How do business writers and content marketers know whether a case study is worth writing? For me, the confirmation comes after the fact. If I lament that I couldn’t all the information I collected into the final case study, I know it was worth doing.
Happily, this tinge of regret strikes fairly regularly, as it did following this case study on the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFL CVB). I had to exclude some interesting practices and tactics that the bureau and its marketing vendors used for an innovative campaign that other can learn from—especially as video becomes a more common component of content marketing efforts. So, I decided to present them here.
The campaign turned Chicago and Boston bus shelters into a live, interactive video event broadcast from Fort Lauderdale beaches. The technical challenge of pulling this off were formidable, and LP Media Director of Media Services Frank Linero, one of GFL CVB’s external partners, identified three keys to success regarding the more technical, video-production facet of the campaign:
1. Diverse skills: The team consisted of people who specialize in different facets of television and film. These professionals also had to ply their talents in diverse conditions. For example, directors of photography (DPs) had to handle outdoor lighting challenges on the beach that were transmitted to digital cameras in in bus shelters.
2. Creative equipment configurations: The cameras in Fort Lauderdale were mounted on a Steadicam that smoothly followed the host as he walked the beaches. Those cameras had to be mounted in a vertical configuration because the screens in the bus shelters were installed vertically. This posed challenges for many, including the camera operators and the folks in the satellite trucks. The team ultimately had to install extra cameras that were configured horizontally so that the media could downlink the proper aspect when tapping in to the signal.
3. Old and new technology: Satellite technology, often overlooked since the advent of streaming video via Internet, was key, Linero emphasizes. The team also integrated streaming video so that the satellite-enabled interactions between Florida and the northern bus shelters appeared on branded landing page where online users could log in and watch. “It also came in very handy with radio stations as they interviewed our host live,” Linero adds. “They could be watching him talk to them on the Web since they do not have satellite downlink capability.”
Not all case studies are worth writing. As much as I try to engage in a business-writing version of Letterman’s “Is it Anything” bit to determine whether or not a case study is “anything” or “nothing,” my screening sometimes fail. Not in this case, however, as I confirmed with Linero. He describes the campaign as the technical experience of a lifetime, and illustrates this point with a familiar success indicator. “All of the professionals involved,” he says, “are using this as a case study.”