Archive for the ‘Broadcast PR’ Category

Mastering the art of media interviews, particularly on TV and radio, is a must-have skill for senior executives. An unfortunate slip of the tongue from an unprepared, or under-prepared, spokesperson can wreak havoc on your organisation’s reputation and weaken your brand. Media training is an essential investment, says Bridgid Nzekwu, our head of media training.

Media Training by TNR Communications at the Press Association

Media Training by TNR Communications at the Press Association

Remember Tony Hayward? The former CEO of BP will always be remembered for a monumental cock-up during an interview. He was forced to resign after telling a reporter “I’d like my life back” following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Millions of barrels of oil had poured into the Gulf of Mexico and 11 workers had been killed in the disaster. Yet the man at the helm of the company responsible appeared inappropriately concerned with his own situation.

Hayward has since conceded that BP was “not prepared to deal with the intensity of the media scrutiny…” An astonishing admission. Yet this is a pitfall which any organisation, even those with smaller budgets than multi-trillion pound oil companies, can avoid if their spokespeople are given the right training.

The best speakers are confident, credible and authoritative. They are cool under pressure, interesting to listen to, with a memorable turn of phrase. The good news is, these skills can be learned. Most people are not born fully-fledged media stars, so high quality training is the solution. In fact, the majority of the best media performers in business have had media training. They recognise that it’s just too risky to put themselves in the path of a John Humphries, Jon Snow, or indeed any journalist, without proper preparation.

Knowing how to control an interview is a vital skill. Being trained in effective techniques pays dividends, allowing your spokesperson to make the most of their time on air or in print, rather than slavishly following the journalist’s agenda. Every interview is a valuable opportunity to promote your brand and communicate with customers and investors. In 2013 some ITV1 advertising slots cost over £16,000 per 30 seconds. Consider, then, the value to your business of two or three minutes of air time on the BBC Breakfast business slot or Channel 4 News?

A confident, engaging interview is also a chance to steal a march on competitors and rolling, 24-hour news generates endless opportunities for expert comment. The power of this exposure for a brand is considerable, positioning it as a trusted name in the mind of the audience. Yet many organisations miss out on these opportunities by having too few “oven-ready” spokespeople. Most interview requests come with very little notice, so having several media-trained spokespeople is wise. If your sole front man or woman is travelling, off sick, in a Board meeting or unreachable for any reason, your media capability is severely limited. A chance to put your case or respond to news or industry developments is highly likely to go to a competitor. If their spokesperson performs well, journalists will remember and are likely to go straight to them for comment next time there’s a story. You have possibly lost a whole series of chances to put your brand in the limelight.

The rise of social media has been a game-changer in the way organisations communicate. Twitter, YouTube and social media in general are undeniably powerful channels but they have markedly increased the risks of having untrained or poorly trained spokespeople. Tweets can disseminate a faux pas worldwide in seconds and video clips go viral long before damage limitation can kick in. A poor interview or unguarded comment can damage reputations, tarnish brands and end careers.

The best media training goes far beyond practising answering questions and getting to grips with microphones, cameras and studios. Developing and refining your organisation’s key messages, particularly in times of crisis, is an essential first stage of preparing for an encounter with a journalist. What are you really trying to say to your audience? What will the journalist be most interested in and pursue? How will what you say actually come across in a soundbite? Most importantly, how do you not just survive the encounter but turn it to your advantage, especially if your organisation is on the back foot, for example because of poor financial results or a product or service failure?

These key messages are only effective if they are subtly worked into interviews. Masters at this include Angela Knight, Chief Executive of Energy UK, Justin King, former Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, and Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, all skilled at deftly taking control of the agenda during interviews, even under pressure. Less adept performers, politicians especially, lack effective techniques for handling tricky questions. They alienate their audiences – and make an enemy of the interviewer – by simply repeating their key messages regardless of what they’ve been asked.

Coming across well in print, on camera, or on radio is not merely about saying the right thing. An interview is a performance and, like any good performance, delivery is just as important as content. Tone, body language, even appearance can undermine what a spokesperson is trying to get across. At TNR Communications, bespoke media training includes work on an individual’s breathing, intonation, articulation, posture, gesture and facial expressions, as well as techniques for controlling nerves and eliminating “tells” which betray stress.

