intended to introduce staff to the residents and explain what they do in a simple and direct way.

Content creation
Short clips are quick and easy to record and webcast. However as with webcasting of meetings and events there are some simple steps that you can take in order to improve your presentation and record the clips quickly and efficiently: Unless you are using a professional video production team you need to try and capture your clip in one ‘take’ – i.e. present all of your content in one go without a break and then choose between different complete clips. This will almost certainly require some rehearsal and preparation. For news items try to limit your clip to no more than 3 minutes If you are trying to get across a more complex point that needs longer than 3 minutes then try and introduce index points so that viewers can jump to specific points in your presentation As with meetings and events - try and remember to ask for feedback from the audience – people respond much more positively to a verbal request and will feel more involved in the process.

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS

The stickines factor
The whole idea of using webcasting in local government is to involve the public in the democratic process. In order to do this, the public must know that in addition to witnessing the decision making process, they can actually contribute. This is an immensely powerful benefit of webcasting and one that often escapes both the council and the public. In order to make webcasting a success, it is vital that the public know that a webcast is going to take place, why they should participate, what benefits they can expect and how they can access the webcast. This is done in a number of ways:

a) Avoid technical jargon
Most of the general public has no idea what ‘webcasting’ is so there is little point in using the term. It is much more effective to use terms like ‘live video broadcast’ or ‘participate in the debate on housing and vote on the outcomes’ or ‘listen to Councilors explain why they spent £21 million on a leisure centre’.

b) Make sure the webcasts are advertised in places where they get the most exposure
All too often webcast announcements are buried in a non-descript section of the website. Try to place a link on the homepage of the website and on relevant sections such as ‘Planning’ or ‘Health’.

c) Dedicate a section of the website to webcasts
Experience has shown that by placing all webcasts in one dedicated section of the website, users will quickly learn that if they want to access an archive or find out about forthcoming webcasts, they should immediately go to this section. You can brand this section ‘Council TV’ or some other catchy title that avoids jargon. You can add a ‘Save this page’ button so that the section is automatically saved in the user’s internet browser. If there is an issue placing a link on the homepage for each webcast (see point 2 above), this is a good way to overcome this.

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS Ideally, create a small strap banner promoting the ‘Council TV’ section with a click-through. In this way, the webmaster doesn’t have to constantly change the design of homepage.

d) Provide information about forthcoming webcasts
After watching a webcast for the first time, many viewers will be responsive to coming back for more. If there is no information to entice them, they will not make the effort to find out for themselves so you have to spoon feed them the information.

e) Always provide an archive
As a rule of thumb, there are 20 times more viewers to archived webcasts then to live webcasts. Therefore it is vital to make sure viewers know a webcast will be available post-event prior to the event going live. If a user sees an advert for a live broadcast of the Friday Planning Committee and had a prior engagement, they will not attend and a viewer is lost. If the advert also announces that the broadcast will be available from 21:00 hrs on Friday night and that the next live broadcast in on the following Wednesday, the user will be inclined to watch the archive and keep Thursday night free for the live broadcast.

f) Prove to the public the benefits of participating in a webcast
Viewing figures will rise if users see that their opinions are being heard and acted upon by the council. This can be done by writing in the webcasting section that certain meetings, questions from the online audience were taken. The users can be directed to archived webcasts where questions and the responses can be seen. This information can be supported by announcements to the effect that ‘further action is now being taken’ or similar updates.

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WEBCASTING CLIPS AND BRIEFINGS

g) Registration, SMS and e-mail alerts
Most councils are resistant to requesting registration information from users, but research indicates that if the users feel they will be rewarded for their efforts, they are willing to provide an e-mail address at registration. The reward could be access to the ‘submit question’ option during a live webcast or SMS and e-mail alerts to forthcoming webcasts.

h) Quality of productions
Nothing will drive a viewer away faster then to be faced with 2 hours of poor quality, tedious content. It is therefore vital that production standards are maintained and the archived webcasts are ‘top and tailed’ to remove the images of Councilors greeting each other, taking their seats and shuffling papers. Most viewers will turn off before the meeting has even begun. Index points must be added so that viewers can use a menu to jump to specific points of interest without having to watch the entire proceedings.

i) Use of multimedia and interactivity
Information is more compelling and more easily retained if it makes use of multiple media. If at a planning meeting a debate is in full swing over plans to build a housing estate next to the local nature reserve, a PowerPoint slide showing photos, maps and plans will greatly increase understanding. Supporting information about the speaker will show that this is the same person who proposed converting the bank into a nightclub. When the Chairperson asks if there are any questions, an online viewer who could not attend the meeting could submit a question. At the end of proceedings a vote could be taken. The effective use of multimedia and interactivity greatly enhances the webcasting experience and will lead to increases in viewing figures.

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EVALUATION
How you evaluate your webcasting project will depend on your objectives which you set yourselves in starting to webcast. As with any objective setting exercise you will need to make sure that you are clear on how you will measure success for each of your objectives. It is also worth considering separately how you will know if your webcasting project is a success overall – what will make you decide to continue webcasting?

