The icing on the media relations cake…the trick that will help you secure the best broadcast PR coverage

These days broadcast newsrooms are often resource poor, so anything you can you can do to make the life of a journalist easier, the better the chances of getting a 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.

• Helicopter filming.  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. • 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:

• 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.


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