Another important factor is the training environment. A spokesperson trained in the comfort and safety of their own office can falter when expected to perform in a studio, where the journalist is on home turf and has an additional psychological advantage. Those who do practical exercises in a realistic setting are much more likely to feel secure and in control when it comes to doing it for real in the ‘Today’ Radio 4 studio or on the ‘Good Morning Britain’ sofa. The lesson here is to choose a training supplier with the appropriate training facilities and strong media credentials to make the most of your investment.

Possessing the right skills is non-negotiable for those who speak on behalf of their organisations. High quality training can transform a spokesperson’s confidence and credibility, developing them from mediocre to outstanding performers in a matter of hours, ensuring your organisation can harness the power of the media.

Post by Bridgid Nzekwu, Head of Media Training @ TNR Communications

Last Friday on 7th November we partnered with the CIPR to host a breakfast event here at the Press Association (PA). We got in the tea, coffee and croissants and lay on a host of speakers for the delegates to enjoy.

Being part of the Press Association we are in the fortunate position where we can call on our colleagues to provide insight into the multi-media world of news and content. Alongside the prestigious company of Jonathan Grun (Editor), Martin Keene (Head of Pictures) and Isabelle Potts (Editor PA Video) TNR provided delegates with an insight into other areas of PA that they can take advantage of.

CIPR GLG at The Press Association/TNR

As the broadcast and content experts of PA we spoke  about how to convey your message and story across a variety of media including video (broadcast & online), radio and photography. While people are aware of the need to create content and stories, they aren’t always as sure how you utilise the media available.

Keeping on top of the news agenda in the world of PR & Comms can be incredibly tricky, so to provide help we had David Fitzgerald from Globelynx who spoke about connecting your spokesperson with broadcast media, and Jeff Jones discussing Mediapoint and how to keep ahead of the news agenda. Being current and reacting in real time is so vital in the industry and having a spokesperson that can speak on behalf of your organisation is vital. The tips and benefits of this were  emphasised by Liz our Media Training co-ordinator.

CIPR GLG at The Press Association/TNR

After the talks had finished we had a Q&A where the audience got to grill all the speakers directly! This was then followed by a tour of the studios, broadcast facilities and of course the newsroom. The morning was a huge success and it was a pleasure to meet so many industry folk.

We are looking at dates early in the new year to run another joint event with the CIPR. Keep an eye on the @LondonPR Twitter feed or get in touch with me for info on future dates.

Post by Alex Waite, Marketing Manager @ TNR Communications

There was some rather interesting research done by the media regulator Ofcom featured in PR Week recently. A survey of 2,731 people showed that 41% of them now accessed news on websites and through apps which has slightly risen above newspapers at 40%.

To be honest this in itself isn’t a shock as the rise of digital consumption is very well documented and still on a steep increase. The part that interests me is whether this will ultimately impact the end client and their perception of success.

For instance in relation to photography, through the Press Association news wires we get PR Photography coverage for our clients in both print and online media. It’s always really interesting to hear the client’s reaction to both sets of coverage, with them frequently placing emphasis of importance on the print success.

Virgin Media's Big Kahuna quad-play bundle launch

Virgin Media’s Big Kahuna quad-play bundle launch – Print or online?

I know there is always the prestige of seeing your PR in print and physically getting the ink on your fingers, but with the continued increase in digital news consumption and the longevity it has online there will surely be a tipping point when clients rank importance of online coverage above print.

It’s also encouraging to see TV still ranking so highly at 75% for news consumption, although there was a slight decline on 2013. I still think that nothing beats a good broadcast PR campaign and while digital is certainly a rising force with online media going from strength to strength, the impact of seeing your PR campaign on TV still can’t be beaten.

I’d be interested to hear what industry folk think; does the client still prefer print over online coverage?

Post by Alex Waite, Marketing Manager @ TNR Communications 

 

 

This week we attended a Gorkana Breakfast meeting with Jonathon Boseley, Head of Programming, and Vikki Cook, Head of News and Current Affairs at London Live. As the new channel launches at the end of the month, it is important to understand how PR’s and the channel coordinators can work together and benefit from a hyper local channel – one of 19 to launch this year around the UK.

London Live’s main focus is supporting new talent and will be the only channel which has 3 hours of peak time original content. For comedy writers, budding drama creators and filmmakers not to mention budding presenters, this gives them a massive step up in their career.