Going through this process at the start of the project will ensure you get better value from webcasting and avoid the gimmicky use of new technology

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EVALUATION

Evaluation methods may include: · Looking at viewership statistics – this can be useful but always needs to be done in conjunction with a review of marketing activities Evaluating changes to participation and feedback in other areas – for instance are more people responding to consultations, are you getting more general feedback from the democratic process Audience feedback – this can either be gathered online or could be added to citizen panel or other general research routes Internal efficiencies – are staff finding it a benefit to be able to view the webcasts? Are you able to communicate more effectively?

·

·

·

Improvement
Once you have started webcasting then the best way of ensuring that you continue to improve is to link into existing resources and to learn from colleagues both in your own and other authorities. You should also get as much feedback as possible from your viewers to help you improve the content you are showing them. Ideas include:

· · ·

Joining the webcasting community of practice (see Appendix One) Talking with other Local Authorities who are already webcasting Seek feedback via the webcast on the webcast process itself and not just to the content of the webcast

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EVALUATION

Statistics
Viewing statistics are a vital tool when assessing webcasting success. Statistics should be available 24/7 so that a manager can not only see how many viewers access a webcast when it has finished, they can also see viewing figures during the webcast. Statistical data can be very detailed and if studied correctly, will allow a webcasting manager to build up an image of how the audience responds to the webcast content. Typically, statistics will show the number of times a webcast was watched, by who, how long they watched for, the quality of delivery, the connection speed, and from where they were watching.

Example section from viewer statistics

Success is not just measured by the total number of views as this can include single users logging on and off during a single webcast. Viewing statistics may indicate 500 views, but there may only be 50 actual viewers. It is important to determine the number of unique viewers, the duration logged on, and the number of times they view webcasts.

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EVALUATION Once establishing the average monthly viewing figures, it is important to see this number grow. This can be achieved through better marketing; providing a greater volume of webcasts aimed at niche sectors within the community; providing a wide variety of compelling content; maintaining high production standards; and making it easy to access webcasts.

Example section from viewer statistics

Registration
The most reliable resource for measuring success is the data generated through registration systems. This is because each viewer will have a unique user ID which can easily be recorded. Registration information can be used to build up a very accurate picture of user behavior. Many councils have been reluctant to use registration as it is seen as an obstacle to entry. However, if the user is aware of the benefits, they will be more inclined to make the effort. For example, if a viewer registers for a webcast, they can be offered the option of receiving SMS and e-mail alerts as well as having the power to submit questions and to vote.

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EVALUATION

Audience satisfaction
Success cannot be measured in numbers alone. The true measure of success is monitoring whether the content has been useful to the viewer or not. There are different techniques for this, but common ones include adding a Q&A session to as many webcasts as possible so the end user can participate; adding a simple voting system to the webcast webpage asking if the webcast was useful or not; making announcements to the effect that policy has been changed partly as a result of participation from the online users.

Making use of the statistics
It is advisable to trace the average viewing statistics on a graph showing webcasts over a 12 month period. This graph can be placed next to the annual schedule of webcasts with details about marketing, content, and type of webcast. In this way it is possible to see if different webcasts and marketing strategies impact the viewing figures.

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EVALUATION

ENGAGING THE PUBLIC
Webcasting is a way of catching people’s attention and enabling them to become more informed in a quick and convenient way. In other words you are catching their interest. Once you have caught their interest then you can look to build on this with more meaningful interactions.

You can consider webcasting in a number of different ways: · · · Is the content itself engaging? Is the context interesting to the viewer? Are you trying to encourage an active response?

On these terms it is possible to engage the public without getting a quantifiable response and this is one of the issues that needs to be considered when you are looking at the progress and evaluation of any webcasting project. You will need to find some way of measuring these effects if you are going to have a full evaluation of your service that looks beyond simple statistics.

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EVALUATION

Marketing
Before you can consider engaging the public you will need to make sure they know that the webcasts are there. Advertising webcasts is no different to advertising events or services and this is covered in many other e-Democracy documents. However it is worth noting a couple of points specific to getting a regular audience for webcasts: Because viewers may not have the correct player installed or may not even have viewed a webcast before it is a good idea, as part of your marketing, to ask viewers to carry out a test to make sure that they are able to view your webcasts. This avoids frustration when they log on to view the live event. Ideally you will be webcasting regularly and building up a body of regular viewers – to do this you will need to be consistent about the content you are webcasting and provide an accurate and up to date schedule of content. This kind of service is ideally teamed with an SMS or email alert system that viewers can sign up to so that they get notified prior to each webcast. Council staff are one of the best marketing tools that you have for passing word of mouth information on to potential viewers – as well as viewing in their capacity as residents. It’s a good idea to make sure that they are kept up to date and enthusiastic about the webcasting.

