Posts Tagged ‘television’


PR Insights From Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” Sit-down

Monday, March 17th, 2014

PR Insights from Obama's Between Two Ferns sit-down Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasYou’ve probably already seen President Obama’s appearance last week on “Between Two Ferns,” the satirical interview show hosted by The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis. There to plug the Affordable Care Act, President Obama got a lot of criticism from most corners of the media – not for his message, but for his choice of medium.

Predictably, a lot of pundits proclaimed that the appearance wasn’t “presidential” or “undermined the office of the president.” But regardless of your politics, any good PR pro would have to admit that the White House followed the top tenets of PR and marketing: know your audience, and reach them where they are.

This particular appearance was aimed at Millennials in an effort to get them to sign up for health insurance through healthcare.gov before the March 31 deadline. The President has been publicly advocating for the ACA for many months, but enrollment among young people has lagged. So what’s any good marketing and PR pro to do when a particular audience segment isn’t responding? Reach them where they are.

Which is why Funny or Die was such a savvy choice of platform; it’s a site with noted success in the 18- to 34-year-old male demographic. A lot of the commentators who didn’t “get it” or didn’t like it were, unsurprisingly, not in the target demographic.

Now that the dust has settled from President Obama’s appearance, let’s look at a few PR and marketing takeaways:

First, it’s OK if your medium isn’t universally appealing. There’s a reason it’s called targeting – every target demographic will respond to different things. President Obama’s team knew they were trying to reach an audience who wants to be entertained and doesn’t watch much live TV, so arranging a spot on a live-aired television show would not have adequately reached the target audience.  The Huffington Post reports that 25 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 saw the video, so perhaps the segment isn’t as large as the White House had hoped for, however it’s possible that that segment hadn’t been reached in other, more traditional channels the White House pursued previously.

Take your brand outside its normal realm to reach an elusive audience segment and freshen the message. Doing something unexpected grabs attention, like Beyonce did with her unannounced, iTunes-only album launch, like Red Bull did with the Stratos Space Jump, or Amazon did with its drone delivery testing video. It also helps to use a different platform to reach your audience, as Vladmir Putin did with a New York Times op-ed. President Obama routinely takes his brand to new platforms, as he did in 2012 with a reddit Ask Me Anything.

A more obvious choice of platform would have been Comedy Central’s The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, but by choosing “Between Two Ferns,” the President’s team opted out of the implicit political vibe on the two news comedy shows. This not only helped reach a different portion of the target demographic, but also freshened the message on a very drawn-out issue.

Don’t define success solely by whether people like you; look at your numbers to see if the medium was a successful platform for your message. Sentiment is an excellent way to measure your media coverage, but it’s not the only indicator of success, especially if you’re looking to increase referrals, sales, or enrollment. Look at other key metrics like traffic increase and numbers of sales or referrals. The President’s spot, despite positive and negative segment, was successful in that the video garnered more than 11 million views and traffic to healthcare.gov jumped 40 percent on Tuesday. Whether it was ultimately successful in increasing enrollment remains to be seen.

Do you think President Obama’s platform was a successful one? How do you adapt your platform to your audience?

Meet the Media: National Exposure – Landing Broadcast Media Coverage (Tips for Pitching)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Alfred Cox*

3D Baseball PitcherPlacement on national broadcast television, including morning and entertainment programs, has always been the Holy Grail for marketing and public relations professionals. This is just as true today, even with the advent of digital technology and the changing media landscape. (Download the BurrellesLuce Infograph: The State of Broadcast Media.)

PRSA-NY organized a panel of experts who gave a peek into their shows and tips for how PR professionals can get their clients featured.

The event, hosted by Anchin, Block & Anchin, featured:

 

10 Tips for Pitching Broadcast

1.  Do your homework. All of the panelists commented that “knowing what the show was about” and “knowing the show’s audience” are a must when pitching. Raff commented, “Build a relationship. Watch the show, understand the connection of the show for your client, and follow shows with common interest.”

2.  Be relevant and timely. Topics need to be specific to the audience of the broadcast show you are pitching and timely. All the panelists agreed that “Breaking News” takes priority. Weber remarked that “same day pitching depends on the story, but is done quite often, especially with consumer stories.” Jarvis cautioned PR pros to “check the weekend news shows, including those from other networks” prior to pitching as she “won’t run the same story as the other weekend news shows.

3.  Know what you are pitching. “Always advise if it’s a paid spokesperson,” remarked Weber, and “don’t hold back vital information.”

4.  Know who you are pitching. Weber said that if PR pros use a “bad name” or the “wrong show” they won’t receive a return call.

5.  Pitch journalists using their preferred contact method. For Jarvis, Twitter is the best way to pitch her – even better than emailing, in fact.

6.  Keep pitches short. Crudup said pitches should include a brief paragraph and the email subject line should always be the topic. Weber agreed that “short and sweet” was the way to go. Raff cautioned to “plug the brand just once or twice via email,” while Jarvis only wants a “one or two sentence paragraph” for the pitch.

7.  Provide a compelling story. For the next two months the panelists are booking political conversations, pre- and post-election stories, and political interest stories. Raff commented that because of the elections, “celebrities and their options on the political arena” made for a compelling story. “Touching stories that affect all lives,” is another good topic. However, Jarvis advised PR professionals to “hold human interest stories until after the election.”

