Television news is one of the most powerful and trusted news media
these days, and to get a softer story into the TV newscast one must
follow one paramount rule - have moving pictures.
In congested news markets such as Toronto, getting a videographer
or camera assigned to your story is a challenge to say the least.
If you're lucky, you may get one or two cameras out to your news
event. That leaves another three or four stations, not including
the networks that will not cover your story because they are not
there with a camera.
PR practitioners can maximize their TV impact by investing in B-roll
and hiring a news videography service. One such service provider
is Permanent Images Video Production Inc. (www.videotoronto.com).
It's principal, Steve Dekter, is a 15-year veteran of Toronto's
television news business, where he has worked as a front line camera
operator and producer for the likes of CTV, Global, CNN and ABC
Steve offers his top ten tips to maximize the pick-up of your B-roll:
1. Hire a videographer with news experience - wedding video won't
2. Shoot it in Beta cam format.
3. It should be in edited, eye-catching footage and delivered in
a timely manner.
4. Don't shoot shots - shoot sequences. Tell the story.
5. Produce a shot list to use as a rough guide.
6. Allow for time to light the shot properly.
7. Shoot as a news videographer would shoot it - don't make it too
8. Keep the B-roll visually entertaining.
9. Work with the camera operator/producer to capture the best shots
10. Hire a staging company when it is a news event so lighting,
backdrop signage and audio feeds are all present and in working
Dekter adds that "at the end of the day, don't forget this
is news, not a movie."
Distribution of B-roll is dependent on budget and timing. If it
is a relatively hard news story with time sensitivities, courier
delivery of the tapes will be necessary for a one-market focus,
or through satellite if it's of national interest.
Ensure concise hard copy news materials accompany the BETA tape
and make sure the B-roll is not too long - less than ten minutes
is ideal. TV stations don't have the time or staff to go through
Mark LaVigne, APR, is President of the Canadian Public Relations
Society (Toronto) and runs a media relations and media coaching
firm based in Aurora, Ontario. He can be reached at (905) 841-2017
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