Recently, we had the opportunity to hear some words of wisdom from Michael Friedman, executive vice-president of DWJ Television, a company that specializes in satellite media tours. Friedman is familiar with the media, having worked at ABC Radio Network as a writer and producer, before moving into the public relations side of the business and becoming an expert on satellite media tours, radio media tours and PSAs—just to name a few.
Over some bagels and cream cheese, Friedman shared his knowledge of how to execute satellite media tours, when to use a video news release (VNR), and why a public service announcement (PSA) can be an effective way to communicate a client’s message.
Satellite Media Tours
Satellite media tours are a way for a company to share a story with a national audience. A company expert spends a day in the studio being interviewed by local television and radio stations across the country through a satellite feed. In the United States, there are a select group of stations that participate in satellite media tours, and some will charge to conduct the interview.
As with any story, a good pitch is critical to securing interviews for the tour. For local outreach, it is important to start planning 4-6 weeks in advance to develop an angle that connects to local events, trends or timely news. To receive a solid return on investment, schedule around 20 interviews, and be sure to send the media questions in advance, along with b-roll footage to accompany the interview.
Video News Releases
According to Friedman, VNRs are making a comeback. A VNR typically is 90 seconds or less, and is cut like a news story. The content should reflect relevant events or topics in the news. Even a tangential connection at the beginning of the video can help. It’s also best to feature a third party spokesperson instead of a CEO.
Public Service Announcements
Besides helping to raise awareness about a worthy cause, stations like to air PSAs because it is something the FCC looks for when issuing renewals. A non-profit gets the credit for whatever cause it is raising awareness for, but a for-profit pays to have the piece produced. The PSA should be available in a variety of lengths so a station can plug whatever slot it needs to fill. This can also help increase the visibility of the PSA and, in turn, the company that sponsored it.
Any of these avenues might be good options for companies or organizations looking to try a new approach for reaching the media. We thank Michael for spending the time to share his expertise with us, and we hope he’s enjoying his CB&A hat!