Marie Rourke & Victoria Rose, originally published for Alliance of Channel Women
Participating in a run of virtual, screen-to-screen, meetings from the comfort or chaos of your home is a new game for many of us. And whether it’s via Zoom, Teams or Skype, the high-profile fails of what not to do are playing out on morning and late-night talk shows, as well as in the mainstream media making everyone a little more paranoid and some desperate for guidance. Well, good news for those who want it! Here’s a simple list to help your screen time style:
Stay Dressed for Success & Keep a Schedule
We’ve all seen it, and many of us have done it … Half-dressed, sporting the ball cap, or worse doing both isn’t cool for the office and isn’t the best pick for work at home either. Finding a healthy, daily routine that gets you in the right headspace is essential for the workweek (and for those who’ve lost count, the workweek here in the U.S. is typically Monday through Friday). So our advice: Find a rhythm, stay dressed for success and be camera-ready. You never know – especially right now – when a future customer might beam in or a boss may call and want to see how you’re doing.
Remember, Camera Angles & Natural Lighting
First, a good web camera goes a long way. We recommend a Logitech HD webcam with a built-in privacy screen just to be safe.
Second, your camera should be at or around eye level, between your eyebrows and original hairline is a great target. A camera that is too low can be distracting and brings folks on the other end too close for anyone’s comfort. And despite what we see each and every day, you never want the camera angled up into your chest, your chin or worse your nostrils. (A bat in the cave is not what the camera or the audience is there to see.)
Third, if there’s room, put about a couple feet between you and the camera. This gives you and the audience some breathing room. Nature light hitting your face is also a good cosmetic move. Having big windows behind you with light beaming in, not so much. If you’d like to buy a Selfie Light Ring (aka as a glam light), we use QIAYA — just be sure if you wear glasses it’s not reflecting on your lenses (been there, done that!).
Be Mindful of Your Background
In today’s work-from-home chaos, everyone gets a pass and the occasional oops – a cat, a kid, a dog, a family member in their PJs walking by – is bound to happen. But the backdrop matters, which is why we have options: DIY, blur the background or pick one from the screen menu in advance – and we’re not talking Tiger King, albeit fun for virtual happy hours.
As best you can, make like a good realtor and stage your space to avoid distraction and keep people focused on what you have to say, not what is or isn’t happening behind you. If you’re not sure, video call with a friend and ask them what they see and thinks works best.
Look into the Lens, not at the Screen
It does not feel natural, and few are doing it, but we have to stop looking down at the screen and start looking into the lens. Think about your local TV news… talk to and through the camera — look at the light! If we keep looking down at the “Brady Bunch” screen, or worse watch ourselves, we may as well write a message on our eyelids (anyone remember that from Indiana Jones?) because that’s all anyone is going to see. A hack that helps: Place a happy hour drink coaster over your corner of the screen, so at minimum, you stop watching you. Another tip: Use a Post-It Note behind your camera to remind you to “LOOK HERE” instead.
A few more tips:
Nicole Reisberg, originally published on The Social Haven
The headlines are getting more and more serious by the minute. Most businesses have implemented a work-from-home policy, schools are closing, and toilet paper has been placed on the endangered species list.
As a social media lead for many organizations worldwide, I've been faced with the challenge of what my clients should be saying, and not saying, on an organizational level during a pandemic such as COVID-19. After many discussions with clients and colleagues, I thought I would share a few general guidelines that should keep your business relevant, while sensitive to the crisis.
Keep it positive!
Post photos and videos of your team members keeping a positive attitude during this time. Below is a great example of a company post showing a team making the most of the unfortunate situation. Kudos to ARG!
Show that business is still up and running. Don't go dark on social.
If you're on a work-from-home schedule, have team members share photos or videos their virtual workspaces and technology.
Promote virtual events in the absence of in-person. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn now all have Live broadcast features. You can schedule and promote a Live, Virtual event, where attendees can log into and interact in real time.
Continue your usual social media listening practices. Don't ignore the platforms, and respond to questions and comments as quickly as you typically would (same day!).
Offer relevant resources and updates.
Consider how you can help your employees, partners and clients stay connected and working during this time. Some of my clients are offering resources around tips for remote workers, Coronavirus-related threat advisories, etc...
Use social media as a communication tool to update team members of office closures and event cancelations.
Share only credible, relevant, industry news. Be very careful of sharing false information.
Limit promotional activity and opt for sensitivity and compassion.
While it's important to stay positive, do not make light of the situation...i.e. second-guess the Corona beer jokes.
Do not take a side, politically. Keep your voice neutral.
Stop and review all scheduled posts. Be sure that all are appropriate given the current circumstances.
Show support for local businesses that are still open. See below for a great example, courtesy of my local mayor here in Long Beach, CA.
Take advantage of the social media uptick.
People will be more active than ever on social media during this time. Take advantage of their presence by helping them get to know your team. Consider sharing team member features a couple times per week, with a photo and fun fact about each team member.
Keep up with staff birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with dedicated posts on social media.
If you're managing social media for a business, whether internally or as an agency, the above guidelines are important to keep in mind. Stay safe out there!