• Boom in the Room Boom in the Room Become an expert with Boom in the Room
  • The Work The Work Sed perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error voluptatem accusantum doloremque laudantium totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et doloremque laudantium.
  • The Work The Work Sed perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error voluptatem accusantum doloremque laudantium totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et doloremque laudantium.
  • The Work The Work Promo Video produced for Crocs, Inc
  • Boom in the Room Boom in the Room Behind the Scenes in the Newsroom
  • Boom in the Room Boom in the Room Become an expert with Boom in the Room
  • The Work The Work
  • Boom in the Room Boom in the Room Behind the scenes on a remote SMT
  • The Work The Work Work caption can go here. Edit throught the Service Boxes in your dashboard.
  • testing testing http://www.youtube.com/embed/BO7q6v0oKAw
  • The Work The Work PSA Case Study: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • The Work The Work News Package Case Study: Zynga's Farmville
  • The Work The Work Online Content Case Study: Chex, Cheerios, Seventh Generation
  • The Work The Work SMT Case Study: Glaxo SmithKline's Blueprint to Quit
  • The Work The Work Production Case Study: Crocs Soles United
  • Client Raves Client Raves Click above to see what clients are saying about Boom...
  • Client Raves Client Raves Click above to see what clients are saying about Boom

When you work with Boom, you’re partnered with a team of seasoned broadcast public relations professionals who understand there is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to getting your message on air.

QUESTION: What is sweeps and how does it affect television coverage?

ANSWER: Start bracing yourself for ratings-grabbing segments, sensationalized series on hidden dangers, guest stars from network programming – basically any news that will help boost audience numbers.

The reason you will see more stunt news casting and “very special” episodes of your favorite programming is because May sweeps is just around the corner (April 23-May 20, 2015).

Sweeps are what advertisers and stations use to determine local ad rates (not so much national rates – those are gathered yearly) and thereby the revenue of the local newscast. So, as you can imagine, this gives stations a huge incentive to get those ratings as high as possible using any means necessary.

There are four sweeps periods every year – February, May, July and November.  But generally the May and November are considered to be more important – followed by July and then February.

So what does this mean to you and how does it affect your story making it on air?  Because of sweeps, local television news programs have less airtime that can be dedicated to sponsored content and are much more picky during these periods as to what type of segments they will book. More than ever they will be asking themselves if your story will engage their audience and help boost their ratings.

The reason they have less room in their rundown for your story is because stations are devoting more time to segments that will increase viewership such as:

  • Sensational weeklong series that you absolutely need to watch so you can find out what is killing you and how to stop it from killing you
  • Promoting other programming on the station (both national and local) via on-air discussions, guest interviews, etc.
  • Uptick of sensational news stories – the old adage “if it bleeds it leads” is never more true than during a sweeps period

So does this mean that you should not conduct a satellite media tour during sweeps? Absolutely not – with the right story, spokesperson and lead-time your segment can be just as successful during sweeps as any other time.

However, if your story does not need to happen during a sweeps period – it is something you may want to consider postponing if the angle, spokesperson or timing is not optimum to break through the sweeps clutter.

So while you need to keep sweeps in mind when planning your next campaign it is not a time period you need to avoid altogether.

A co-op, or cooperative SMT or cooperative news package combines complimentary clients, services or products within an interview segment or package that is then offered to stations for air. The appeal? You or your client can participate in a broadcast tactic for a fraction of the cost of your own segment or package. Based on our experience, a co-op may or may not deliver a strong result for you and/or the client.

For any co-op tour, we first consider client objectives. Boom Broadcast does not produce traditional “co-ops” for a number of reasons, the biggest being that we have not seen, in our 15+ years of experience in broadcast PR, that the co-op consistently delivers results to all participants. In addition, many stations are backing away from this format, as it tends to be overly commercial.

However, this strategy MIGHT be right for your objectives. Our approach is to evaluate the project, and if a co-op seems a fit, offer you guidance on getting the most out of it. Typically our best counsel is to consider what the objectives are for your client, and closely evaluate what broadcast tactic might deliver the same or greater value:

  • Is a visual key to your communication objective? If not, radio might deliver stronger ROI for the client.
  • What are your broadcast “assets”: a new product, existing visuals, an expert spokesperson, new study
  • Do you have any existing marketing partners that may benefit from combined messaging?
  • Do you have any existing marketing partners that may benefit from combined messaging?

