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Effective Media Management. click to continue. Television: the “Engine” of Media Culture. TV is the most powerful of all media. It encompasses and influences news, music, movies, magazines, radio, newspapers, videos, the Internet.

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Effective Media Management

click to continue


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Television: the “Engine” of Media Culture

  • TV is the most powerful of all media.

  • It encompasses and influences news, music, movies, magazines, radio, newspapers, videos, the Internet.

  • The average Canadian watches over 20 hours of TV per week!




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What TV Stations Really Sell

  • TV stations sell an audience.

  • The bigger the audience, the more clients will pay for advertising time.

  • Prime time viewing hours and major events attract the largest audiences, thus advertising time is more expensive.

  • In 2010 a 30 second Super Bowl ad will cost USD $3 million or $100,000 per second!


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Rating and Rates

  • Ratings measure the size of the audience.

  • The bigger the audience the higher the ratings.

  • Advertising rates are set according to “ratings points.”

  • TV programs live and die by their ratings

  • TV.com lists “Lost” as the all-time top rated TV show.


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Established Buying Patterns

  • Most advertising is aimed at people under the age of 55.

  • Older people are more likely to shop in familiar places and buy the same goods and services year after year.

  • Younger people don’t have these “Established Buying Patterns.”

  • This makes them more susceptible to an advertiser’s suggestion.


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Lowest Common Denominator

  • TV caters to the majority demand for sensational programming.

  • TV news and most programs are intentionally written at a grade six level.

  • TV exploits base human motivators: fear, greed, lust.

  • Tests show the human brain is more active when sleeping than watching television.


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The One Thing You Rarely See on TV

  • TV programs often portray characters in real life settings doing real life things.

  • This helps you identify with the people you are watching.

  • What’s the one everyday thing you rarely see people on TV doing?

  • Watching TV!


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The Changing Nature of Television

  • Independent TV stations are disappearing as large media corporations buy and merge stations, facilities and networks.

  • As such, the tremendous influence of modern television has become highly concentrated.

  • Working together, a small number of major media corporations exert enormous influence over cultural, commercial, social, and political institutions around the world.


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The Changing Nature of Television

In Canada these major American and Canadian networks are most popular and commonly accessible. Their owners, and other major international conglomerates, include:

National Amusements, Viacom, CBS Corporation, Time Warner, News Corp, Sony, General Electric, Vivendi SA, Hearst Corporation, Bertelsmann AG, Organizações Globo Lagardère Group


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The Changing Nature of TV News

  • TV news has become more entertainment oriented.

  • Sensational video takes precedence.

  • Image has become as important as substance.

  • News items are carefully selected and/or omitted to satisfy the largest audience.

  • They are also vetted to ensure adherence to legal, cultural and political considerations.


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Why Big Networks Like Local News

  • A network is a chain of TV stations.

  • Affiliate stations share programs and commercials but local news is unique to each.

  • Local stations encourage audiences to identify closely with their top news personalities – anchors and hosts.

  • This “hi neighbor” relationship helps bind viewers to the network.


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How News Stories Get Selected

  • Assignment editors develop lists of topical story ideas from a variety of sources.

  • Managers, editors, producers, anchors and reporters meet to establish potential stories and priorities.

  • Subsequent line-up meetings review the progress of each story and where it fits in as the daily news run evolves.

  • Frequent last minute changes for “breaking news” are a leading cause of early retirement from the control room.


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Why Stories Get Selected

  • Stories are selected on the basis of their audience appeal, news value, good visual prospects, sensational elements and ease of access.

  • Not every story has all those qualities but those that do are featured more prominently.

  • Some stories fit into a daily “franchise” such as medical, consumer or entertainment news.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Contacting the Media

  • Don’t be afraid to contact the media directly.

  • Ask for the “city editor” if your calling a newspaper, or the “assignment desk” if you’re calling a radio or TV station.

  • Make a contacts list of your favourite editors and reporters.

  • Make sure you get the right spelling and pronunciation.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Pick Your Topic & Spin

  • Once you’ve decided the product, service or person you want to publicize, choose the angle or “spin” you wish to highlight.

  • Media coverage requires your subject be consequential. What consequence does it carry for the average viewer?

  • For example, if your company makes water purifiers focus on health and safety not selection, price or colour.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Know These Positions

  • News anchors read from behind a desk.

  • Reporters & photographers work in the field.

  • Producers coordinate editorial and production elements.

  • Assignment editors collect & assign stories.

  • Production directors work in the control room.

  • A news director manages the newsroom.

  • The CEO of News & Current Affairs oversees policy & budgets.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Know These Terms

  • A wrap or package is a pre-produced report by and with a reporter: runs 1:30 - 2:00.

  • A voice-over is video with a script read by the news anchor: runs about :30.

  • A voice-over-bite is an anchor script with video and a brief interview comment: runs about :45.

