ATTRACTING MEDIA ATTENTION - TELEVISION


THE HOLY GRAIL ... RIGHT ?


MANY PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK SO. WELL, TELEVISION NEWS AND MAGAZINE PROGRAMMES ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN THESE DAYS, HIGHLY REGULATED, AND BUDGETS STRETCHED. BUT THE REACH OF TELEVISION CAN BE FAR GREATER THAN THAT OF MANY OTHER NEWS OUTLETS.


YOUR STORY ON THE TEN OCLOCK NEWS BULLETINS CAN REACH MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY IF THAT STORY IS A MAJOR ONE THAT HAS GOT EVERYONE TALKING.


MY STORY HAS GOT TO BE MASSIVE THEN ... ?


NOT NECESSARILY SO. LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. WE ALL KNOW THAT RECENTLY THERE WAS A POSTAL STRIKE ( OCT / NOV 09 ) WELL, A LOCAL COMPANY THAT SELL FANCY DRESS COSTUMES ONLINE WERE FEELING THE PINCH AND HAD TO SWITCH POSTAL COMPANIES FROM THE ROYAL MAIL TO A PRIVATE COMPANY.


IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, FOLLOWING A FEW PHONE CALLS HE ... AND HIS COMPANY ... FOUND THEMSELVES AT THE CENTRE OF THE POSTAL STRIKE STORY. THE COMPANY WAS STILL FUNCTIONING VERY WELL, BUT FOR TWO DAYS HIS COMPANY WAS ALL OVER THE LOCAL TELEVISION NEWS AND NATIONAL BREAKFAST NEWS.


I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I WAS THE CAMERAMAN FOR THE LIVE BREAKFAST NEWS BROADCAST.












SO WHAT ...?


OK, LET ME TELL YOU WHY THIS WAS A GOOD APPROACH FOR THIS MANS ONLINE, POSTAL DEPENDENT COMPANY. HE WAS ALL OVER THE TELEVISION AIRWAVES AT A TIME WHEN ...


  1. A. HALLOWEEN WAS APPROACHING, A TIME WHEN HIS COMPANY MAKES THE MOST MONEY.


  1. B. CHRISTMAS WAS NOT FAR AWAY, WHEN HIS COMPANY MAKES THE MOST MONEY.


BY APPROACHING AND LETTING TELEVISION CAMERA CREWS INTO HIS BUSINESS HE FOUND A WAY OF GETTING HIS BUSINESS INTO THE NEWS, ABOUT A STORY THAT AFFECTED HIM BUT NOT DISASTROUSLY. AND AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE REALLY WANT FANCY DRESS, HE ... AND HIS COMPANY ... WERE IN THE NEWS.


I SAY ... GIVE THAT MAN A MEDAL.


SO IT’S THAT EASY THEN ?


ER ... NO. THE ABOVE EXAMPLE IS ONE OF BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, ALTHOUGH A BIT OF MEDIA SAVVY WAS EVIDENT.


PITCHING A STORY TO THE TELEVISION NEWS IS AS DIFFICULT AS PITCHING TO ANY OTHER NEWS ORGANISATION OR PRINT PUBLICATION. THE INFORMATION STILL HAS TO BE CLEAN, CONCISE AND OF COURSE, NEWSWORTHY.


















THAT DOES NOT LEAVE A LOT OF TIME LEFT FOR YOUR STORY, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU FACTOR IN THE SPORTS ROUNDUP. SO YOUR STORY HAS TO BE PRETTY GOOD TO GET NOTICED IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT LOT.


THE BIGGEST FACTOR ABOUT TELEVISION NEWS IS THAT IT IS EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE. TO MAKE A NEWS ITEM TAKES THE WORK OF BETWEEN THREE TO FIVE PEOPLE.


REPORTER, PRODUCER, CAMERAMAN, EDITOR AND SOUND ( IF NEEDED )

















EACH ONE OF THESE PEOPLE NEED PAYING FOR THEIR TIME AND EXPERTISE IN THEIR FIELD, AND ANY TELEVISION NEWS EDITOR WILL LOOK AT THIS AND TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WHETHER IT IS WORTH FOLLOWING UP, AND WILL THE BUDGET COPE WITH IT.


I MAKE WIDGETS, NOT WAR.


MAYBE SO. BUT DOES YOUR WIDGET FIT INTO THE NEW ARMOURED VEHICLE THE M.O.D. HAS JUST ORDERED? ( WAR )


HAS YOUR WIDGET PRODUCTION INCREASED YOUR WORKFORCE? ( ECONOMY )


DID YOUR LOCAL MP CAMPAIGN TO GET YOUR NEW PREMISES OPEN? ( POLITICS )


I CAN’T THINK OF A LINK BETWEEN WIDGETS AND MURDER, BUT YOU GET THE GENERAL IDEA. THINKING LATERALLY WILL ALWAYS COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON WHAT YOU, OR THE JOURNALIST WILL DEEM AS NEWSWORTHY CONTENT. AND IF YOU THINK OF THAT LINK AND IT EFFECTS YOU OR THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU, THEN YOU MAY JUST HAVE A STORY.


I JUST DON’T THINK IT’S A BIG ENOUGH STORY.


JUST AS WITH THE NEWSPAPERS, THINK LOCAL FIRST. THE BBC AND ITV REGIONS HAVE THEIR OWN LOCAL TELEVISION NEWS. AND THE LOCAL IDEA OF NEWS DIFFERS GREATLY FROM THAT OF THE NATIONAL NEWS BROADCASTERS. SMALLER COMMUNITY BASED STORIES ARE THE NORM, AND THE IDEA OF HARD NEWS CAN BE STRETCHED A LITTLE. JUST BECAUSE IT WON’T BE ON THE NEWS AT TEN, DOESN’T MEAN IT WON’T MAKE THE LOCAL NEWS.

COPYRIGHT 2009/2010 MEDIA ATTENTION LTD

ARTICLES MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT.

ARTICLES :

THE LOGISTICS OF GETTING YOUR STORY ON THE TELEVISION NEWS ARE FOR A START, QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ONLINE OR PRINT JOURNALISM. TELEVISION NEWS ARE DEADLINE AND TIME RESTRICTED. ESPECIALLY THE TIME. WHAT MIGHT MAKE HALF A PAGE IN THE NEWSPAPERS, MAY ONLY MAKE 20 SECONDS ON AIR. BUT WHAT YOU ARE COMPETING WITH MOST IS THE SERIOUS NEWS, THAT TELEVISION NEWS JOURNALISTS SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME CHASING, POLITICS, WAR, MURDER,ECONOMY.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS TO ATTRACT MEDIA ATTENTION, AND TO GET THE RIGHT KIND OF PUBLICITY IS NO EASY TASK WHEN DEALING WITH THE MEDIA.