If you do decide to participate in the co-op, here are a few considerations/guidelines to help you get the most from the tactic:

  • Find out how many participants there will be. If there are more than three participants/products you may get short-changed on your mention or your messaging.
  • Ask for a recent rundown. Most co-op producers either just do co- ops, or have a dedicated co-op team. Ask them for a recent report or rundown/schedule so you can see the caliber and number of stations your tour is likely to achieve.
  • Find out where in the interview your message/product will be mentioned. Often, an interview can be cut short and if you are at the end of the talking points you may be cut out altogether.
  • Confirm budget. Usually co-ops should be in the $9,000 range. Negotiate if it’s higher than that.
  • Get an interview flow up front. Ask the producer to provide a specific interview flow so you know going in exactly how the tour will flow, where your mention will come, what the call to action will be, and how many tips/items the spokesperson is covering.

Finally, there just might be broadcast alternatives that better fit the client’s objectives or budget. We might offer an approach you haven’t thought of and it may deliver a stronger impact for your client. Let us know if you’d like to talk in detail

QUESTION: What are sweeps and how do sweeps affect television coverage?

ANSWER: Start bracing yourself for ratings-grabbing segments, sensationalized series on hidden dangers (that will likely kill you), guest stars from network programming and basically anything to help boost audience numbers.

The reason you will see more stunt-news casting and “very special” episodes of your favorite primetime drama is because sweeps are the largest deciding factor for determining local ad rates (not so much national rates that are gathered yearly) and thereby the revenue of the local newscast – which gives stations a huge incentive to get those ratings as high as possible using any means necessary.

You may not have heard the old newsroom adage, “if it bleeds, it leads,” but it never may be more true than when it comes to sweeps periods.

So what does this mean to you and how does it affect your story making it on air?  Because of sweeps, local television news programs have less airtime that can be dedicated to sponsored content and are much more picky during these periods as to what type of segments they will book.

There are four sweeps periods every year – February, May, July and November.  But, generally the May and November are considered to be more important – followed by July and then February.

You don’t have to avoid sweeps periods at all costs – but certainly if it is not necessary to your message that the story to out during sweeps you may want to consider choosing another more “friendly” time to book your interviews.

But don’t fret – there is hope should you need to get your story on air during sweeps.  To counter the challenges of booking during sweeps be sure to get out there early with your story. Usually the optimum lead time for a satellite media tour pitch is 6 weeks – but during sweeps that changes to about 8 weeks.  The earlier you are able to start outreach the better you are to beat the competition to the punch.

And, as always be sure to make your segment stand out.  This is never more critical than during a sweeps period.  Think celebrity spokesperson (as long as the celeb fits the message), novel tips and fun twists on dull topics so that your segment stand out and be sweeps worthy.

 

QUESTION: Why are there taped segments on my SMT rundown?

ANSWER:

One of the questions we often get when pitching a tour is “can you book more live interviews?” Our goal, like the client’s, is to get a live hit – but there are a few reasons why some stations will not or cannot book a live segment on the tour date:

  • The news director currently has an edict that does not allow producers to book/conduct live interviews with sponsored segments because they want to approve the segment before it airs. Often this is because that station or producer has had issues in the past with segments being overtly commercial – the basic bait and switch (this can sometimes be even more of a factor in top markets).
  • The show does not air during the tour timeframe so they will tape it to air later the same day.
  • They don’t have time in their show that day to conduct a live segment but are still interested in the segment so will tape it to air at a later date/time.
  • They don’t have time in their show that day to conduct a live segment but are still interested in the segment so will tape it to air at a later date/time.

At Boom we are always vetting stations that we book with and have an almost 100% success rate of segments taped during the tour airing within 1-2 weeks from the tour date.   This is for a few reasons:

  • Stations will generally not put aside time and resources to tape a segment that they have no intention on airing (they allocate talent, and satellite time to take in the segment).
  • We work with our clients to provide stations with a well-rounded, informative interview –  avoiding content that is too commercial to air.
  • We monitor and vet stations that do not air taped segments and remove them from our outreach efforts – this helps to eliminate tapings that then don’t translate into viable hits for our clients.
  • We aggressively follow up with all taped segments to help ensure all interviews make air.

Even with these fail safes in place, there are legitimate reasons a station may not be able to or want to air a segment they booked such as:

  • Breaking news on the day your segment was to air causes your interview to be bumped and many times the producer is not able to fit it in at a later date.
  • A bait and switch interview – stations was provided a different interview segment than they were offered in the pitch.
  • The segment ends up being overtly commercial.

And, to work to get as many live segments as possible we will always move a taped segment to make room for a live segment that may only be able to book at that time slot.

 

 

Question: Can an SMT interview segment ever be too commercial?

Answer:  You betcha!

