Webcasting is rapidly becoming a part of the core communications mix for many companies. This trend is particularly noticeable in the healthcare industry since continually updated knowledge is the core of the medical field
Pioneering firms in the healthcare industry are already utilizing the power of webcasting for a multitude of applications. These firms understand the potential of the medium and how full implementation into their communications mix can contribute to successful budgeting and green initiatives.
However, understanding the advantages of webcasting is important before implementing a remote user program.
THE SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE – CONFERENCES/SYMPOSIA/PRODUCT EVENTS
Medical conferences and symposia are frequent, and with rising transportation prices, the cost can be prohibitive for both attendees and conference organizers. Webcasting allows the barriers of travel to be overcome and extends the reach of live events to a global audience
CUTS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT
Webcasting not only gives presenters and their message a global reach, but also allows organizations to achieve environmentally conscious communications goals through the reduction of participants’ transportation. The associated carbon emissions produced by transporting conference attendees, on aggregate, can be staggering. In the end, webcasting can be seen as being part of an overall environmental strategy.
Polling questions can be inserted in the webcast and/or testing conducted afterwards to ensure that audience members have retained the information that was presented to them. Other sophisticated techniques, such as pre-event/post event questioning in tandem allows for continual improvement in event presentation based on event attendee responses.
MARKETING AND PRODUCT COMMUNICATIONS
Using webcasting for product focused communications allows for a consistent message to be delivered to a segmented and targeted audience. Product launches, product use education, e-detailing physicians, product announcements, and DTC promotion/education can all be presented with careful message editing.
Additionally, registration for webcast events can be customized to provide useful marketing data that can quantify the success of the webcast, and allow for improvements or changes in future events.
Finally, the webcast can be completely branded by the event coordinators to increase overall market presence and affinity.
Live content can become enduring through archiving, allowing on-demand access after an event is over. Edited to specifications, the desired event content along with instances of audience activity are archived and made available “on demand.” This allows the presenting company to fully leverage its content
EDUCATION / TRAINING
Webcasting allows trainers to reach multiple remote attendees with the ability to better monitor and track compliance. Overall cost is reduced while attendance and retention are increased. Content testing and certificate issuance enables education providers to easily measure the efficacy of their material. Continual feedback from the audience during live events, such as polling or Q&A with the presenter, help in achieving a classroom feel. Webcasting also provides the ability to pre-record the event, then play it to the audience in a “simulated live” format.
Clearly, due to the unique needs of the medical community, webcasting is becoming an essential communication tool.However, before deploying any webcasting technology, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, health organizations and CME service providers should assess their own needs, and then evaluate providers based on their ability to meet specific criteria. Scalability, reliability, performance, branding, customization, production capabilities and reporting are all key features — only by engaging a provider that offers all of them, as well as value-added services based on a history of experience, can the full value of webcasting be leveraged.