8.  Consider your spokespeople. When looking for guests, “crazy guests are good for ratings,” said Crudup, while Raff noted that “strong guests and/or erratic guests make the rating.” She also said that when pitching a human interest story, “the guest must be able to tell a story live.”

9.  Include video content with your pitch. All the panelists agreed that video content was important for both supplemental material as well as demonstrating the spokesperson’s ability on camera and relevancy of topic. Raff informed PR pros to “send an appearance from another similar show.” Crudup instructed, “Include a video from another show that is similar to Rachel Ray, not just an interview, but an actual TV interview,” so that he can see interaction with interviewer and interviewee. Weber also confirmed that sending a video “from other TV appearances helps make the decision on booking.”

10.  Understand that broadcast takes priority over digital. For Weber, “digital will always follow after the show” because “real-time TV is still the best trend.”

The key to successfully pitching broadcast media is about, as Jarvis remarked, “knowing where the opportunities exist and offering the key ingredients.”

What other tips would you add for pitching broadcast media? Please share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

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Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook:  BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox

In PR and the Media: April 17, 2012

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A daily round-up of what’s trending in PR and the Media.

1. Hulu Plus hits 2 Million Subscribers, report says “Hulu Plus had about 1.5 million subscribers in January, and has been averaging about 1 million new subscribers each year. That figure appears to be on the rise.” (CNET)

 

2. Copyright conundrum in Oracle-Google case: Is a computer language fair game? “The final outcome of Oracle-Google trial will determine whether computer programming languages are subject to copyright law.” (CNET)

 

3. NYC Pressures Omnicom For Workplace Diversity “The city’s Office of the Comptroller has asked four holding companies — Omnicom, Interpublic Group, WPP and Publicis — to publicly disclose detailed submissions required by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to show just how diverse — or not — their workforces are.” (MediaPost)

 

4. U.S. Consumers Receptive to Social Media Appearing on Their TV Screens, According to Accenture Study “Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture study.” (MarketWatch)

 

5. NAB: Adobe Study Shows High Online Ad Engagement “Completion rates for mid-roll online ads climb to 87% in second half of 2011.” (Broadcast and Cable)

Pretty soon you won’t be able to tell the difference between Fox and Hulu, HBO and Netflix, or CNN and YouTube.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

sneetchesThe recent jockeying for position and struggle to find an identity within the crowded and competitive world of network, cable, streaming video, and online television reminds me of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches. The Sneetches were a group of yellow creatures, some with green stars on their bellies (a sign of distinction) and some without, until a character named Sylvester McMonkey McBean offers those without stars a chance to add them by going through his Star-On machine. In order to stay special the Sneetches formerly with stars happily pay the money to have them removed in his Star-Off machine. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next, and to quote the good Doctor,

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one… or that one was this one or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

The last few month, the news out of the “television” world has been very Seuss-like to say the least:

At this year’s winter TV press tour Kevin Reilly, entertainment president, Fox Broadcasting Company, revealed that his network plans to use web content as a development tool for the airwaves. “Something that starts in digital could be the next big primetime hit… We have an expertise, and a history, and proficiency, and a primetime audience base,” he confirms in this Atlantic.com article about 5 Ways the Networks Want to Change How You Watch TV. Reilly goes on to use Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow (of Friends fame) as one example of a web-only series that has successfully made the switch and is now aired on Showtime.

In an effort to kick start their declining subscription base, Netflix is beginning to act more like a network rather than your average streaming video provider. By jumping into the original programming waters, Netflix plans to release three new series in 2012 – starting with Lilyhammer, a crime comedy set in Norway’s former Winter Olympics headquarters, starring The Soprano‘s Steven Van Zandt. Not to be outdone and fresh off a year where they realized 60 percent revenue growth in 2011, the web streaming service Hulu is launching its first ever original scripted series. Battleground, a mockumentary series described as “The Office meets The West Wing, premieres February 14, explains, this opinion brief on TheWeek.com.

And remember when YouTube was just a site where you could watch short clips of people doing funny and unusual things? Well, last week Reuters joined CNN and the BBC by unveiling its own channel to be shown on the popular video sharing site. The channels will show original content from Reuters on YouTube, which will allow them to leverage an army of over 3,000 reporters worldwide.

I doubt all the players involved with getting content to the masses will end up in blissful harmony like our friends the Sneetches, but it should be fun watching them run from one machine to the next having their green stars removed and re-added over again.

What are your thoughts? Please share them with me here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

5 Tips for Working with Television Journalists

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

interview

 

November 2011

Broadcast media traditionally refers to television. It may seem people are spending less time in front of the TV these days. But with the media everywhere mentality, broadcast television still remains a viable part of media relations outreach.

In fact, broadcast is becoming even more important today because of its availability online – increasing shelf life and exposure of key content segments. “Today, broadcast is about much more than just television and radio. There is mobile TV, podcasting, web streaming, branded content, and ad funded programming,” confirms Weber Shandwick, a full service public relations agency who specializes in Broadcast PR. “In short, it is all about convergence between traditional broadcast outlets and the new digital kids on the block. A well thought out convergent campaign using the best of the old in conjunction with the best of the new will amplify your messages and give you an important voice […]”

With that spirit in mind, BurrellesLuce put together 5 tips to help you get the most out of working with television journalists and enhance your broadcast efforts.

Read more to discover 5 tips for working with TV journalists in this month’s BurrellesLuce Newsletter.