Would you like to get your organization’s news featured on TV? Then, try a video news release, or VNR. These brief, information-packed videos are jewels for reporters and producers looking for interesting stories to feature in their newscasts. With the 24 hour news cycle becoming the standard, outlets like CNN, FOX and MSNBC are constantly in need of original and interesting news stories.
Although original news stories are in high demand, with news producers being bombarded with press releases and VNRs, getting your releases noticed can be difficult. If your VNR isn’t newsworthy or produced in a media friendly manner, there’s a chance that producers will pass on it.
So, how do you increase chances of having your organization’s VNR featured in TV news?
Make sure that your topic is not just an interesting story but has relevance on a local or national level —whichever audience you’re targeting. A great way for advocacy groups to get noticed is to tie your story to an issue that is already getting media attention. Reporters are likely to pull from your VNR to add more background or an additional angle to an existing news story. Be sure to include facts and statistics in your VNR, since it shows your knowledge and credibility on an issue, as well as giving reporters data that they find interesting.
A well-packaged VNR should mean less work for producers, which will make it more likely to be featured in the news. Help reporters tell your story by separating your VNR into brief 30, 60, or 75-second news briefs that producers can cut out and incorporate into their broadcast. These brief spots are a great place to feature high quality visuals such as in-person testimonials, professional narration, and infographics. In all, your VNR should run for about three to four minutes. This is ample time to grab the viewer’s attention and inform them on your main idea.
Although you want your organization to be easily recognized, don’t display your logo throughout the entire video. Your VNR should look like a news segment, not a promotional video. An ideal VNR is one that producers can incorporate in news programs without too much editing. Remember, you want to lessen the producer’s workload, not increase it. So, go easy on the branding.
Producing a newsworthy video news release is just part of getting your VNR featured in the news. The other crucial step is getting it noticed by the right people. To do this, you want to employ the same media relations strategies that you use to distribute a press release:
In summary, a video news release is the perfect way to grab news editors’ and reporters’ attention. Leveraged properly, this media tool can help your organization become a credible source for news outlets, and get you the media coverage you worked so hard to earn.