First rule of thumb when creating an interview segment is embracing the fact that you have three audiences to please (as if your mother wasn’t enough):

  • Client
  • Producer
  • Audience

Yes, ultimately the client is the most important – because, well because, they pay the bills.  But, you must not discount the importance of the producer at the station who will book your content or the savvy of the consumer watching, reading or listening to the segment.

Viewers and especially news directors don’t want to tune into their local news program and see a commercial.  For a feature segment to work across the board, it has to be news you can use.  This does not mean that a consumer feature story has to breaking news – but, it does have to be a well-rounded interview where the only solution to the problem is not limited to just your product or service.

Ignoring the first rule of thumb will start to magnify our challenges: think about our 2nd audience – the producer, aka The Gatekeeper – the interview will never be booked, much less make air for our 3rd audience to see and react to.  So, if the end client is expecting a subtly veiled commercial, that’s fine – as long as we don’t anticipate anyone else seeing or benefitting from the segment.

And, believe me when I tell you that the viewer is savvy – many times, I have logged onto stations’ sites and seen them rip apart the station and the segment because they thought the interview was insulting their intelligence, usually because it’s too commercial.

No Bait and Switch

This brings us to the “bait and switch”.  If I had a nickel every time our publicists call a station and are told that the news director has recently handed down an edict not allowing any outside produced (sponsored) content because they had just been burned by a segment that was overtly commercial… Well – I would likely have about 50 cents a month.  But that is 50 cents too much considering that there are only a certain number of stations, at any given time, that are open to conducting SMTs.  Every nickel means that someone’s segment has just blown an opportunity for us.

One of the worst sins of this business is offering one interview and then providing a segment that barely resembles what was pitched.  Don’t mislead the press – they will not be happy.  Don’t offer them an interview with Angelina Jolie discussing her cancer decisions and substitute Dr. Angela Johnson talking about your new drug therapy.  Don’t tell them you have the secret to weight loss and then reveal during the segment that the “secret” is for the viewer to use your product.  Bottom line: don’t tell them you have the solution to a problem and only offer them one solution – your client’s product.  Be graceful, be honest and be helpful – they agreed to talk to your expert for a reason: they are expecting news their viewers can use, info that will make them look good – as in, a credible news source.

Um, Yeah We Have Um Breaking News

No, they really don’t (sometimes they really do – but not for the purposes of the point I am trying to make here) – the news director just looked in on the satellite to peak at the interview that is coming to them next, and vomited a little in her mouth at what a horrible infomercial she just observed.  What now?  She tells her producer to get rid of your live interview.  Yes, this does happen. And, what if they taped your segment – likely that interview will not make the light of day.

The Rule of Three

Stations get it – they really do.  We are offering them some light-hearted fare with (hopefully) an engaging spokesperson who will offer some tips and news their viewers can use.  In return for providing them with a segment that is interesting, fun and fills their rundown they are fine with 3 “mentions” so long as they fit naturally into the interview:

  • One mention of the product by name
  • One visual of the product
  • The call-to-action – usually your website

More than this can be a turnoff to the producer and the viewer.  They did not tune in to only hear about your product – they tuned in to get information.

So What Now?

When crafting the pitch think of yourself as the viewer – what would keep you engaged to watch for 3-4 minutes?  You’re smart, you know what you like – develop the interview with you in mind – the segment you might tune in to.

For example, if we are offering tips on how to avoid the common cold/flu this Fall – include at least 4-5 non-competing tips to round out the interview for your well-informed viewer.  So, for instance, if your client makes hand sanitizer the obvious tips are to wash and/or sanitize your hands and avoid contact with those sickies that seem to crop up every autumn – but you should also discuss how diet, exercise, sleep, keeping surfaces clean, teaching kids to sneeze the “right” way, etc. will keep you healthier during cold and flu season.

And, rely on your expert spokesperson to come up with something that cannot necessarily be found on an Internet search.   We can all very easily come up with tips for any topic with a quick online search – but this does not necessarily make for an interesting interview or an interview that the spokesperson can speak to intelligently.  The spokesperson is the expert – use them for their expertise or unique perspective.

Think like a consumer, a news director, a producer…not a salesman. The more interesting the “story” – the longer the stations will be engaged and the better chance your client’s message gets to the consumer.

 

 

Recent Posts

Why Local Media Matters

At a time in history when it seems that every day we are experiencing historical

Meet Adam Scholder – Boomer of the Month

The team at Boom has had the pleasure of working with Adam Scholder, managing di

Boom-Broadcast_Footer_Woman

Contact Us

Name:

Email:

Message:

Captcha:
captcha

Twitter Feed