Tuesday, January 25, 2005

TV news will use more corporate PR video news releases in 2005

Look for more corporate PR in the business news as video news releases (VNR) find their way into more television programming in 2005 as a result of more companies paying to place their VNRs in the news, according to a recent PR Week article:

Guaranteed placement, extending a VNR's life, and scientific medical stories. All of these and more are trends that broadcast PR will see continue in 2005.

Video news releases have always been an important tool for the PR industry. While the most popular subjects for VNRs remain more or less the same, where and how they're being used has certainly changed. Last year brought a noticeable increase in certain trends that could become even more common this year. Navigating those trends, and deciding which are here to stay, could be the key to getting your client's VNR on the air.

Factors such as a shrinking news hole and increased competition have prompted companies to explore other ways to get VNRs aired. In fact, most broadcast PR companies are now encountering requests to ensure placement in a non-traditional way for the PR industry - by paying for it.

Ed Lamoureaux, SVP of sales and marketing for West Glen Communications, says he has noticed a significant rise in the use of guaranteed or paid placements for VNRs.

"The idea of securing a placement and using a VNR is more of a grassroots outreach and has become very popular," Lamoureaux says. "It goes hand in hand with the coming together of advertising and PR."

And Lamoureaux is hardly a stranger to the concept. For the past 17 years, West Glen has been producing Health and Home Report, a 30-minute news magazine program that guarantees VNR placement. There are several of these guaranteed-placement shows being produced, some of which appear on cable stations like PAX.

For some companies, guaranteed VNR placement is a better way to spend marketing dollars, says Lidj Lewis, VP of media relations for Medialink. "It uses a PR technique to diversify the marketing mix," he adds.

Michelle Williams, director of production for Medialink, says she has seen an increase in the use of guaranteed placements and has had a lot of success with them. One of the biggest advantages, she points out, is that guaranteed placement programs often target a very specific demographic, which helps when producing a VNR. "You know the audience," she says. "You can cater your story to that audience."

Another option within the guaranteed-placement arena is the captured audience, says Doug Simon, president and CEO of DS Simon Productions. These are networks that air in controlled environments, such as health clubs and airplanes.

According to the article, healthcare-related VNRs will be especially popular. Another trend: companies will recycle the VNRs in internal corporate communications programs to help all employees sing from the same sheet music.

Read it all: Achieving success with your VNR in 2005 by Erica Iacono, PR Week, 17 January 2005, republished at freepress.


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