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EVALUATION

Calls to action
Webcasting is at first look a one way communication mechanism – with the viewer passively receiving information from the webcast. However when combined with other channels, such as email, webcasting can be used to get an active response for example:

· · · · ·

Asking for further information Completing a survey Offering views or asking questions on the issue Signing up for mailing lists Volunteering to help in the future

Feedback mechanisms will normally be email or form based. However they will be greatly strengthened if the people being webcast can refer to them during the live webcast. This is increasingly being used by programmes such as Question Time on the BBC where email responses are dealt with alongside telephone or audience comments.

As with any other area it is of course important to respond to communication that you get from the viewers. If you have requested feedback as part of your webcast then make sure that you follow up and react to this. Webcasting can be a very engaging way of communicating with the public but it can create a very negative effect to fail to pick up and capitalize on people’s enthusiasm.

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VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING
Once the webcast has been created and is available to the public there are a number of ways in which the viewer can access it. It is important to make clear in any documents that webcasts will generally not be accessible by users over public sector networks unless changes are made to the client PC (for Windows Media) and the client PC and firewall (for Real Media).

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VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING

Viewing the output
The key requirements for the client computer are Windows Media Player 9 or later (Mac/PC) or compatible (Linux) or Windows Media 6.4 or later with the appropriate codec pack preinstalled or administrator rights on the computer and/or Real Player 8 or later (Mac/PC/Linux). The video should play back on any standards-compatible browser on any modern Mac, PC or Linux computer as long as the accessible version is chosen and the correct media player software is installed. You will of course need an internet connection – webcasts, if correctly created, can be viewed by anyone with a 56k modem. However the viewing experience will be considerably better for a broadband user. If you are viewing over the network firewall then you (or your IT department!) will also need to consider:

§ § §

To view Real Media ports 554 and 7070 must be open To view Windows Media port 80 must be open (this is the standard web browsing port so will almost always be open)

Automatic rate negotiation may fail over a public sector network if port 1755 is closed for Windows Media. When this happens the player will try to connect at the highest rate which may lead to jerky playback, especially when the network is busy.

Viewers will need to manually select a lower connection rate if this happens. To do this: Right-click the video window, select Options.../Performance and choose a lower speed.

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VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING If you are having problems viewing any webcasts then the most common problems are:

Symptom
You are viewing over a network (for instance when online at the Council’s offices) and are getting an error No webcast is appearing after clicking on the link.

Issue
The Firewall or Proxy server is blocking video traffic

Resolution
Contact your IT department and ask them to allow specific webcasting traffic through as described above.

You do not have the correct player installed

Check what format the webcast has been encoded in and download the appropriate free player try playing one of the archived webcasts Check that you don’t have any other programmes (such as email) using your internet connection. Another problem is spyware using up bandwidth If you are using Broadband then try at a different time of day when fewer users are online. If you are viewing on a network then contact your IT department

The webcast keeps ‘freezing’

This is normally caused by insufficient bandwidth

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VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING

System Checker
As most users have no idea about the technology required to watch a webcast and may be unfamiliar with the computer they wish to watch the webcast from, a very good feature to add is a System Checker. This is a software programme that automatically runs as soon as a user enters the webcast section. It checks the user’s computer for any issue that may prevent viewing and returns a results page. If the computer is not webcast ready, the Help page automatically opens so the user can fix the problem. If the user cannot fix the problem, they can immediately contact Support. This technique has proven to be a highly successful method of improving accessibility.

Example of a System Checker

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VIEWING AND TROUBLESHOOTING

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PORTABLE SOLUTIONS
The London Borough of Lewisham has explored another approach to webcasting – a sort of DIY solution for Councils. The emphasis on connecting the community to the democratic process needed to ensure that this system was usable more broadly. Given that wireless broadband is being developed in many towns and cities this opportunity for more universal use was taken.

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PORTABLE SOLUTIONS

Lewisham Webcasting Project Objectives
1. To develop an interactive web-streaming system 2. To maximise interactivity 3. To ensure ease of use for non-technical groups 4. To enable wireless connectivity Lewisham developed“Streaming suitcases” – a set of 3 bags with wheels, each containing equipment to webcast – but with each with different levels of equipment – the mini, the midi, the maxi.

Portable solutions have the additional benefits of:· · Being used by community groups for more interesting content gathering Being shared by neighbouring authorities

Bear in mind that you’ll still need broadband internet connectivity at the point of encoding. This can be achieved in rural areas by using a satellite interenet enabled van. For more information about portable solutions visit www.icele.org

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Appendix One:Further Reading
Documents
Title
RSe Business Case for Webcasting Checklist for webcasting formal meetings Case Study on Webcasting Research report on Webcasting to a remote location Webcasting Evaluation Report

Author
RSe Consulting

Location
www.icele.org

National Project

www.icele.org

National Project

www.icele.org

National Project

www.icele.org

National Project

www.icele.org

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APPENDICIES

Websites
Title
Webcasting Community of Practice

Description Location
Community set up as part of the National Project Programme to facilitate discussions between webcasting practitioners Technical magazine on webcasting Technical information on streaming using the Real format Technical information on streaming using the Windows Media Player format http://forums.dowire.org/webcasting/

Streaming Media

http:www.streamingmeida.com

Real Website

http://www.real.com

Windows Media Player website

http:mircrosoft.com

National Projects Supplier Register Webcastguide ICELE guide to webcasting

http://www.brent.gov.uk/crmsupplier.nsf

www.webcastguide.co.uk

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APPENDICIES

Appendix Two: Detailed checklists
This appendix contains checklist of considerations for anyone wishing to webcast an event or to organise a remote viewing of a webcast event. The checklist focuses on the operational information needed and is designed for use by the event organiser. It is not a technical ‘How to Webcast’.

