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Advice, Event Strategy, Trends

4 Long-Term Benefits You Can Expect When Adopting a Virtual Media Center

by Chris Carver
on March 23, 2021
Photo by: PGA

The Unexpected Long-Term Benefits of the Virtual Media Centers we Hosted During COVID

Over the past year we helped a number of major sporting events take their media center virtual. The reasons for going virtual during the pandemic were clear. They needed to...

  • Allow the press and media to effectively cover these events remotely.
  • Drastically decrease their spend.
  • Equip the media with everything they needed in real-time.

The benefits of the media hub quickly extended beyond the virtual ones. What happened next, I’m not sure any of us expected. Here are the four biggest long-term benefits you can expect when adopting a virtual media center.

    1. Expanded Reach
    2. Drastically Reduced Budget
    3. Improved Experience for Onsite Media
    4.  Created Efficiencies for the Media Operations Team

#1. Expanded Reach

For our users, the number of outlets covering their events increased.

Having a virtual option, gave many outlets the ability to still cover these events, even if they couldn't afford the travel expense.

“Having a virtual option gives us another form of access when things go back to normal. We all know the media landscape is changing and there are plenty of media outlets and blogs that have significant reach, but may not be able to travel or we may not be able to accommodate on-site. We still want to make sure they have access to be able to expand our reach”.   

pga social feed

Source: 2020 PGA Championship

“Now that we opened up our event to a global media presence, why would we go back?” One of them said. 

#2. Drastically reduced budget

Some of our partners were able to reduce their on-site media operational budget by 50-60%.

The press and media are a critical component to any major event, however the cost of servicing that entity can be exorbitant. With a keen eye on budgets, shrewd media teams are looking for ways to get more out of every dollar they spend. A dynamic virtual media hub not only is proven to help broaden the reach of the event to media outlets globally, but also significantly shrink the cost of the media footprint on-site.

pga-pre-covid-post-covid

Source: PGA

One team said, “We will be expanding our footprint, but it will likely take a few years before we get back to the numbers we once had. That said, the virtual media hub is something that will always be a part of our tool kit. It not only allows us to be more strategic with our budget, but it also allows us to have a higher level of service for both on-site and virtual media.” 

"Thanks to Lennd we identified efficiencies beyond our wildest dreams and new way to do business in the future."                       Jullius Mason, Sr. Director Public Awareness and External Relations at PGA of America

#3. Improved Experience for On-Site Media

Although this wasn’t the reason why any of our partners invested in a virtual offering, it was one of the most unexpected benefits of the deployment.

Media are mobile and they need something mobile. Even when press and media are on-site, it’s hard to be in all places at once. A virtual media hub aggregates all of the critical information in one place, but most importantly gives on-site media to the most up-to-date information, interviews, transcripts, alerts, and communication at their fingertips. Imagine covering a player at a certain hole, court, locker room, or press center and you know you're missing an important interview on the other side of the venue.

pga vmh

Source: 2020 PGA Championship

With the hub you get a text alert that tells you what’s coming up. You can click into your virtual media hub right there and participate in the interview, get the transcript immediately after, view real-time social updates or shot-by-shot replays, and ask the media team a question. All without leaving your post.

“The virtual media hub is as much of a tool for on-site media as it is for media outlets covering these events virtually. Lennd is a communications tool at its core."                                                                                  —Patrick Kravitz, Media Relations Specialist, PGA of America.

#4. Created Efficiencies for the Media Operations Team

Having the tools to quickly respond to changes throughout the event meant operations teams were better equipped to meet the needs of media and press teams on deadline. 

With the media hub, each of the events we worked with were able to host more interviews than ever before, and get information in real-time. Real-time updates helped cut down on the back and forth interactions that are common with static media websites. Efficiencies like this allowed operations teams more time to be strategic and focus on cultivating relationships with the growing number of media outlets.

What we found from speaking to our partners is that the virtual media hub is a tool that will continue to help their media partners do their job more efficiently.

PGA blog image

Source: 2020 PGA Championship

It's clear that the future of media and press operations requires a personalized, dynamic platform that gives the media outlets all of their information they need in one place.

 

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