June 23, 2015
LIGHTS, CAMERA, B-ROLL...
Why B-Roll helps your story stand out from the crowd
B-Roll. You may have heard of it, but how many PR professionals actually know what it is? Or importantly, how many actually use it? Well in short, B-Roll can be the difference between clinching that slot on a TV or online channel or a journalist pressing the delete button on your pitch. It can often be the difference between trophy and mediocre coverage. And with TV coverage often considered the 'holy grail', it should play a vital role in your campaign planning.
Often overlooked, B-Roll essentially consists of loosely edited footage captured to enrich a story you are telling. Far from being a polished piece of video content, its aim is to provide news broadcasters with a sequence of supplementary footage to support their news piece, and this could be anything from behind the scenes shots at an event, to technology being used in practice, to soundbites with key personnel. Captured to professional broadcast standards, the B-Roll should help support the story you are telling. Ultimately, as you are in control of the content being filmed, it should also help to steer the message being delivered to broadcasters.
For time-pressed journalists, uttering the words 'B-Roll available' during your phone pitch is a sure fire way to get their interest. And it works just as well for helping to secure online coverage as it does for TV. With countless press releases to sift through, showing that you have really thought about the story, and done the legwork in advance will help your story stand out from the crowd.
Wherever you go in the world, news teams are often working with limited resource and are constantly working against the clock to deliver their news items for the TV bulletins. The Middle East is no exception; they are not always able to dispatch a crew out to cover your story, so anything you can do to help, and to remove this barrier, is certainly going to be viewed favourably by the journalist you are pitching to. This often means that you will be more likely to get your spokesperson on the TV. Ahead of the interview with your spokesperson, the broadcaster's production team can select the footage they want from your B-Roll and get ready to cut to this during any interview they are doing to support what your spokesperson is saying. This often results in more airtime and perhaps even helped them make the decision to interview your client in the first place. The end result? All parties are happy.
So, the next time you're planning your PR campaigns and you've got a story to sell in, stop and think before you craft your pitch to the journalist. Think in pictures: what would I want to see if I was the end audience? What visuals can I provide? What filming could be done to illustrate this story? Producing some well-crafted B-Roll could just be the ticket to delivering an impactful, engaging story.
This blog has been contributed by Cheryl King, General Manager of our Dubai office. For more information about B-Roll or for any other enquiry for the Dubai team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org