The event could be on Council premises or out in the community and could be anything from a formal meeting to a community hosted debate. The checklist covers venue assessment’ webcasting formats and also covers steps to be taken if you need to use a satellite van to provide Internet connectivity as opposed to the more usual ISDN or ADSL connection. This checklist covers the event planning process as it is affected by the decision to webcast an event.

Events may be webcast for a number of different reasons but the main ones are: · · · · Widening access to public meetings or consultations Raising the profile of and (remote) attendance of the Council’s and Member’s work Providing an additional feedback route for the public on key issues Improve the transparency of the democratic process

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APPENDICIES

Deciding to webcast Is the content suitable?
First step is to be sure that the event is suitable to webcast. Below are some questions to help you make a judgment on this: 1.1 Is the content of sufficient interest to the public? Will there be any other events on the day that will detract from potential audience turn-out and make the archive of the event more useful? Are the target audience likely to be able to attend live event in person or do they need these alternative arrangements?

1.2

1.3

Additional questions for a remote viewing: 1.4 Are there concerns about access to the live content that make it important to provide a public viewing?

Notes / tips The organisers need to take a view on this issue and every case will be different. It is important to look at this from the point of view of the audience and to be sure that there is genuine public interest – as opposed to assuming that the public will be interested because they should be. It may be the case that you feel strongly that the event should be made available – irrespective of audience turnout. This is a perfectly legitimate position but one that is best aired in advance to ensure that you, and other observers, are not disappointed in the turnout.

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APPENDICIES

Is there a budget available?
As with any event there are budgetary considerations. 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Is a budget available for venue hire? Is a budget available for equipment hire? Is a budget available for materials and marketing? If you are using an external supplier to webcast the event is there a budget available for this?

Appointing a supplier
Once you have decided to webcast then you will need to decide who is going to carry out your webcast. This may be a simple decision if you have the capability to do this inhouse or it might mean looking at different options externally. If you are looking externally then the basic issues are of course standard and you will be looking at areas such as:

Ability to carry out the event Price Quality of work and client references

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APPENDICIES Some more specific questions that you may want to ask a webcasting supplier are: · · · · · · · What formats do you use for webcasting?2 Where will the stream be hosted and what is the capacity of your streaming network? Will you be able to provide multiple streams for Broadband and Dial-up viewers? Will you charge by hour of content or by volume of data 3 transferred? Have you had experience of webcasting formal meetings? Can you provide speaker names and other ‘enhanced webcasting’ features for both the live and archived content? How long will the archived content be available?

Notes / tips For one off events it is almost certainly going to be easier and more cost effective to have your content hosted and streamed by a supplier rather than setting up streaming services yourselves. Good practice suggests that you provide multiple webcasting streams so that you can serve both Broadband and Dial-up viewers. This is not technically difficult to do and should be a requirement that you set for your supplier. For lengthy webcasts such as public meetings enhanced features such as speaker names, agenda items and, after the event, indexing, all make a big difference to the usability of your webcasts and will make it easier for your viewers to access the content they are interested in.4

2

The most common webcasting formats are Windows Media Player and Real Player.
3

This is important to define as if it’s the latter then a popular webcast will be a lot more expensive than one which is not viewed.
4

Please see the Enhanced Webcasting report on the National Project website for more information
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APPENDICIES

The Venue: General Assesment
The proposed location needs to be evaluated to ensure that it provides a suitable venue for the event. 1.1 1.2 1.3 Is there power available at the venue? Is there an adequate internet connection? Is there going to be space to set up cameras on tripods? Is there an audio system available for use by the webcast? Is the lighting at the venue suitable for webcasting `

1.4

1.5

Additional questions for a remote viewing: 1.6 Does the venue have sufficient capacity for the potential audience? Will the venue be comfortable enough for people to watch the whole webcast? E.g. warm enough, food supplied? Is the venue located in an area close to the potential audience?

1.7

1.8

Notes / tips Good quality audio is essential for webcasting which means the speakers will need microphones even if they do not need to be amplified for the audience at the live event. It’s unlikely that you will find the perfect venue so some compromises will probably be required. The only ‘show stopper’ for a live webcast is of course the internet connection as without this the event is not possible at all. An archive only webcast – where you capture the event and then webcast it after it is complete is possible in almost all circumstances and may suit your needs just as well.
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APPENDICIES

Is there sufficient connectivity on-site?
The most important element to ensuring that a webcast event is feasible is making sure that an internet connection is available. 2.1 2.2 Do you know the encoding rate for the webcast?5 Is there an uncontested internet uplink available at 6 least 50% greater than the encoding rate? Is it possible to provide a second connection option as a contingency?

