August 22, 2016
WHAT IS B-ROLL AND HOW CAN IT WORK FOR ME?
Wherever you go in the world, news teams are often working with limited resources, constantly working against the clock to deliver their news items for the TV bulletins. The Middle East is no exception; broadcasters 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 journalists.
For time-pressed news teams, 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.
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? In short, B-Roll can determine whether you clinch that slot on a TV or online channel or a journalist pressing the delete button. 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 from which they can cherry pick the content they require to develop their own news story. Footage that works well is normally that which would have been difficult for them to film themselves such as from secure locations including schools and institutions, behind the scenes shots at an event, technology being used in practice or soundbites with key personnel. Captured to professional broadcast standards, B-Roll supports the story you are telling and ultimately as you are in control of the content being filmed, it should also help to steer the message being delivered through the broadcasters to your audiences.
Ahead of an interview with your spokesperson, a 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 can often persuade broadcasters to make the decision to interview your client in the first place.
So, the next time you're planning your PR campaigns and you've got a story to sell in, stop and think like a news producer – can your story can be told 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.
blog author – Cheryl King, MD markettiers