Preparing Business for Swine Flu

With swine flu likely to have serious consequences for UK companies, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) wanted to give their members – thousands of the UK’s small and medium sized businesses – strong advice on how to best prepare for the disease’s impact.

The BCC asked us to produce a live, fully interactive 20 minute WebTV programme running on the BCC’s site. They promoted it strongly to their members, but they also tasked us to have the same programme running live, simultaneously across 15 key independent business sites, with these sites keeping the programme available on demand for as long as possible.

Markettiers4dc and the BCC have long experience of working together, as we created their online TV channel –  – and have produced its 11 initial live programmes.

For the live swine flu programme, our presenter, Ian Collins, was joined in our TV studio by David Frost, the BCC’s Director General; Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA's GPs Committee; and Robert Stead, Marketing Director of Polycom, a business preparing to combat the onset of swine flu for its 2,500 employees worldwide.

The programme ran smoothly with dozens of questions flooding in from businesses and the ‘on demand’ version was available to sites within three hours. 16 sites ran the programme including AOL Money, Business Zone, Fresh Business Thinking, New Business, HR Mag, HR Zone, In the News, Politics UK, Tiscali and Supanet.

Almost 4,000 people watched the programme live or on demand in the first week since its broadcast.

Such was the interest generated by the programme that CNN and BBC London both filmed in our TV studio as the live programme went out. They subsequently featured it heavily in their own news programmes. BBC News Channel also featured parts of the show.

The BCC’s Director-General, David Frost, said, “We were delighted with the programme and its impact. It allowed us to have a genuine open dialogue with our members in a fresh, innovative way, while at the same time getting UK businesses essential information about swine flu. The icing on the cake was BBC TV News and CNN recognising the programme was a news story in its own right and getting over to the markettiers4dc’s TV studio to film the live output. Great exposure for us and great exposure for markettiers4dc.”