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The Art Of Live Coverage: A Guide Part 1

If you work with social media (and sometimes even if you don’t), you may be faced with the task of covering an event live. The word ‘live’ gives most people palpitations and sweaty palms – and with good reason. You are in a spotlight where one false move could send everything into an abyss.

Career. Over.


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Okay, I suppose saying ‘career over’ is the worst case scenario, but we like to cover all bases here at Parachute. So to try and keep you all in a job, we thought we would give you a step by step guide on how to tackle live coverage. But first, we know what you’re probably thinking. Everyone who live tweets or blogs is an absolute professional in their field? How could they possibly get it wrong? Let’s have a look at a few times where live coverage well and truly went downhill… fast.

The Time When… the coverage became more interesting than the press conference.

The sports fans among us will no doubt have heard the news that Borussia Dortmund manager, Jurgen Klopp, will leave the club at the end of the season. However, this sad news was made tremendously more entertaining thanks to Telegraph reporter, Ben Bloom.

Ben covers sport and athletic news for the telegraph, so we assume he was very excited to be covering the story. With the blog set up to relay the news as it broke from the conference, he was prepared and ready to go. Sadly, no-one had informed Ben of one small detail about the conference – it was all in German. Let the panic begin!

Poor Ben, he tried his best but nothing could have saved this from becoming anything but a disastrous affair. Desperately trying to recall any German he had ever heard in his entire life, he could only post his apologies and general (hilarious) observations of the room.

Thankfully, Ben has not been relieved of his duties and has gone on to become an internet sensation. A risky move to continue blogging once you realise you understand nothing being said, but a move that certainly seems to have paid off. Read Ben’s efforts here (it helps to read bottom to top!) and check out some of the highlights below.

The Time When… someone forgot to change the password.

HMV has had an uncertain time over the past few years, and this came to they very forefront of public attention in January 2013. At the time, HMV were closing stores all over and many speculated about its future. As when any business closes, there are sadly employee casualties. A very important lesson can be learned here. If you are going to sack your social media people (or pretty much anyone) – remember to change or revoke passwords before you do, lest you end up in the situation that HMV found themselves.

Dubbed a ‘mass execution’ by the tweeter and accompanied by the hashtag #hmvXFactorFiring, someone within the building was live tweeting as they were being sacked from the company handle. At the time, HMV had over 60,000 followers. #Awkward…

HMV Twitter feed

HMV Twitter feed

Screengrab of the tweets from The Guardian before they were deleted.


So there you have it for part 1. Next Wednesday we’ll be back with part 2 where we will give you a step by step guide to make sure your live coverage rocks!

Have you seen any live tweeting or blogging disasters? How did they end up? Let us know on Facebook or tweet us @ThisIsParachute.

Written By Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley is our Client Service Executive, working to deliver top drawer content marketing and social media campaigns for our clients.

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