2.3

If you are using a satellite connection then the following questions will also apply: 2.4 If viewing over a network connection will the firewall and proxy server both allow webcasts to be viewed? Do you have a secure location to park the satellite van with line of sight to the venue? Can the connection enable outbound as well as inbound communication

2.5

2.6

Notes / Tips The quality of the webcast picture is largely dependent on the size of the internet connection for the viewer. Good practice is for the webcast to be streamed in such as a way as to make it accessible to viewers using a 56K dial up connection as well as a higher rate stream for broadband viewers – however irrespective of the encoding rate a faster connection speed will make a tangible difference to the viewing experience. Ideally some kind of Broadband connection will be available with a 56K dial up service available as a contingency measure.

5 6

You will need to provide at least a 34/42kbps encoding rate

For an encoding rate of 42kbps – ideally at least 64k connection will be available, i.e. an ISDN line
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APPENDICIES With both Satellite and ADSL connections its important to make sure that you find out the uplink capacity (which is what you will be using to webcast) as this is usually smaller than the downlink capacity. You need to make sure that you know who/what you are sharing your internet connection with to make sure you can rely on consistent bandwidth.

Is there sufficient power available?
The following items will require standard power: · · · · · · · · · · Event webcast Encoding PC and Monitor Cameras Audio system PA System For remote viewings: PC/laptop for viewing the webcast Back up PC/laptop for webcast viewing Projector Any PC/laptop that is being used to send feedback to the live meeting (NB may be more than one – see operational checklist) PA System

·

Notes / Tips Standard power supply is 230 volts PCs will require twice as many power sockets (for the tower and the monitor) as laptops

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APPENDICIES

Is the lighting suitable?
As with any use of a projector the lighting conditions need to be appropriate in order to ensure that the audience has a watchable view of the webcast. Considerations are:

4.1

If it is a daytime event then are there curtains in the venue in case of bright sunlight? If a presentation is being made will it be possible to leave some lights on so that the presenter can be seen on the webcast?

4.2

In addition for the remote viewing: 4.3 Can the lighting be dimmed in order to ensure that the projector/screen will be visible?

Notes / Tips You need to check the lighting from all parts of the audience to check there is no glare from specific lights You also need to make sure that enough lighting remains on to make it safe for the audience to get up and walk around – to give feedback or to get teas and coffees

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APPENDICIES

How will audio be provided?
Sound is essential to a good webcast experience. 5.1 Does the venue already have an audio/PA system? If the venue does not have an audio/ PA system then can one be hired? Do you require a handheld microphone for members of the public to use to ask questions?

5.2

5.3

In addition for a remote viewing: 5.4 Does the PA system have an “audio in” connection that can be used to feed sound to the PC/Laptop?

Notes / Tips Some venues may also have a hearing loop – if this is the case then the webcast can also be run through this If you are going to have Q&A as part of the meeting then you will also need to be able to run microphones through the PA for speakers from the audience to use You should plan on providing one microphone per speaker in order to ensure good quality audio

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Is there adequate access to the venue?
In order to set up you will need to make sure you have access to the venue in advance 6.1 Can you have access to the site in order to survey it before the event to check its suitability? Is there adequate access before the event in order to set up and test? In the event of there being a gap between set up and the event is the venue secure enough to leave kit?

6.2

6.3

Notes / Tips Set up time will depend on the number of machines being used so this needs to be decided on a case by case basis.

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APPENDICIES

Identifying the audience
Has the potential audience been identified?
It is important to try to identify specific groups who may want to view a webcast so that marketing can be targeted. Ensuring that you have identified specific groups will help keep you on track with the objectives behind doing the event.

1.1 1.2

Who are the potential audiences for the event? Is there a clear idea of what you expect them to get out of the webcast – why should they want to watch it? Do you know how you will contact these audiences to advertise the event?

1.3

Notes / tips As with any kind of marketing the more detail with which you can identify specific audience groups the easier it will be to communicate effectively with them. It is worth spending the time on a brief brainstorming exercise to make sure that you have identified all the possible groups. If you are trying to hold a discussion at the event as well then its also important to make sure that you have a balanced audience representing as many sides of the debate as possible.

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APPENDICIES

Before the webcast
Marketing the webcast
Attendance is key in ensuring that the remote webcasting viewing is lively and attractive to attendees. Below are some basic marketing steps that can be taken to help boost attendance:

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7

Advertising in local papers Adding to meeting papers Writing to local residents Posters in the community Flysheet describing the process Press release Information on the Council’s website

Notes / tips Marketing does not need to be a high cost activity. The ideas suggested above are a good starting point and need cost no more than a few hundred pounds. Some of them – for instance putting information on your website have no external costs at all. It’s a good idea to create a marketing plan which relates the different audience groups to the activities that you are going to undertake in order to reach them – this ensures you get good coverage with your marketing

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APPENDICIES

Define the project team
Below are the main roles required to carry out this event:2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Who is the team leader? Who is the technical contact? Who is in charge of marketing? Who is liaising with the event organisers?

