The Evolution of the Workplace: Corporate Brands Have Become Broadcasters

As a young architectural designer and broadcast scenic designer more than twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have guessed that the fields of architecture and broadcast media would become as intertwined as they have today; to form a new hybrid “camera-ready” workplace.

Taking the way-back machine to the year 2000, (for me) Architecture, and the workplace within it, was designed to accommodate things like natural daylight and ventilation, building systems, program adjacencies and environmentally responsible materials. It was the job of interior architecture to provide a healthy, inspirational place for people to work as well as communicate the values, culture, and brand of the company it expressed.

In the Broadcast industry at that time, digital media and video production was synonymous with commercial broadcast stations and television networks. The broadcast studio was something CNN or NBC built to accommodate their daily line-up of programming. In my mind, the studio was the home of the evening news, weather, and sports updates.

One of my first broadcast news studios for CNNfn, an example of a”traditional broadcast” project, while a Sr. Design Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, completed 2000
Recent corporate video “news” studio for the financial industry, an example of the emerging corporate broadcast”non-traditional” studio, completed 2018 .

Today, with the evolution of broadband, social media and a video content consuming culture, companies are increasingly embracing video (and their dedicated corporate YouTube channels) as a preferred brand communication strategy to reach their target audiences and customers organically.

As a result, in the past three to five years, large national architecture and interior design firms have established digital media practices to support their corporate clients around this proliferation of technology within the workplace.

In addition, today, the typical tools of the broadcast trade (lighting, cameras, mass distribution) have become less expensive, higher quality and effortless to operate. In fact, I was just speaking with a colleague the other day about how good the iPhone has become and its ability to replace traditional broadcast cameras within the corporate setting.

New corporate workplace build-outs now include “zoom rooms”, video optimized conference rooms and media rooms for corporate video production. Clients want to ensure their companies are communicating their brand effectively across the video platform.

Technologically speaking, it’s easier now, more than ever, to produce high-quality video content and reach your customers. In this way, corporate brands have become broadcasters. They use the web and social media channels as their distribution network and develop their own channels full of “live-to-tape” or “pre-recorded” programming content.

(Above) Clients are now planning “Media Rooms” into their interior build-outs

(Above) Companies use their You-Tube Channels to distribute custom video content
(Above) Large video walls and interactive touch displays are now commonplace in corporate lobbies and seen as powerful experiential elements as well as essential brand storytelling tools.

The convergence of corporate workplace interiors, video content and video production today are undeniable. The disciplines of interior architecture and digital media no longer inhabit disparate fields of thought. Companies now want dedicated spaces to produce corporate videos for internal and external communications. They want corporate video conference rooms to reflect their brand on-camera and have all guests well-lit with a microphone. They want to optimize their public spaces visually for social sharing and promoting their brand.

Interior architecture and digital media have truly become intertwined in a way that I could not have imagined twenty years ago as a young architectural designer or broadcast scenic designer. As companies continue to use video as a primary communication channel and the “tools of the trade” continue to make it easier to produce and distribute content, this interconnectedness will only increase in the future.

Further, the advancement of augmented reality and virtual reality combined with advanced motion tracking and LED display systems (AKA. “The Mandalorian Effect”) demonstrate exciting things on the horizon.

With all of this, I can’t wait to see where the future of workplace is headed with “brands as their own broadcasters”, pushing the potential video content, brand communication and reaching audiences in new ways.

Planning your corporate webcast studio design project for success

BlackRock Corporate Studio (Designed by Provost Studio)

The advantages of careful planning when building a professional corporate broadcast studio and webcast environment start at a very high level — but it’s important to not neglect taking the same strategic approach to individual components of the project.

In addition to these high-level components, another key part of planning a corporate broadcast facility project centers on the scenic design elements.

Planning for a studio

Just as careful planning is key to the overall success of any corporate broadcast studio project, it’s important to approach the scenic design from a strategic angle that’s focused just as much on function as on the design.

First, it’s important to consider what types of productions will be produced in the corporate broadcast studio since different styles of programming require different setups. For example, productions that take a hard news format will likely need an anchor desk-style area, while programs that focus more on interviews could benefit from a larger interview set layout.

Also consider how many hosts and guests need to be accommodated and plan accordingly with the appropriate seating and space.

Webcast Studio Environments Cost Guide

Planning a successful broadcast studio takes more than just scenery

(Above) TV9 Headquarters Studio & Newsroom (Designed by Provost Studio)

Planning a successful studio project doesn’t stop at just the scenery — other key factors that should always be carefully considered include A/V integration, lighting and the final delivery and installation of everything.

When working with architectural and engineering teams who might not be familiar the unique requirements of a broadcast facility, it’s vital to get an experienced consultant on board early to work with everyone.

A/V integration

A/V integration, which typically involves any display device found within a broadcast facility that’s meant to be seen as part of the on air broadcast, has quickly become a key part most broadcast studio projects these days.

The technology used in studios can range in size from a handheld device or computer workstations all the way up to large flat panel monitors and floor-to-ceiling video walls. In addition to the selection of the best type of on-set displays, it’s also important to consider the sometimes complex systems that feed graphics, realtime data and more to the displays.

These systems, which are becoming a key part of any project with multiple on-set video displays, require advanced knowledge of selecting the best software and hardware to allow integration with the myriad of video, realtime graphics, data feeds and other sources.

Broadcast Studio Planning Guide
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Lighting design and integration

Like A/V integration, lighting is an often overlooked yet vital part to the success of a studio project.

Lighting plays a key role in not only how the set looks on air, but how your on-camera talent does as well. Good lighting design is essential to creating productions that bridge the gap and look truly professional, so it’s definitely not area to be overlooked.

There’s a wide variety of lighting options to consider — including the pros and cons of the type of light each type gives off, energy efficiencies and installation requirements. It’s also important to work with a partner who understands the electrical and safety requirements of professional grade lighting instruments and how that might affect your project requirements.

Installation coordination

Once you’ve addressed all of this planning, there’s still one final aspect to consider — how everything will be installed.

In many cases, due to the specialized nature of the various components of a broadcast studio, multiple contractors will need to be involved. For example, the set may be designed by one team but built by a third party. Or, the A/V integration team may be a local provider who is working with the construction team for the first time.

Because of this, it’s vital to have someone with the knowledge and experience to coordinate between all of these teams and have a solid understanding of how all of the components fit together to contribute to the overall success of the project.

Learn more

Creating a dynamic, flexible and brand-centric corporate webcast studio is a great way to expand your brand into new platforms, but it’s important to incorporate careful planning and strategy into the entire process.

View the original article on Newscast Studio, Oct 14, 2015