Sharing your story with the world

Garnering global broadcast coverage requires different tactics.

Garnering global broadcast coverage requires different tactics.

Obtaining global broadcast coverage is easier (and more affordable) than perhaps ever before. Demand is high because international broadcasters need pertinent stories, and even print outlets need video content for online editions. With a little consideration, crafting and packaging video for global consumption can yield huge audiences.

"Global media need video because they are under pressure to cover 'globalization' in all areas of news coverage - humanitarian and geo-political issues, healthcare, business, or sports," says Shoba Purushothaman, CEO and cofounder of The NewsMarket, which fulfills 15,000-plus requests per month for video from non-US outlets. "It's expensive to travel or commission production."

Purushothaman says Germany, the UK, Italy, Mexico, India, and China are the largest markets while Middle Eastern demand is increasing, and broadcast outlets are not alone in needing footage. "The US trend of radio stations, newspapers, and magazines incorporating video into their online editions is catching on fast globally, so reaching the non-broadcast media globally is a major opportunity to think about now."

Paige Young, VP Weber Shandwick/ Worldwide Communications and Television (WCTV) notes that stories about social issues, global innovation, providing tech to the poor, and huge product launches have global appeal. Young advises hiring "real news crews: people used to putting content together for news."

Content must be relevant to individual markets and programming. "The more localized [it is] the more interested [global outlets are]," says Michele Wallace, Medialink's SVP of client services. "Provide something they can't get on their own that's visually appealing."

Purushothaman adds: "Don't send video of Kansas City operations [when] pitch[ing] a story about your business in Mexico. Originate local content. The payoff will be huge."

Wallace says localizing a story could mean adding statistics on the economic impact of a plant opening or getting movie premiere dates correct. Medialink client Deloitte has made its CEO available from remote locations, making stations look global.

A common mistake is assuming everyone wants or can use English language audio. "If a business person's talking about an average story, [use] local language," says Wallace.

Purushothaman says VNRs don't work well because American voice-overs look out of sync. She advises making local executives available for interviews and providing sound bites in local languages.

WCTV puts together SOT (sound of tape) and longer-sequence b-roll packages. "Allow any outlet to make the piece their own," Young says. "Instead of a VNR, we try to allow them to determine the focus."

Bev Yehuda, VP of products at MultiVu, advocates writing advisories in native languages, and providing a local contact to help answer broadcasters' questions.

"Personal touch is important," Young says. "Engage outlets early. Many can't be on site. Ask them what they need."

While digital distribution has reduced costs and expanded reach, some experts believe it's wise to keep multiple distribution channels open. Yehuda suggests "due diligence" to uncover requirements of various countries. "Some want a tape," she says. "Bear in mind conversion and format. [Consider] restrictions [and regulations] individual countries might have."

"Don't forget the value of hard copy," adds Young. "In our increasingly on-demand world, we often forget that many outlets will miss our feed windows or not have the ability to download content, and want a hard copy." To that end, Young uses networks such as Reuters and APTN.

For a recent Microsoft event, WCTV garnered a viewership of 70 million on stations from Egypt to Korea with a broad approach - providing pool footage; distributing via APTN, hard copies, and the NewsMarket; providing equipment and crews on site for global outlets that could only send a producer/reporter; and making executives Bill Gates and Craig Mundie available for on-site and satellite interviews. "To drive global coverage, you can't just put out a feed," Young says. "It needs to be multifaceted."

Technique tips

Do
Localize content, provide local contacts

Allow global outlets latitude to tailor a piece

Make executives available for interviews

Don't
Hire crews without any news experience

Assume global outlets want English audio

Rely solely on one distribution channel

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