But as the call to action may appear to be directed towards programming content this does not rule out the importance of a PR to help produce content (both news and other). PR’s can not only submit ideas forward for programmes – as long as they have a pilot episode prepared (this can be brand based but do bear in mind that it is still Ofcom regulated). One example series for this is a weekly show focused on one influential figure so perhaps PR’s can think about putting forward, for example, a new entrepreneur their client may have waiting in the curtains.

Another great opportunity is that whilst the channel only has a small news planning team, there is scope for PR’s to promoting London content (people/places/launches) which may otherwise be overlooked by national broadcasters and their London counterparts. London Live have a massive 5 and a half hours of news content to produce every day and it’s not just focused on the doom and gloom dominating some other London outlets coverage.

The news department will be looking at the news agenda at the beginning of each week and morning. PR’s are being encouraged to keep up social interaction as the channel are launching the London Eye – a section reaching out to bloggers and members of the public who can provide them with original content and commentary on stories. In terms of the running order, there will be a breakfast show from 0600 each morning that will look at the big questions of the day while the lunch time show will be 1 ½ hours long focused on news and current affairs (still maintaining a strong output of politics, business and social news), and the evening show which will look at more entertainment news.

It’s a really interesting shift to incredibly local content and bespoke news for regions. While it only targets a really local audience, it could be a fantastic opportunity to connect with them and engage them on a far deeper level that national media would allow.

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications

Research, case studies and a strong news hook are integral to a successful Radio Day. This week we had the pleasure of working with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust (JCCT) on the launch of their new ‘Put Yourself in the Picture’ campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

Cervical cancer dominated the media when Jade Goody passed away in 2009. At the time it highlighted the illness, which is the most common cancer among women under 35. As a result there was an increase in women taking up cervical screening. Since then however, it has dropped off the radar and this new research now shows women’s lack of knowledge and fear of examination – all of which is putting them off life saving tests.

TNR were enlisted to conduct and manage the entire radio day from helping to shape the story to making sure the clients key messaging was delivered. On the launch of the national campaign, our media relations team targeted radio stations across the UK with regionally broken down data and locally sourced case studies. As a result, we were able to secure nearly 50 interviews including almost 20 regional BBCs, Radio 1’s Newsbeat and other top commercial stations. Our sell-in and advisory also prompted BBC Look East to contact us and arrange a TV interview with a case study.

Back to back interviews meant our guests: actress, cancer survivor and JCCT supporter Sara Stewart; and Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, had barely any time out of the studio, but they were pro’s at getting across key messages and speaking from either an expert point of view (Robert), or from a personal point of view (Sara) which is imperative for a story such as this.

 

Robert Music and Sara Stewart

 

To amplify the story further and reach a wider audience, we interviewed both our spokespeople to produce some video content which we offered to the Press Association Video Wire. The wire distributes video content to a wide variety of online media and ISP’s. It was not only used for this, but it also provided the client with some new content for their website.

 

It’s great to be part of such a widespread campaign which has achieved some great coverage, while delivering a very important message. If you fancy having a look at the campaign yourself check out their website. Great start to radio for 2014!

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Project Manager @ TNR Communications

 

24.05.2013

Bank Holiday DIY

Yesterday, Alice Beer, consumer champion, came to our studios to discuss all things home design in preparation for the Bank Holiday.

Although I won’t be one of the 45% of people doing DIY this Bank Holiday (don’t want to get too ahead of myself- I think I need to actually move out of home before I think of home improvements!) but for many people this weekend means donning those dungarees and getting out the paint brush.

Teaming up with DFS to promote their Designers Choice Range, Alice was a great guest, speaking to the 7 radio stations we booked in about her personal experiences she’s encountering while converting her own house at the moment. It sounds like a pretty hefty task to take on converting both the basement and loft (as she is doing) but she gave some great tips to avoid arguments and conflict of agreement to make the process run smoothly.

Alice Beer at TNR for DFS Radio Day.

Alice Beer, Broadcast Journalist, at TNR for DFS Radio Day.

One of the main points that stood out from the topic was that our homes are becoming more and more important to us. One finding was that people are willing to sacrifice holidays, buying news clothes and eating out, all in a bid to make over a room!

