How Press Conferences Work

Web Press Conferences

With Web conferencing, reporters can listen from their desk.
With Web conferencing, reporters can listen from their desk.
© Tomasz Tojanowski/Getty Images

Web press conferences are a type of Web seminar, where an organizer invites a group of attendees to watch a live, streaming, online video presentation. The greatest advantage of a Web press conference is that journalists don't have to leave their desks to attend.



To hold a Web press conference, you'll need a digital video camera and a contract with a third-party hosting company. The hosting company takes the video feed from the press conference and compresses it into a digital codec like MPEG, Windows Media or QuickTime. The transmission is then encoded for playback over an IP network.­

To invite journalists to a Web press conference, you can use desktop Web conferencing software that merges with existing e-mail or IM applications to send attractive, easy-to-use digital invitations.

Here are some features of Web press conferences:

  • Presenters can use desktop sharing to show documents, graphs, slideshows and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
  • For interactivity, presenters can give journalists chat capability or the option of instant messaging questions to the presenters.
  • Web press conferences can be recorded and archived so journalists who couldn't attend the live presentation can download the video later.
  • Journalists can register and check-in online so press conference organizers know who attended and who to follow-up with afterward.

Web press conferences also have their limitations. Bloggers and print journalists can get quotes from presenters and ask questions, but there's no opportunity to take photos. And TV news journalists can't use online video for their broadcasts because the quality of the video stream is too low.

To get around these limitations, consider holding a regular press conference and stream it online at the same time. Print journalists could get their photos, TV stations could get their video, and those unable to attend can watch from their office. Or, they could watch it later on the company's Web site.

For additional information about press conferences and related topics, check out the links on the following page.

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