In our world of constant news streams, tighter budgets and competitive marketing strategies, there's never been a better time to produce branded-content for easier results. For the last few years I've been working with agencies to produce content that will help them secure as many leads as possible for their clients. Over that time I've seen what's worked and what's not. Here's a quick overview of how to produce a Video News Release.
A Video News Release is a small collection of video content that can be seeded out to journalists from brands, charities and Government organisations. As a typical package, I tend to produce an A-Roll edit, 2 x B-Roll edits (interview and general video edits) and timecoded notes for the B-Roll. As standard, I distribute this content via file-sharing networks in a high-quality but universal file format. I'd always suggest that a media relations team find out if there are any special file format requests during the pitch and whether the media outlet prefers a digital download or a physical copy on a USB stick.
The production style of a VNR, needs to be a balance between a convincing looking news report and a brand, charity or Government organisation corporate video. If the VNR doesn't look like a news report, no media outlet will want to feature it. If it doesn't contain your client's key message, they won't be happy with the results. Whilst this is a tricky line to toe, experience tells you what you can and can't get away with.
A-Roll, sometimes referred to as 'The VNR', is a pre-packaged video edited together to look like a news report containing the highlights of a press launch, PR stunt or event. Containing titles and sometimes music, this can be either played-out as is on a news network or more commonly, uploaded directly to a web-platform to sit on a news site or blog.
Whilst there's no secret to producing coverage inducing content, I'd always suggest having a strong narrative with an interesting story, told through the eyes of a convincing case-study, popular celebrity or cat...
B-Roll is the format used to deliver video content to journalists in simplest means possible. If the purpose of broadcast PR is to secure as much coverage possible, the point of B-Roll is to create the easiest to edit content possible. To do this, everything is labeled at the beginning of a B-Roll reel so that an editor can quickly access the content. Notes, with all these details are supplied as part of the package. All content featured is loosely edited so there's plenty of room for an editor to pull out the shots they want. Supplying B-Roll as separate files (Interviews and General Video [GVs]) mean that someone doesn't have to wait to download a load of unnecessary content. Depending on the purpose, B-Roll maybe provided in a compressed format to be delivered quickly (for example news websites like the Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph or regional news broadcasters) or for higher-profile broadcasters (BBC News, Channel 4 news, etc.) it may be supplied in a high-quality broadcast friendly format which takes longer to transfer.
I've seen my content featured on BBC News, BBC Breakfast, BBC Newsround, ITV Daybreak, Channel 4 and Sky News whilst notching hundreds-of-thousands of views on YouTube.
So if you're looking for a production partner to produce content for your next campaign, get in touch.