Host Your Own Webinars

Another option to consider is to host your own webinar. Look inside the newsroom at your staff – each staff member is an expert in what they do best. Why not allow them to share their expertise and knowledge with others on staff? For example, is there someone on staff who is an expert in search engine optimization, social media, photography or video? If so, they could give a basic webinar for an hour on how to take a good photo, how to tag stories appropriately for search engines, how to use a video camera or how to use social media tools for newsgathering and reporting purposes.

These are just a few examples of the kind of webinar trainings you could host. This can be a great way for your staff to get training from inside the news operation and allow your staff members who teach the webinars to grow their leadership skills.

Also, if most of your staff is out of the newsroom and in different locations, hosting your own webinar provides the flexibility that your staff members can access the webinar anywhere.

To help you get started, here are a few webinar tools to consider:

GoToMeeting/GoToTraining/GoToWebinar

  • A free trial is available for 30 days
  • Pricing starts at $99/month (pricing depends on the number of participants involved in the webinar)

This system provides an opportunity for the trainer to share their computer screen and do a voice-over as they are showing their screen (e.g. present a PowerPoint presentation, show an application, show websites, etc). The trainer can share materials prior to or after the training. To make it interactive, participants can use the chat feature and take polls during the session. The webinar system will also record the training session so if some of your staff members cannot attend, they can always watch a recording of it later. You can have up to 200 people per session, depending on the webinar package you purchase.

Cisco WebEx

  • Free trial is available
  • Pricing starts at $24/month (pricing depends on the number of participants and number of licenses needed)

Cisco WebEx also allows the trainer to share their computer screen and do a voice-over as they are showing their screen (e.g. present a PowerPoint presentation, show an application, show websites, etc). A nice feature of this system is that there is a video/webcam option for the trainer and participants if they would like to see each other and talk during the session via video. You can also share materials prior to or after the training. The system also provides a chat and polling feature. The system will also record the session so if some of your staff members cannot attend the session, they can always watch a recording of it later. You can have up to 1,000 people per session, depending on the webinar package you purchase.

Google+Hangouts

  • Free with a Google account

Another option that can be very affordable is hosting a Google+ Hangout training session. The instructor will need to have a webcam installed on their computer along with having a built-in microphone and speakers. The Google+Hangout allows the trainer to give their session via webcam. It also allows the trainer to share their computer screen and show videos from YouTube. The system does allow for recording of the session, which is then saved to a YouTube channel for later viewing. Participants can also have webcams but if they don’t, they can dial-in to the training session. Unlike the other webinar systems, Google+Hangout only allows up to 9 people per a session.