How to get your story on TV using a Video News Release

    If you are planning a media conference you need to think about back-up strategies in case the media and TV news crews can’t attend.

    If your media conference is being held in a capital city but your story is of interest in regional and rural Australia, how will you get media coverage?

    The solution is a Video News Release (VNR).

    For businesses wanting television news coverage, a VNR should be key part of their Public Relations strategy.


    What is a Video News Release?

    A VNR is broadcast-quality video footage (overlay) and interviews (grabs) that are edited together and distributed by PR agencies to TV newsrooms using a live feed or digital link.

    The overlay and grabs in the VNR give journalists the pictures, information and sound they need to write and produce a story about your announcement or news.

    The “grabs” are news-friendly interview answers from key spokespeople. In most VNRs there are at least two people interviewed.

    The “overlay” helps news reporters and editors tell your story in pictures. The video, or vision, helps illustrate what your story is about and the overlay segment of a VNR is usually around five minutes long. It is important it includes natural sound audio that editors can then use under the journalist’s voice over when the story goes to air.

    The “overlay” should also not be mixed with music or the vision pre-produced with dissolves and other vision effects as it makes it difficult for the editor to use.

    News editors like vision that is simple, clean, and untouched. The different “shots” within the vision also should be edited loosely. This means letting the shots run a couple of seconds longer to make it easier for the news editing process.

    Eye-catching visual elements should also be included in your video production. If possible, try and include your business logo to boost brand recognition.

    How to write a Video News Release

    Storytelling is an important part of PR. A good VNR has a newsworthy angle, relevant grabs, and quality video footage that resonates with your target audience, stakeholders, and consumers.

    A VNR is distributed to TV newsrooms together with a media release detailing your announcement, milestone, or new development. The elements of your VNR should match the media release. The “grabs” featured in the VNR need to be from the same spokesperson or spokespeople quoted in the media release. The “overlay” also needs to mirror the information contained within the release.

    If your story is about the opening of a stage play, such as “Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Play” for example, vision of some of the performance needs to be included in the “overlay”. If your story is about a fundraising vehicle, vision of that vehicle needs to be provided. Elements should include the vehicle driving on the road, from inside and outside the vehicle, close ups of all interesting aspects of the vehicle, or even a mock interview with the driver while they’re driving along. Anything that makes the vision interesting and eye-catching.

    A Video News Release format should go “grabs” first and “overlay” second. You could provide the two elements in separate links if the video is too long to send as one. You need to consider how long it takes for the vision to be downloaded by newsrooms.

    How to get on the TV news

    Your launch or media conference is in a capital city, but you want to achieve media coverage across multiple media markets.

    The team at Adoni Media are very experienced former senior TV journalists and producers. We work with news cameramen/editors to film your media call before editing and sending the highlights to newsrooms. The newsrooms we send your VNR to are determined by the announcement. For example, if the launch is occurring in Brisbane but is only relevant to Queensland, we would distribute your VNR to all Brisbane-based TV newsrooms as well as regional TV newsrooms throughout the State.

    The opening of “Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show” in Brisbane generated TV news stories throughout Queensland through a VNR filmed and produced on the day of the launch. The video was also posted across the client’s social media channels to connect directly with their thousands of followers.

    Adoni’s Founder and Managing Director, Leisa Goddard, said: “We don’t believe in a “one media release fits all” approach because we’ve worked in newsrooms and we know tailored releases are far more likely to get a run. We also tailor VNRs to provide localised grabs because we know stories with local angles are more likely to gain media coverage.”

    “It takes time to localise each media release and VNR for each different state and territory as well as for industry outlets to support client’s stakeholder engagement. But it is worth it,” she said.

    The Adoni team has been using VNRs to successfully increase media coverage for entertainment companies, corporates, governments, not-for-profit organisations, and charities for 10 years. To start telling your story and promoting your business and story through VNRs, contact us.