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When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg live streamed for the first time, it racked up more than 15 million views.

 

Since then, sports figures, authors and CEOs have hopped on to Facebook Live and hosted Twitter Q&A sessions to engage with their audiences. Live Q&A sessions are all the rage — but they’re not just for celebrities. Corporate communications leaders can capitalize on them, too. Here are five reasons why they might be the tool you’ve been looking for. 

1. They enhance employee engagement

A live company Q&A is a great way for companies to enhance employee engagement. They’re especially valuable for organizations with staff in multiple locations who may have infrequent interactions with top executives. A well-designed session can build loyalty and foster a sense of community. It can leave employees feeling more empowered, more engaged and more excited about their work.

And engagement matters. Temkin Group’s 2017 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study found a correlation between employees’ engagement and a company’s levels of financial success and customer satisfaction. 

2. They humanize leaders

Without regular face time, your organization’s corporate leaders can seem like remote figures to the average employee. Live Q&As offer a chance for your leaders to show off their personalities and connect more deeply with staff. Think of how former Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke regularly to audiences that ranged from employees to students. In fact, his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University is one of the most quoted speeches in modern history, according to Forbes. This devotion to engagement promoted confidence in Jobs and in Apple as a whole. Live Q&As can give your leaders a chance to do the same. 

3. They give employees a chance to be heard

Corporate communicators send messages to employees all the time. From new policies to announcements to reminders, corporate communicators do a lot of talking. But how frequently do you get messages from employees? Employees want to be heard, and a live Q&A can demonstrate that you’re listening. Even employees who don’t ask questions will see their colleagues being heard and given thoughtful responses. 

4. They can save you money

Concerned about the expense of a live company Q&A? They can actually be a cost-effective way to enhance your brand. You may have to make an initial technology investment, but with no pricey airfare or hotel expenses needed to get leaders in front of staff, you’ll cut costs. Regular live Q&As are easy opportunities for your executives to reinforce and clarify your company’s core messages and goals. This “face time” builds rapport and trust — and it’s easy on the pocketbook. 

5. You’ll gain insight

As a side benefit, live Q&As give corporate communications and human resources leaders insight into employee pain points and information that can be used to enhance the employee experience. Often, details revealed during live Q&A sessions make great fodder for internal content, as well—blogs, articles or even employee engagement videos.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, which will address the “how to” of live Q&As: the technical necessities, how to plan them and best practices.

Download our .futurology report to see why live video streaming needs to be part of your marketing and engagement mix.

Deborah Blumberg has more than 15 years’ experience writing business and finance topics for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The Christian Science Monitor and Newsday. She was a Knight Center fellow and a Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism fellow and is a founder and co-president of the Texas chapter of American Society of Journalists and Authors

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