The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy and development.
With Brightcove we now have the ability to not only publish video on our site in a matter of seconds, but we can also share it easily with a wide audience of constituents, journalists and bloggers.”
Online Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965 and with its headquarters in the UK, is the main intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth. It executes plans agreed by Commonwealth Heads of Government through technical assistance, advice and policy development.
Reaching one third of the world
The Commonwealth's reach as an organization stretches across more than one third of the world, as member states range from large countries like Australia, India and Canada to small states such as Kiribati, Nauru and Dominica. In fact, 32 of the 53 Commonwealth member countries are classified as small states, mostly with populations of less than 1.5 million people. As a result, the organization's website experience is vital to ensure it communicates effectively with all of their members and constituents and to showcase the important work they are doing to promote issues like human rights, gender equality, healthcare and education.
While text is effective at delivering information on the Commonwealth's website, the organization wanted to bring about a more dynamic quality to their Web experience. They realized that video could add another dimension to their site and make it much more engaging, interactive and visual.
The Commonwealth initially leveraged video content they had originally created for television to put onto their website as a downloadable feature. The video effort soon grew to feature a full in-house studio and editing suite where video content is produced both for use online and for use by the broadcast media. While the organization saw the benefits of a more dynamic Web experience, they realized that in order to take their video initiatives to the next level they would need a sophisticated, comprehensive solution to address all of their needs.
The Brightcove Solution
It became clear to the Commonwealth team, led by Kevin Nellies, online manager for the Communications and Public Affairs division, that they could either invest more money into developing their website and adding new home grown video capabilities or go with a third party solution. After several weeks of research into the various third party providers, Brightcove emerged as the best and most comprehensive solution to meet the Commonwealth's requirements.
According to Nellies, there were several features in the Brightcove platform that were particularly appealing for the Commonwealth:
- Powerful syndication capabilities – Brightcove provides a flexible approach to video distribution, enabling the Commonwealth to customize syndication relationships and viral distribution strategies. Brightcove also partners with some of the largest sites on the Web to provide expanded distribution opportunities for the Commonwealth's content.
- Dynamic Delivery – Brightcove's ability to optimize video delivery for any end user network condition was extremely important to the Commonwealth given many of their member states are developing countries that do not have the same bandwidth conditions as Europe or the U.S.
- Customization – With Brightcove's extensible player framework and templates, the Commonwealth can create a highly customized viewing experience to match the design of their website. The Commonwealth can choose from a variety of sizes and layouts, from single-video players with simple designs to rich, multi-video experiences, to suit their needs.
- On-the-fly encoding – In the past, the Commonwealth was tasked with converting its video content to Flash manually, which was a time consuming process. With Brightcove, the Web team at the Commonwealth can upload video files in any format which are then encoded automatically to Flash and H.264 formats and in multiple renditions for dynamic delivery.
"After reading about the new features in Brightcove 3 and seeing the strong brand recognition that Brightcove has in the marketplace, it was clear the Brightcove platform would be the most effective in meeting our online video needs," said Nellies. "Video is Brightcove's core business, not ours. Now we're able to focus on producing quality content that showcases the ground breaking programs and efforts the Commonwealth is involved in every day."
More engaging stories
Since implementing the Brightcove platform late last year, the Commonwealth has seen promising results from its new online video experiences. Before, the organization had no way to track statistics on usage around its video content. Now they are able to accurately gauge the effectiveness of their online video initiatives.
"Our stories are much more engaging because of our new multimedia strategy," said Nellies. "With Brightcove we now have the ability to not only publish video on our site in a matter of seconds, but we can also share it easily with a wide audience of constituents, journalists and bloggers. This is crucial, as we are often trying to communicate important messages to an audience that is not necessarily Web savvy. Video is a medium that everyone can understand regardless of their technical expertise."
The Commonwealth's Brightcove-powered online video has helped the organization to get more people involved in the causes and topics they are currently supporting. Now, the Commonwealth can work with influential bloggers and embed the organization's video content directly into the blogs to help widen the Commonwealth's reach.
The Commonwealth has also streamlined their internal production process to make video publishing more efficient. This is extremely beneficial in the Commonwealth's dealings with journalists and news organizations, as timely video content from the Commonwealth is now pushed out to sites like Newsmarket for broadcast distribution. In addition, broadcast outlets can easily source video content from the Commonwealth's site including B-roll material for upcoming programs.
Brightcove has also given the Commonwealth more flexibility in how and when they can deliver their important messages. In the instance that the Commonwealth's Secretary-General or other key spokespeople cannot attend an industry event or meeting, video speeches or interviews can be created and showcased at the event in their absence.
In the future, the Commonwealth plans to continue to build its video library and online audience network to ensure that its members, as well as the media community, are able to engage and interact with the organization as much as possible.