This is Why Your City Council Meeting Attendance is Low

July 11, 2018

This post discusses the reasons that your city council meetings might be lacking in attendance. It also addresses some possible solutions. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

Whether you're a council member, public information officer, or engaged citizen, you may have noticed a decline in the number of seats filled at your weekly public meetings.

Your local government isn’t alone in this struggle – low attendance is a regular concern of municipalities across the country.

As a part of my job, I’ve attended council meetings in various cities and have witnessed the problem firsthand. I’ve even shown up only to realize that I was the only non-government employee in attendance.

However, I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to residents. Time and time again, they’ve made it clear that they care about what’s going on in the community, but just can’t make it to council meetings in person.

This is what they’ve had to say about why that is....

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How to Stream Government  Meetings to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitter

May 29, 2018

This post addresses streaming public meetings to multiple destinations including Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope (Twitter). It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

Streaming council meetings on your website is a great start to public meeting transparency. However, as more and more platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter announce the ability to stream live video, you may be wondering how to take advantage. The good news is you don’t have to create separate streams for those locations. Instead, you can use an easy technique called simulcasting.

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How Local Governments Can Build a Strong Social Media Presence

May 10, 2018

This post talks addresses how local governments can build a strong social media presence to better engage with residents. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

Social media, when used correctly, is an incredibly effective communication tool.

Still, many municipalities that run social media accounts struggle to understand what to do with them. A social presence is important, but it’s tough to build an engaging audience.

Below are five best practices that will help your city build a stronger social media presence.

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Should I Stream My City Council Meetings on Facebook Live?

May 01, 2018

This post talks about the pros and cons of streaming your public meetings to Facebook Live. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

In April of 2016, Facebook entered the live streaming world and brought new levels of attention to the online engagement platform that had been growing for years. Within a matter of months, they quickly discovered that users spend 3x more time watching live video than any other form of content. Live streaming is powerful.

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Should I Stream My City Council Meetings on YouTube Live?

January 30, 2018

This post talks about the pros and cons of streaming your public meetings to YouTube Live. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

When you think about video on the internet, YouTube is the biggest name in the industry. With over 1 billion unique viewers each month, the platform is a powerful and effective space for sharing your digital video content.

As live video streaming rose in popularity over the past few years, YouTube slowly rolled out their own live streaming solution. Initially available to its creators with high subscriber rates, YouTube Live is now available to the masses.

As a city official, you may be wondering if YouTube Live can help you effectively engage with your residents. What if you could stream your city council meetings online? How about community events and other happenings around city hall?

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Video Analytics for Local Government Live Streaming

January 15, 2018

This post talks about the the importance of understanding viewer analytics while you live stream local government meetings. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

Often, when local governments begin live streaming their public meetings, they are surprised by the number of people tuning in to watch the broadcasts online. The number of viewers for your broadcasts is a great statistic to know, but access to even more analytics can help you learn more. These numbers give you metrics for reporting and also provide information to help improve your reach and engagement.

With BoxCast's Enhanced Analytics tool, we provide your government with the robust viewer metrics. This article breaks down the robust statistics provided by the BoxCast Dashboard. 

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Why Your City Council Videos Must Be High Definition (HD)

December 06, 2017

This post addresses the state of government video and makes the case that your government needs to be streaming in high definition. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

In the past few years, the ease of producing high definition video has increased dramatically. Standard definition video is no longer the 'standard.' Due to the massive increase in HD video, viewers quality expectations have changed as well.

Nobody has ever liked watching bad quality video. But, thanks to major television networks and online platforms like Netflix, we’ve all come to deem anything less than crisp video unacceptable.

If your stream is in standard definition, you are losing viewers and presenting your municipality in a poor light. People will watch a high definition stream much longer than a standard definition stream because it is simply nicer to watch and more engaging. You feel like you are actually there. You can see the people who are speaking.

Additionally, if you have a standard definition stream these days, you’re not giving off the best perception of your city to your residents. It’s important that your city looks like it was built for the twenty-first century. If I’m a potential resident looking on your city’s website and see a standard definition stream, I would likely internalize the idea that your city is behind the times. Learn more about what civic engagement looks like in the digital age.

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What to Look for in a Local Government Website Video Player

November 28, 2017

This post talks about what governments should be looking for in an embedded video player on their website. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

If you’ve decided that it’s important for your public meeting live stream to be on your website, your next step is to understand what you might be looking for in a video player.

(Thinking you should just stream on Facebook Live? Here’s what you should be considering)

Not all embedded video players are made the same. This article addresses a few of the features you should be looking for in a player.

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The Three Questions I Get Asked the Most About Local Government Live Streaming

November 10, 2017

This post addresses the three most common questions about local government live streaming including discussions on content types, comment sections, and viewership. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

In my day-to-day conversations, I chat with communications directors, public information officers, municipal clerks, IT directors, and city managers about how to use live streaming to increase citizen engagement and transparency in public meetings.

In those chats, a few questions appear regularly. Below, I’ll address the answers I give to the most common questions I get asked.

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How to Start Your Search For City Council Live Streaming

September 20, 2017

This post talks about beginning your search for a platform for local government live streaming. It's part of our series on local government live streaming.

If you're a communications director, clerk, elected official, or IT director for a local government, the world of public meeting live streaming can seem daunting.

If you’ve asked around to see how your neighbors are bringing their meetings into the online world, you may have received a wide variety of answers. One town next to you may have a $100,000 AV system while another may be streaming to Facebook Live off of a council member's phone.

If you have been tasked with figuring out the right live streaming solution for your municipality, the variation of options may be making it difficult to start on the process of finding the right solution. In this post, we breakdown both ends of the spectrum and explain an alternative that is a better fit.

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