The Shard hits record heights... in international broadcast coverage too

Thursday 5th July 2012 saw the inauguration of The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. We were entrusted with maximising the international TV and online news coverage, and with producing all the B-Roll footage. We worked side by side with Weber Shandwick's Corporate team who were handling the briefing of UK TV and newspapers.

Within three days of the inauguration, 2,100 items of TV news coverage on stations outside the UK had been tracked, with each one using the footage we had distributed. At the same time there were also 40 separate packages running on UK news websites alone with all their footage supplied by us.

To get the ball rolling, we filmed and assembled a B-Roll featuring what we saw as the must-have footage: time-lapse of 2 years of construction reduced down to 20 seconds, dramatic helicopter shots of the last ‘shard’ being secured in place, the recently completed exterior also filmed from the air and the stunning new views of London from the 69th Floor public viewing gallery.

We distributed this B-Roll to UK and international TV broadcasters at a heavily embargoed press briefing on Wednesday 4th July. There was room to squeeze in five international broadcasters, so we lined up CNN, China’s CCTV, the USA’s NBC,in addition to Reuters and APTN, the agencies which distribute major stories to the world’s TV and online newsrooms. One-on-one interviews were also set up for each with the architect, Renzo Piano, and developer, Irvine Sellar.

We immediately edited our own interviews into the B-Roll which we made available that afternoon to key news websites and to the correspondents from 42 further foreign TV stations based in London via ftp, hard copy and a feed from our TV studios to the BT Tower. As a result of briefing these correspondents on this and other recent major stories we’ve now created some very good working relationships, which are starting to approach the depth of those we have with the UK TV, radio and online media.

As soon as the 00.01 embargo lifted on Thursday 5th July, TV coverage began to pour in from all around the world. At the same time,the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Independent, Sun, Mirror, Metro, Yahoo, CNN, NBC, MSN and many, many more all ran video packages just from our B-Roll. The Wall Street Journaldiscussed the story in their new live midday news programme.

That afternoon we also filmed the official inauguration ceremony with Prince Andrew and the Prime Minister of Qatar. Within an hour we were feeding our edited rushes of this from our studios to all TV broadcasters in the UK and making it available for download via our FTP.

We then took the footage of that night’s 22.15 laser show on and from The Shard, incorporated it into our B-Roll, sold it into all online newsrooms and fed it to Reuters at 23.30. Shortly afterwards Reuters fed this full, final B-Roll to all their 640+ TV station subscribers and 1000+ online newsrooms around the globe.

From first thing on Friday 6th July, the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Mail, Sun, Mirror, Express, Metro, Yahoo and then the Sunday Times and many more all prominently ran the specific laser show video packages we edited for each of them. Within four days, our videos had received over 150,000 views just on Yahoo and our own Broadcast Exchange portal. Beyond these, online views will have been in the hundreds of thousands.

Finally, using special watermarking technology we tracked all our footage’s usage across 350 leading TV stations in the world, plus all the affiliate stations of CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in the USA. Within three days our footage has been broadcast on over 2,100 separate occasions by news programmes across dozens of countries, including the USA, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, India, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Israel, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Poland and Turkey and on all the leading global, pan European, pan-American, pan-Middle Eastern and pan-Asian channels.

Add the coverage using our footage from approximately 400 TV stations around the world which we were unable to monitor, plus the footage we gave to APTN, the BBC, ITN and Sky which they then distributed and it’s highly likely there would have been at least 3,000 separate “hits” outside the UK, each one using our footage.