What Plays on Local Television News?
A few times a year, Boom audits over 100 television news rooms – through direct contact as well as monitoring of news programs to find out what types of content they want, don't want, and basically what they may or may not use. Here is your EXCLUSIVE LOOK at some insights gained from our most recently completed effort. WHERE DOES YOUR STORY FIT IN? After a comprehensive review of news station broadcasts in several markets, we were able to determine how much time is devoted to different topics.
Typical 60-minute Newscast
As you can see – the bulk (63%) of an average 60-minute local news broadcast is geared towards the local viewer with coverage of the local news, sports, weather and traffic.
This does not leave much left of the pie for your segment to make air. Just over 20 percent of the news rundown – about 2-4 minutes of a 30-minute news rundown and 6-9 minutes of a 60 minute rundown – is dedicated to feature stories (health, business, entertainment, kicker).
The audit also revealed that celebrity stories (other than breaking news about the celebrities themselves) do not make the news that often. In fact, stations in smaller markets rarely, if ever, covered celebrity news.
BREAKING THROUGH THE CLUTTER: Most of the news desks we contacted confirmed that they gain a portion of their news from outside sources (b-roll pitches, media alerts, news services, etc.) on a daily basis. But because their audiences demand that the program focus on local events/news /weather/sports – there is not much time left in the rundown for feature type stories. And, the competition is fierce – with many of the hundreds of pitches made to stations each day not making it beyond the assignment desk.
So, how do you compete to break through the clutter and get your story on the news? News desks across the country provided us with some solid insight into how a story is assessed internally and the questions that are being asked before a segment makes air.
- Is there a sponsor and is the story overtly commercial? If yes, does the news value/appeal outweigh the commercial aspect of the piece?
- Will the story appeal to the majority of my audience? Is it news they can use?
- Is there a way the story can be teased to gain viewers for my news program?
- Is there a local angle to the story?
- How much time do we have to devote to tell the story?
- Will our audience be better served (tune in) with an interview segment?
- Do we need outside visuals for the story – or will a reader do?
- If it is an event b-roll. Are visuals so quirky and amusing that the location of the event does not matter?
So what does this all mean? Simply, it shows us that the newsroom is like a business – and their business is getting local audiences to tune is so that their ratings and revenues increase. When developing a news or interview segment, it is imperative that we take into account that stations are also our customers and create segments that will appeal to their audiences. Contact us if you'd like more insights on general news trends or an exclusive look at our analysis of FDA APPROVAL stories.
Event Broll 101
You're planning an amazing publicity event. You see the photo op. You can visualize the lead on every local newscast. But then...nothing. Why? What happened? With so many variables affecting whether your story makes air - well, it could be any number of things. But as a PR expert, you know that in order to GET the story on air, you have to start by providing the visual, right? But simply providing the visuals does not guarantee that your story or segment makes the cut. So, your objective must be to control as many variables as possible, while managing a budget - to ensure you are maximizing your chances of getting on air.
Before you plan your next event or event broll package, get us involved. We can help evaluate, set expectations, and manage those expectations as the event details take shape. In the meantime - get the low down from the comfort of your own office (great video to share with staffers too!): BOOM IN THE ROOM: YOUR EVENT BROLL PACKAGE
Ideas and Projects
Public Service Announcements: Stand Up To Cancer, Black Eyed Peas for Arts!, and coming soon: Light The Night Walk for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. These amazing organizations come to Boom for effective, efficient, and successful PSA campaigns on TV, Radio and online. Email PSA@boombroadcast.com to get details on how we do it.
Make it, share it...it's easy to kick start your viral video - check out: Forget Perfect! Can a Bachelorette Save the Planet? These videos were jump started online with Boom's "Online Content & Conversation" service. Extend the impact of your social media efforts by tapping our digital team to literally push, post and pitch your new content. You know how to get our team on it fast: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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