These days broadcast newsrooms are often resource-poor, so the more you can you can do to make the life of a journalist easier, the better the chances of getting your story on air.
A broadcast-friendly press release, spokespeople and pictures are the obvious basics. But you can go further than this with some broadcast ‘toys’ that a lot of newsrooms will consider a luxury.
This is the ‘icing on the cake’ – the provision of free-to-use, technical support that newsrooms can’t always afford to provide for themselves.
The support is often logistical and could include:
Outside Broadcast trucks
For TV and/or radio, these are for when you’re on location, but need to transmit pictures and/or interviews (live or pre-recorded) back to the broadcaster. They’re expensive and even national TV news has to sometimes make choices about where to send their trucks if there are too many competing stories on a given day. Some broadcasters may say it’s too expensive a gesture for them to accept but all major news broadcasters in the UK have used OB trucks provided by Shout! Communications in the past!
A radio OB can come in the form of a truck, or, depending on the location, we can set up a temporary studio (with a sound desk, multiple microphones etc) using an ISDN line. This is a slightly cheaper option than a radio car or OB truck.
Great visuals but the story has to be a “must-have” for a broadcaster to commission their own aerial shots. Give them some B-roll, though, and you’ll find PR generated helicopter filming is often well received. Drones – remote controlled flying cameras – are a new and good alternative for getting aerial pictures. Hour for hour, they’re a lot cheaper than a helicopter although they are very sensitive to weather conditions.
A good example of this was the arrival of Princess Cruises’ new ship; broadcasters focused on the God Mother, the Duchess of Cambridge so wouldn’t have gone to the expense of hiring a helicopter but a lot of them used the footage we provided which made for lovely visuals. Check out the coverage below:
Specialist filming such as night-vision or under-water filming
Not often used, but when they are, it can be costly. As with helicopter filming, if it’s not a “must-have” the filming won’t happen unless it comes from a PR agency. A sharks’ tea party for example, at the London Aquarium, would not have had the impact it did without the under-water filming. See the video below:
Specialist equipment, such as cherry pickers (to enable filming from a height)
Sometimes the help can be quite straight forward – we were organising broadcasters who were in a press pen – they just needed staggered steps so everyone got a view!
Obviously the story has got to merit this sort of attention. An OB interview, for example, means at least a couple of minutes on-air so there has to be a good tale to tell. Technical support alone is not going to get a story on air, but when a story has broadcast potential it can often make the difference between good coverage and great coverage.
For a complete list of what you need to maximise broadcast PR coverage, download our free media relations guide.