In these economic times, where there is a clear struggle for many people to get by on a day to day basis, making our homes beautiful is clearly becoming something we are putting high on our priority lists. Strapped for cash, and let’s face it – living in a drab and dreary, wet and windy time – the home is once again becoming the place for us to get creative and, for women (according to this story anyway)- take charge!

Post by Daisy Bambridge, Production Support @ TNR Communications

 

I can’t believe the first week of May has already flown by. I feel like you blink in this industry and 10 projects go by without even realising it. With the nature of what we do, we get to meet some great people along the way. So, whilst in this reflective mood I thought it might be an idea to take a step back and share some of our ‘great meets’ over the past few months…

Mo Farah

As part of London 2012 The National Lottery launched the Olympic Park Run where 5,000 members of the public had the chance to take part in a run that would see them crossing the Olympic Stadium finish line.  In April this year Olympic Champion Mo Farah was on hand to launch The National Lottery Anniversary Run, which follows the same idea and is part of the Olympic legacy.

We produced photography and video content for this story so we’ll let Mo tell you the rest…

02 Olympic Park Anniversary

This image made it to The Guardian, Daily Mirror, Metro, The Sun and Daily Mail (to name a few)

I had the pleasure of assisting on this shoot with our Production Manager Rhian so you can see some behind the scene shots below:

Mo Farah crosses the finish line to celebrate the launch

Our cameraman Marcus and soundman Ben capture the launch

 

Boris Johnson

Mayor of London Boris Johnson helped head chef Fred Ponnavoy make a chocolate souffle during his visit to the Gu development kitchen in Walthamstow, London, to mark the London-based premium dessert company’s 10th birthday.

We produced photography for this story, one of which made our Photo of the Week:

 

David Seaman

Producer Elizabeth got to meet one of England’s best ever goalkeepers!  Being a football fan you can imagine how jealous I was.  Safe hands Seaman was saving penalties on a pop up football pitch in Trafalgar Square, London, to mark the arrival of Sky Sports Channels’ pay as you go on NOW TV in the UK.  He was joined by Sky Sports ‘legend’ Jeff Stelling.  This was an interesting one for us because we had a cameraman capturing a timelapse of the football pitch construction through the night, then the rest of our crew joined him early morning to interview the keeper that made 568 appearances for Arsenal.

Still got it: David Seaman dives to save a penalty in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London as part of Sky TV's launch of their new NOW TV service today

You can watch Seaman in action here (includes timelapse footage)…

To level the playing field I couldn’t resist…

 

 

Sarah Brown

In April, Child Rights Ambassador Sarah Brown presented a special UK preview of a feature film on the transformative power of girls’ education, narrated by a host of Hollywood stars (Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Liam Neeson, to name a few).

We were commissioned by Plan UK to produce an editorial video.  It was placed on The Independent, Harpers Bazaar and Yahoo, to name a few.

You can hear more from Sarah Brown through the video below:

Post by Daniele Baron, Production Assistant @ TNR Communications

Sunshine, azure blue seas and crystal clear skies.  An image worthy of anyone’s dreams.  Unfortunately for most waking up to this is exactly that, a dream.

However Tourism Australia are launching their second campaign of the “Best job in the World”, and this year it’s bigger and better!

With 6 incredible jobs to boast and a contract worth a staggering £67k for 6 months, it seems impossible that this can even pass as work!  This time around the jobs include an outback adventurer in the Northern Territory; a park ranger in Queensland; a wildlife caretaker in South Australia; a ‘lifestyle photographer’ in Melbourne; a ‘taste master’ in Western Australia; and ‘chief funster’ in New South Wales.

 

Best Job in the World initiative

 

TNR were there at the launch of the campaign, filming the TV release and the press photography for Tourism Australia at London Waterloo.

With a lifeguard on show for the ladies, a beautiful brunette in a striking red bikini for the chaps and a giant kangaroo and koala for everyone else in between, it made for a great photocall and attracted a fair bit of attention as you can imagine

 

Best Job Tourism Australia

 

In 2009, Briton Ben Southall rose to the top of a 34,000 high applicant pile, gathered from over 200 countries to win.  The lucky 34 year old got to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, snorkel and swim, whilst making friends with the locals and basically enjoy the tropical Queensland climate and lifestyle.  Not a bad way to spend 6 months…

 

Post by Tinashe Sithole @ TNR Communications

08.02.2013

Video brief 101

A question that I frequently get asked by clients is “can you give me a rough quote on a video?”

