It was a hot one this weekend; so hot, I spent most of it indoors. Throughout the weekend, a thought kept entering my mind – virtual media tours and Mathew DeFreitas.

Why that combo?  Mathew is VideoLink’s marketing specialist. He oversees our social media content, including the blog you are reading. He and I have discussed blog ideas for some time and came up with a regular content plan. But COVID-19 got in the way. Well, it did for me. Not so much for Mathew. Mathew’s calendar reminders to himself inevitably become update requests to me. I respond, “I’m working on it.” The truth is, I proposed a topic to him about Virtual Media Tours (VMTs) a while ago. He gave me the thumbs up and was looking forward to reading it.  So, as I relaxed over the weekend, I figured it was time to “write” (think about) this blog.

Like my blog-writing, COVID-19 forced VideoLink to shift gears. We’ve made our services more virtual, including satellite media tours (SMTs). SMTs have been around since the ’90s. I’ve spent a lot of my career involved in their production. The concept: A spokesperson broadcasts from a local studio for a series of pre-arranged live interviews with news outlets, instead of traveling to those outlets for in-person appearances.

VideoLink hosts many studios like this in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and over 200 ReadyCam® Studio locations across the United States. Each one connects to an affiliate via satellite, enabling you to communicate to a viewing audience across multiple markets in just a few hours.

Virtual Media Tours (VMT) are the latest iteration of satellite media tours, connecting spokespeople to media outlets right from their homes.

A webcam (better yet, ReadyCam Pro or ReadyCam Studio) and our ability to connect a socially distanced spokesperson to media outlets (via web-based meeting applications) are all an organization needs to reach their audience. With SMT core ingredients, the VMT is our adapted solution during the pandemic.

The VideoLink Virtual Media Tour Production Process

Pre-Production:

  • Assess internet connection, webcam, and audio quality
  • Provide an overview of on-camera best practices – framing, lighting, and background

Virtual Media Tour (day of):

  • Connect the spokesperson and their representative(s) to:
    • VideoLink’s control room via a web-based meeting application, like Zoom, MS Teams, or Google Meet.
  • Transmit that connection to each scheduled interview with the media outlet through:
    • The same web-based meeting application selected by the client
    • Traditional broadcast transmission solutions, like satellite, fiber, or VideoLink’s EnhancedIP™ technology
  • VideoLink can provide content for each interview, like roll-in videos and graphics.
  • Interviews are recorded and shared the same day, including direct file delivery to media outlets.

VideoLink has been at the forefront of SMT productions for decades. Our proven production processes and VMT capabilities have established us as a leader for this adapted service amid the pandemic.

After thinking this through, I began writing my mental blog post before the news started. Luckily golf coverage went long, so I had extra time to proofread, including correcting the spelling of Mathew’s name.  Yep, he’s a “one t” Mathew. Hopefully, this will pause the blog reminders for a bit. Maybe, I should grab a cold beverage and start “writing” another one.

Feel free to reach out to sales@videolinktv.com or 617-340-4200 to broadcast a series of interviews right from home. I’d also appreciate any writing suggestions to keep the email reminders at bay.