How MTV covers live events—and engages its followers

You don’t need fancy equipment or a red-carpet extravaganza to capture compelling content. Just make a plan, trust and empower your team—and bring an iPhone.

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Publishing real-time content can be a terrifying proposition for any business.

What if we tweet out something terrible?

Could this video be construed as objectionable in any way?

Yikes, our CEO looks rough on camera.

Despite the risks, there are rich engagement rewards to reap for those willing to take the live-coverage leap.

Alyssa Velazquez, director of MTV’s social media and fan engagement at ViacomCBS, offered practical tips for timely social media publishing at Ragan’s Social Media Conference at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Velazquez shared insights from MTV’s approach to covering live events—which you can apply to your strategy, even if you’re not on the Billie Eilish beat.

Listen to your audience

Velazquez emphasized the importance of recruiting and empowering community managers representative of the demographic you’re keen to reach. For MTV, that’s a female-dominated set ages 14–24. Despite its focus on that young cohort, Facebook—purportedly the bastion of Baby Boomers—remains its largest channel, with an audience approaching 47 million.

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