Unfortunately this is never an easy answer for a production company to give, as it depends on a number of factors. I can assure you that by asking questions, we aren’t trying to be a pain in the a*se; we are trying to pull out key info that will allow us to give you a quote that matches your brief and expectation.

I thought it would be useful to be list a few points to consider when you are looking to speak to a production company about a video brief. There may well be additional questions; but this should give you a great starting point in the planning stages.

 

Length of filming time for the crew

Is it a multiple location shoot?

This is important if you are trying to keep costs down. A large part of the cost of a video is hiring the film crew, so if you can keep all the filming time and locations to a minimum this will help.

Will you require interviews?

Depending on who the video is for, it’s normally best to have no more than 4 – 5 interviews. It is also important to work with an experienced producer who will be able to extract key sound bites from the interviews that can be integrated into the edit.

The amount of edit time

This is something that the production company will be able to advise you on, and is something that will affect cost. As with the number of interviews, days and locations, the number of edits will have an impact on cost.

However you can also benefit from economies of scale here as well. If you plan for multiple video activity and can capture all of your footage across a few days you can then edit it into a series of videos which will bring the overall cost down.

How many different edits are required?

I’m sure you are quickly becoming familiar with the ‘multi-channel story telling’ phrase. If you are planning to push the video content out to broadcasters, websites (editorial & specialist), social media site and bloggers then you need the right style to suit the platform and their audience.

Who is the audience?

This can dictate if graphics, animation, voiceover, music, grading etc need to be considered.

 

Of course we are always happy to run through all of these areas on the phone or in a meeting when clients are planning editorial or creative video, but I thought it would be good to show people why we can’t always give a rough cost straightaway!

 

Post by Alex Waite, Marketing Manager @ TNR Communications

 

29.11.2012

Mumbai Fly-By

One of the most common questions we get from clients is ‘how much notice do we need to give you to turn a shoot round?’. While plenty of time is always nice, it’s often a luxury working in the news industry. However, between you and me, there’s always something quite thrilling about the last minute dash to shoot and edit with next to no time. Having said that, a recent day-trip to India broke all TNR records, crossing continents and time zones within hours.

Every November, TNR work with Guinness World Records to produce video content for broadcast and online media for Guinness World Records Day. Around the globe, thousands of people attempt to simultaneously make and break records on the same day. Why? Simply to celebrate the weird and wonderful world of record breaking.

One of the main events this year was an incredible mass participation record attempt in a remote town three hours north of Mumbai, India. More than 2600 local women and girls in matching traditional dress joined in unison to perform a cultural dance, the Kaikottikali. The dance, which is usually performed by only eight women, was hosted at a large open-air running track, to both welcome Diwali and Guinness World Records.

 

We knew on paper the visuals would be spectacular and really required video to do the event justice and show the sheer scale of the attempt. While group events happen around the world, we were working with a remote location, hours from central Mumbai, where language and culture was an immediate barrier. Sourcing a local crew well versed in producing B-Roll for international distribution would be key to the success of the story to ensure we had the tools to work with back in the edit suite.

After getting the go ahead to travel to India and produce the shoot, we had 24 hours to source flights, find a good local crew, get jabs, plan the logistics of the shoot and get the all-important visa. It was a tense day in the office starting at the Indian emergency visa office first thing; then on to the travel specialists for injections in between booking flights and speaking to the crew in India; and finally back to the visa office at 6pm to find out if we had the right paperwork….a mere 3 hours before the flight was due to take off.

Fortunately, all went to plan with minutes to spare, and I touched down in Mumbai 15 hours later. I spent 15 hours on the ground travelling to the shoot location, filming one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve ever witnessed. I met some fantastic and inspiring people, before returning to the airport to make my way back to London.

It was an incredible adventure, with even more incredible results. The video was distributed worldwide and represented the culture and tradition of India perfectly on Guinness World Records Day 2012. See below to watch the record attempt and many more taking place around the world.

 

 

So if you ever have a story in remote parts of the world with hours to spare, it can be done!

 

Post by Elizabeth Herridge, Producer @ TNR Communications