In the case of a remote viewing: 2.5 Who is the liaison with the main meeting organisers? Who will answer questions from the audience on the night?

2.6

Notes / tips

There is no need for a different person to carry out each of these roles – you should be able to run the event with a team of 2-3 people The closer that the webcasting team work with the main event team the better – ideally in fact the event will be run by one team of people

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APPENDICIES

Setting-up feedback routes
It is important to make sure that the webcast viewers are aware of how they can participate in the process both by commenting on the event and also, more importantly, on the content they are viewing. 2.7 Will webcast viewers be able to ask questions at the live event? Is yes, then how will this be done? Where should general feedback about the webcast be sent? How will you handle feedback in response to the archived webcast? Remember that this may come in some months after the live webcast

2.8

2.9

2.10

For the remote viewing: 2.11 Will the audience at the remote event be able to ask questions at the live event? Is yes, then how will this be done? Where should general feedback about the event be sent? Who will be able to answer questions about the webcast at the event? Who will be able to answer questions about webcast content at the event?

2.12

2.13

2.14

2.15

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APPENDICIES

Notes / tips Some kind of feedback route is essential to make sure that the audience feel engaged in the process It is vital that any feedback received is acknowledged and, if it is reacted to, actions taken as a result communicated back to the person who raised the issue. It is very damaging to the individual’s perception of the Council to feel that their comments have been ignored.

Preparing materials
The webcast audience needs to have access to the associated materials for the live event.

4.1

Will the webcast provide access to all of the meeting information such as agenda / presentations / briefings / speaker bios etc? Who will provide this information to the webcast team? When will it be provided? Do you have a list of speakers? Assuming that your webcast will transmit their names, when will these be given to the webcast team?

4.2

4.3 4.4

Notes / tips In most cases the materials will be the same as those being provided at the main event

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APPENDICIES

Agree room layout
In advance of the meeting the room layout needs to be agreed with any other organisers: 5.1 5.2 5.3 Location of cameras Location of Internet connection Location of Webcasting operators (including Cameramen if relevant) Location of screen / projector Location of PA system

5.4 5.5

For the remote viewing: 5.6 Location of PC/Laptop running the webcast Location feedback of machines for

5.7

Notes / tips Try to make sure that the PC/Laptop running the webcast is not in front of the screen as it will make it easier to make any necessary adjustments. This may require an extension to the standard PC / Projector connection lead that is provided with most projectors The same is true of any machines provided for feedback – the audience will be less intimidated about using these if they are at the back of the room rather than in front of the audience Its important that cables are secured and that the set-up would pass a Health and Safety assessment. The main element of this is in ensuring that there are no trip hazards created by the equipment.

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APPENDICIES

Setting up at the venue
List of equipment at the event
1.1 Webcasting equipment – usually: Cameras Encoding PC Audio equipment For a remote viewing: 1.2 Screen for viewing the webcast (see technical checklist for projector) Projector for displaying webcasts Laptop/PC for running webcast PA System Flysheets explaining the event to the audience – as well as explaining how to go back and view it on the archive Any meeting papers provided at the live event for the public Feedback forms Pens for filling out forms! How many additional PC/laptops will be required for the audience to send feedback?
7

1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6

1.7

1.8 1.9 1.10

7

A full list to be created in conjunction with your webcasting supplier

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APPENDICIES

Data protection / Legal issues
There are only a few points to remember in this area: 2.1 Have you created a sign to put up in the venue to inform people that you will be webcasting the event? Have you informed all speakers on the agenda in advance that the 8 event will be webcast? If any of the speakers/participants are under the age of 16 have you obtained parental consent for them to be webcast? Are all valuable items insured if stored overnight?

2.2

2.3

2.4

Notes / Tips According to best practice you need to inform everyone at the event that it is being webcast and give them the opportunity to avoid being filmed if this is their wish. The easiest way of doing this is by putting up signs throughout the venue explaining that the event is to be webcast. You only need written consent to webcast in the case of children under 16.

8

You may wish to provide speakers with a briefing on the webcasting process – please see the webcasting best practice document for more help on this.
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APPENDICIES

Managing the webcast
As the webcast proceeds how will the event work? Its important to get a balance between ensuring that the webcast does not impose itself on the event and making sure that you create the best possible webcast for your viewers. This section contains suggestions as to how you can do this.

3.1

Do you have a set agenda for the event and does the webcast team have an up to date version? Who will communicate changes to the agenda to the webcasters? If you are using speaker names does the webcasting team know who each of the speakers are or will someone be on-hand to prompt them? Do you want presentations to be transmitted? If a projector and screen are being used during the event have you checked the lighting for the webcast with the lights both up and down? Can the chair announce the webcast and introduce the event to the webcast viewers?

