Live streaming video: How to avoid the risks as you pursue the rewards

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone discusses the risks of live streaming video and ways to minimize them.

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone discusses the risks of live streaming video and ways to minimize them.

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone knows what you’re thinking.

The lawyer is going to say, “No.”

Live streaming video has so many perils: You might invade people’s privacy or reveal information protected by copyright. You might run afoul of sports or entertainment broadcast rights agreements. You might transmit something that detracts from your brand.

“The problem is not the technology … it’s the people,’’ said Gorgone, a lawyer and senior program manager for enterprise learning at MarketingProfs.

But Gorgone, who spoke at AMA Tampa Bay’s December luncheon, isn’t that lawyer who dismisses experimenting with live streaming out of hand. She realizes it drives traffic and engagement.

“You run the risk of falling behind bolder marketers if you don’t try new things,” Gorgone said. “Interest in live streaming is only going to grow, so it makes sense to want to use them or at least experiment with them.”

Risks are there, and Gorgone wants marketers to understand and take them into account in planning for live streams, such as Facebook Live or Periscope.

Gorgone warns against broadcasting from an environment you don’t control, pointing to the potential for hecklers and photobombers. She said you should be aware of what can be seen on a big screen. Not everyone is watching on a mobile device. And be very wary of broadcasting children.

“I would not live stream pictures of kids without the written permission of their parents,” Gorgone said, citing strict laws.

To be successful with live streaming, Gorgone says firms need to plan as much as they would for a scripted video. Her tips:

  1. Control the location: Public venues leave you susceptible to those hecklers and photobombers. Things can happen in the background you don’t control. That can harm your brand.

  2. Storyboard your shot: Carefully scrutinize your background and how it will look as your video develops. Don’t assume something will be too small to see. People with big screens or zooming capability may see things you don’t intend.

  3. Get releases: If you’re using the content for commercial use, you want to secure permission from those who are featured. Ideally, you might use employees who can develop a following with your audience.

  4. Post warnings: If you are live streaming from an area you control, post visible notices to warn people their images may be used so they can withdraw if they don’t want to be involved.

  5. Have a contingency: It might rain. Someone else might have rights to use the space. Any number of things can affect your plan. Be prepared.