News station Web sites offer alternative avenue for video

By now, it's clear that PR pros implementing a broadcast element into campaigns have to look beyond the traditional avenues to get content aired.

By now, it's clear that PR pros implementing a broadcast element into campaigns have to look beyond the traditional avenues to get content aired.

The ever-shrinking news hole and continued scrutiny of outside video by TV news stations have made it necessary to seek alternative ways to get the largest possible audience for VNRs or b-roll.

In addition to distributing video content to such destinations as iTunes, it's also important to get back to basics by targeting news station Web sites.

"[News stations] are always searching for ways to make their Web sites more... user-friendly, and video is always an enhancement," says Michele Wallace, director of client services for Medialink. For several years, journalists have been able to download video for rebroadcast on Web sites from Medialink's digital newsroom, formerly Newsstream.com.

Maya Burghardt, SVP and GM of On The Scene Productions (OTSP), notes that the past year has seen an increased demand for content by news station Web sites, especially with the proliferation of online delivery. In fact, some of the stations OTSP routinely deals with are hiring producers specifically for the station's Web site content.

Having a Web site producer at a news station effectively increases the chances that a VNR or b-roll will get placement.

"There might be a story that did not make it on to broadcast, but did get nice prominence on a Web site," Burghardt says.

A station Web site can also be a good home for extra b-roll footage that didn't make it on the air because of time constraints.

Bev Yehuda, director of media relations at MultiVu, says pitching video content to news station sites has become a viable option for most clients.

"It's a natural extension," she says. "If you look at the majority of TV station Web sites, they all have individual categories, whether it's lifestyle, consumer, [or] technology. So there are actually more options available."

For stations that are concerned about the recent backlash over improperly citing use of outside video, a Web site is sometimes a more suitable venue. "It's easier for them to use the Web to accredit video," Yehuda adds.


Key points:

TV station Web sites have their own producer/editor, which creates another media target

Station Web sites allow for more time to explain a complex story

Stories that don't find their way into a broadcast could get a second chance on a Web site

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