3.2

3.3

3.4

3.5

3.6

Notes / tips During the busy-ness of a live event its very easy to mis-communicate. Clear lines of communication should be established and stuck to in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen

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APPENDICIES

Setting-up for the remote viewing
This section is only relevant if you are organising a remote viewing – setting up for a webcast event would be managed by your webcast supplier. Setting up your webcasting Laptop / PC: 4.1 Will you be using a proprietary player (such as the 9 public-i player ) or will you be using the format standard player? Will you be viewing the webcast full screen or is there a need to share the screen with supporting materials such as slides? Are you sure that there are no firewall or proxy issues to viewing the webcast? Cookies, Java and Javascript are enabled on the browser10 All machine sounds to be turned off – though not muted as this will mute the webcast as well All Instant Message and Email programmes to be disabled to ensure that they do not infringe on bandwidth All pop up reminders (for instance from Outlook calendar or Windows updates) to be disabled Close all other active or scheduled applications (e.g. defragment / virus scan)

4.2

4.3

4.3

4.4

4.5

4.6

4.7

9

The Public-i Player is the webcast viewing tool provided by Public-i as part of their webcasting service
10

NB these requirements may vary depending on how you are going to be viewing the webcast
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APPENDICIES Notes / Tips Windows Media Player or Real Player are the most likely player formats as Quicktime and Flash are not usually used for live webcasts In the event of there being accompanying slides (or other materials) to view alongside the webcast then some trial and error is required to work out the best screen arrangement as this will depend on the size of the venue, as well as the size of the supporting content! Specification of the viewing machine: Below is a minimum specification for the machine being used to play the webcast:· · · · · · · · · · · Windows 2000, or Windows XP Internet Explorer (v5 or above) or other browser Java virtual machine (JVM) – free download Recent versions of Real player (with Real text plug in) or Windows Media player Pentium 166 megahertz (MHz) processor 32 MB RAM 16-bit sound card 256-colour video card appropriate card for connectivity required “audio out” for PA system The correct media player for the format of the webcast

Notes / tips Check which codec11 your webcast is being encoded with in order to ensure that you have the correct player Set up of feedback machines

11

The codec is the version of the encoding software that is being used to create your webcast. Different codecs relate to different versions of the media player used for viewing (for instance Real 9 vs Real 10).
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APPENDICIES The specification for feedback machines will depend on the feedback tools being used. These could be email or could be discussion or chat technology.

Preparing the venue
4.8 Do you providing venue? need to transport consider to the

4.9

Will you be refreshments?

providing

any

4.10

Is there a need to arrange parking for attendees? What signage is required? Tips : Toilets, Exits Have all cables been made secure and safe? Have you decided on a room layout and communicated this to porters, or anyone setting up the venue, in advance?

4.11

4.12

4.13

Notes / tips It’s worth taking the time to make sure that the venue is well presented – first impressions have a big impact on the audience mood and you want to make sure that they feel that the event is efficient and well run.

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During the event
Communication protocols
Clear lines of communication will help ensure a smooth event: 1.1 In the event of a problem with the webcast who will be responsible for key decisions? Who will liaise with the Chair / Meeting Organisers during the event? How will you find out about changes to the agenda which may affect the webcast?

1.2

1.3

For a remote viewing event: 1.4 How will communication with the live location be carried out? Phone / SMS / email? How will changes to the agenda be communicated to the remote location Do you know who will be available at the live location to give you updates on the status of the meeting Do you know how you will be communicating with the live location?

1.5

1.6

1.7

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APPENDICIES Notes / Tips During the busyness of a live event its very easy to mis-communicate. Clear lines of communication should be established and stuck to in order to make sure that this doesn’t happen This is an area where it is important to co-ordinate with the staff dealing with the operational (as opposed to technical) side of the event to make sure that you are getting a single consistent message as to what is going on SMS is probably the easiest way of keeping in touch with the live location as it is instant and quiet!

Monitoring during the webcast
There are various elements that should be monitored during the event:

2.1

Establish a rota to make sure the live webcast is being viewed by a member of staff at all times Assign someone to the feedback machines to make sure that they are all working and that the audience are not having any problems using them

2.2

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APPENDICIES

Contingency plan for connection problems
While webcasting is an established technology no technology is 100% reliable. In the event of the webcast failing contingency plans are needed. At the time your choices will either be to re-start the live webcast once the connection has been restored or to abandon the live webcast but create an archive webcast for distribution after the event.

3.1

Who will decide when/if you abandon the live webcast? Can you communicate this to live viewers? In the event of the live webcast not working what are your plans for capturing an archive only webcast?