  • A live hit is live from the scene with a reporter on camera and often includes pre-recorded video and interview clips.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Timing and Deadlines

  • Don’t announce your company’s innovative new product on Federal Budget day.

  • Newsrooms keep a day-file of upcoming events. Pick your date, then ask a friendly assignment editor if he knows of any major media events scheduled that day.

  • Good timing requires a little luck. You never know when something big will blow up, burn down, or fall over .. and disaster always comes first.

  • Schedule events and news conferences reasonably early to accommodate reporter deadlines. 10:00 a.m. is ideal.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

News Releases – How To Get Noticed

  • Keep a comprehensive contacts list of local, provincial, and national media.

  • News releases should be no more than one page of who, what, where, when and why plus contact information.

  • Provide more information with an attached fact sheet and a one-page backgrounder.

  • Send news conference invitations a week prior and again the day before the event.

  • Advertisements dressed up as "News Releases" get tossed real fast 19 times out of 20.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Gimmicks: Good or Bad?

  • News editors often receive media releases or event invitations in clever theme packages.

  • PR agencies convince their clients that trendy or unusual packaging captures the media’s attention.

  • For example, an invitation to a new restaurant opening was sent stapled to a paper plate and shrink-wrapped. Not necessarily a good idea.

  • A simple, well-prepared news release will get the same attention and cost a lot less.

  • Hot food delivered right to the newsroom, however, never seems to hurt.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Conducting a Successful “Newser”

  • Schedule news conferences between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.

  • Book a meeting room with a head table large enough to hold a number of microphone stands. Provide coffee and light snacks.

  • Locate the head table so TV cameras point away from windows.

  • Leave space for TV cameras at the front or on a riser at the back.

  • Feature large scale visuals: drawings, maps, logos, flags, etc.

  • No more than three or four people at the head table.

  • Identify each speaker with a table card.

  • Distribute a well-organized information package and professional quality DVD when possible.

  • Allow time for reporters to scan your material.

  • Introductions, speaker remarks, and reporter Q&A - in that order.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

The Number One Media Hook?

  • Good visuals! The more visually oriented you make your presentation the better.

  • If TV is there, radio and newspapers will follow.

  • The West Edmonton Mall once invited the media to witness the helicopter placement of a huge new piece of theatre equipment. Nobody missed it!

  • Instead of simply displaying a new product at a news conference, invite the media to your factory to video the manufacturing process.

  • Anything that includes action is a good draw.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

What Every Reporter Is Looking For

  • Every reporter is waiting for you to say something you hadn’t intended to say.

  • The oldest trick is the “pregnant” pause. After your reply, seasoned reporters may hesitate a few seconds waiting for you to nervously fill the silence.

  • After you’ve made a definitive statement simply wait for the next question.

  • Don’t expand in any way you haven’t carefully considered.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

The 1-on-1 Interview

  • Should be conducted in an environment where you’re comfortable and in control.

  • Arrange a time and place convenient to you.

  • A brief conversation with the reporter before the interview is a good idea.

  • Remember sound bites rarely run longer than 15 seconds on air.

  • During the interview speak conversationally with the reporter but be succinct and to the point.

  • Once the reporter leaves, don’t expect any “creative” control.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Don’t Take the Mike

  • Don’t reach for the reporter’s microphone. He or she will hold it for you.

  • Reaching for the mike demonstrates a lack of experience as an interviewee.

  • Speak in a relaxed tone and maintain eye contact with the reporter, not the camera.

  • Keep arms down and hands away from your face.

  • If you perspire easily, a little translucent face powder prior to the interview is an excellent idea.

  • Maintaining good posture conveys an air of confidence.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

“Is This Thing On?”

  • Whatever else you do, understand the dynamics of the “live” interview. It happens in real time. You only get one “take.”

  • Don’t let this happen to you: a rodeo beauty queen got half way through a live TV interview when she suddenly stopped and said, “Oh damn, I screwed up. Can we start again?”

  • The answer, of course, was an embarrassing “No.”


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Media Coverage - when you want it

The “No Comment” No-No

  • If you’re involved in a controversial issue expect a question you’d rather not answer.

  • When it comes simply say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can say about that right now.”

  • Avoid using the “no comment” cliché. It inevitably comes across as hostile.

  • If the reporter asks, “Why?” be sure to have a pre-considered response. The alternative is to abruptly terminate the interview.

  • Don’t be drawn into a verbal duel or endless probing questions. Either way you lose.


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Media Coverage - when you want it

Scrums - Why You Should and Shouldn’t

  • A scrum is one person surrounded by a large group of media.

  • Seasoned veterans can get a lot of media attention quickly.

  • The questions can be relentless and probing.

  • The inexperienced subject often feels nervous and pressured.

  • Scrums are mobile and can be difficult to walk away from.

  • If you’re unsure, avoid scrums completely.


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Media Coverage

- when you don’t want it

Coming October 2009

Thank you!


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