3.2

3.3

For a remote viewing location: 3.4 In the event of a problem its vital to identify whether it is a problem with the venue’s internet connection or with the webcast itself (see technical checklist) What contingency plans are relevant for the event? Ideas include; alternative presentations, questions and answer, coffee break In the event of a problem how long will it be able to go on before the event is either stopped or alternative arrangements are implemented What should happen in the event of the projector failing – though the webcast is still running? What should happen if the PC/Laptop showing the webcast either hangs or worse?

3.5

3.6

3.7

3.8
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APPENDICIES

Notes / tips Contingency planning is something that can only be done in advance – though hopefully these plans will not be needed it its important that they are in place so that you can deal with changes and problems seamlessly and professionally. As with any event the organisers will need to take a view as to whether the risk of failure is sufficient to make it necessary to take substitute equipment. In the case of projectors etc this should be discussed – however it is strongly recommended that a back-up PC/laptop for viewing the webcast be provided In the event of the webcast terminating then the operational team need to have a contingency plan in place for managing the audience while the technical team look into the problem

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APPENDICIES

After the webcast
Follow-up after the event

1.1 1.2

Make sure that audience feedback has been responded to Hold de-brief project team meeting with

1.3

Analyse any audience feedback questionnaires Make sure available the archive is

1.4

Notes / tips As with any event follow up is essential – you want to consolidate your learning and make sure that all loose ends are tied off.

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APPENDICIES

Pre-event test plans
Webcast event
Below is a basic test plan for use before any live webcast. To use it you will need someone viewing a test webcast from your venue via the Internet. 2.1 Can the picture? viewer see the

2.2

Is the audio available?

clear

and

2.3

If you are transmitting speaker names are these visible? If a feedback feature is being used is this being received by the live location? If a presentation is being used is this visible on the webcast? Have you tested for differing lighting conditions – i.e. during the presentation as opposed to during a main speaker?

2.4

2.5

2.6

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APPENDICIES

Remote viewing
Below is a basic test plan to be run through at the end of the set-up process and before the event starts: 2.1 Is the PC/laptop for viewing set up as per the set-up recommendations? Is the internet connection in place? Is it possible to view a test webcast on the viewing PC/Laptop? Are the projector and screen in place? Can you view a test webcast via the projector/screen? Is the lighting optimized for viewing the webcast? Is the PA system in place? Is sound coming through the PA system from the test webcast? Are the feedback PC/Laptops up and running? Has a test piece of feedback been received by the live location?

2.2

2.3

2.4

2.5

2.6

2.7 2.8

2.9

2.10

Notes / Tips Make sure that your test webcast is in the same format and at the same encoding rates as the live webcast – if possible run a live test from the live venue as part of this process
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Appendix Three: Sample webcasting protocol from Croydon
(Approved by Cabinet at meeting held on 10 January 2005)

PROTOCOL FOR WEBCASTING OF COUNCIL AND OTHER MEETINGS The Council has agreed that certain meetings should be the subject of live web transmission (‘webcasting’), or recorded for subsequent transmission. Fixed cameras are located within the Council Chamber for this purpose and there is a mobile unit for use in other locations. Items in Part B of any Agenda will not be webcast, nor does this affect existing restrictions in the Council’s Constitution on the recording, photographing or filming of proceedings by any member of the public, media or Councillor.

This protocol has been agreed to assist the conduct of webcast meetings and to ensure that in doing so the Council is compliant with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. Accordingly the following will apply to all meetings to be webcast by the Council:-

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APPENDICIES Agenda Front Sheets and Signage at Meetings

On the front of each agenda and on signs to be displayed inside the meeting room there will be the following notice:-

"Please note: this meeting may be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council's internet site - at the start of the meeting the Chair will confirm if all or part of the meeting is being filmed. The images and sound recording may be used for training purposes within the Council.

Generally the public seating areas are not filmed. However by entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes.

If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the Members’ Services Manager for the meeting.”

Meetings of the Development Control Committee, Committee and other ‘Quasi Judicial’ Hearings

Licensing

In any correspondence notifying applicants, supporters or objectors of the meeting date on which an application will be heard, the following advice will be included:-

"Please note that Council meetings may be filmed for live or subsequent broadcast via the Authority's internet site. If you do not wish the hearing of your application to be filmed, please contact the Members’ Services Manager to discuss arrangements. "

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APPENDICIES Conduct of Meetings

At the start of each meeting to be filmed, an announcement will be made to the effect that the meeting is being or may be webcast, and that the Chair may also terminate or suspend the webcasting of the meeting, in accordance with their powers under para.1.02 and 1.04 of Part 4A of the Council’s Constitution. This will be confirmed by the Chair making the following statement:-

“It is the Council's agreed practice to film meetings for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council's internet site. The images and sound recording may be used for training purposes within the Council.

The Chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming, if in the opinion of the Chair continuing to do so would prejudice the proceedings of the meeting." Cessation of Webcasting for Part B of the Agenda

Part B of any Agenda will not be webcast. The Members’ Services Manager will ensure that filming and/or recording of the meeting has ceased and will confirm this to the Chair of the meeting before any discussion of Part B items is commenced.

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