Boom Blog

Tora Vinci

Meet this month’s feature for Boomer of the Month – Victoria “Tora” Vinci, Public and Media Relations Manager, Cleveland Clinic – who when asked to describe herself in ten words or less eloquently stated: Shares incredible stories about individuals who save lives.

There are so many reasons we love working with Tora – but one that stands out is her unflinching devotion to the 1980’s Helen Hunt/Sarah Jessica Parker classic Girls Just Want to Have Fun. She has been on a quest for a Dance TV  t-shirt for years – so if you happen to know where we can get one please share!

Read on for many more reasons you should get to know Tora!


1. What was the last picture you took with your phone?  A picture of my chocolate lab, Maggie (along with the other 200 photos on my phone of her!).

2. What is the best compliment you ever received?  That I make things happen!

3. If you could wake up tomorrow as someone else – who would you be and what would you do?  I would be Mary T. Meagher and swim in the Olympics.

4. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life – what would that meal be?  Pizza.

5. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? Why?  Although I love my field, public relations, I would choose being general manger of a professional sports team. I would enjoy the challenge of judging talent and matching that talent to my vision of teamwork, camaraderie and on the field success.

6. If you could only use one social media platform what would it be? Why? Instragram. Growing up I took a lot of photos and I have countless photo albums so having one digital picture platform is perfect for me!

7. What television show is your guilty pleasure?  I have many but the one that fits best is the Bachelor/Bachelorette.

8. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? Do you take it as a compliment?  Elaine from Seinfeld, yes I do – she is confident, funny and straight forward!

9. What advice would you give to your teenage self?  Know what you want and go after it! If you don’t give up, you can’t fail.

10. What is the oddest food item you have ever eaten?  I would have to say I am the pickiest eater I know, so for me it would be asparagus.

It’s happened to all of us. You’ve come up with a great idea for an event b-roll package that the client has bought into – a giant Baked Alaska in the middle of Times Square that will be devoured by the remaining members of One Direction just before they break up. However, once it comes to executing the event none of the elements seem to fall into place and instead of a dessert the size of a small yacht, it’s an oversized cake that fits into a shopping cart that will be tasted by a food blogger – not nearly delivering the visuals that were initially pitched.

If the event is not executed well or as initially planned, it doesn’t matter how good the story is on paper because it won’t hold any interest at assignment desks. We can make it sound amazing in our pitch efforts, but if the visuals are boring and no one shows up to the event stations simply are not going to use the footage.

So when you come up with an idea for an event b-roll package, be realistic on what can actually be executed before expectations are set too high.

Okay, so now you have the event you know can be pulled off ready to go – do you produce and distribute a b-roll package?  Most likely the answer is yes. But take these points into consideration:

  • How quirky and visually appealing is your story?
  • Is the event too localized?
  • Is your event able to tell a story in 30 seconds or less?
  • Do you have the first, the fastest, the biggest to add to the visuals?
  • Will you be able to make the visuals available by 2-3 p.m. ET on the day of the event?

Let’s say that all of the elements are in place – that means your b-roll is a shoe-in for airings right? Not necessarily – event b-rolls have a short shelf-life and there are factors that could hurt usage of the great b-roll you are offering stations, such as:

  • Breaking news – local and national
  • Weather stories – snow, heat waves, floods and Hurricanes
  • Sweeps
  • Championship Sports Games
  • Elections

All of these factors take away precious time from news rundown and limit the airtime for your piece. Some factors can be avoided and should be taken into account when planning your event date.

So, is there anyway to guarantee pick up for your event b-roll? Not really. Even if you have a celebrity (A or D list), be sure that the event has all the elements listed above. And, before you commit to your VIP talent be sure take into account that your local newscast has little space for celebrity news outside of gossip (when was the last time you saw a celebrity ribbon cutting on your local news that occurred in another market?) and many times celebrity events are better suited for the nationally syndicated entertainment programs.

And remember if event has no local media coverage – chances are outlets outside of the market may also not be interested in covering the event.

An added bonus to local media covering your event – the local affiliate may feed their footage to their network and then affiliates across the country use their footage. This will be instead of the b-roll that you produced – but this type of coverage is seen as editorial and can lead to increased viewership throughout the nation.

So, in this case – what is the point of spending money on b-roll in the first place?  You can’t always predict what will interest the media or if there will be a local breaking news story and none of the crews were able to show up—the b-roll would be all you’ve got—so it still pays to do a b-roll for a big event as a “safety net.” And, remember local affiliates may not have known the footage is even available if it hadn’t been for pitching the b-roll in the first place. Should a local affiliate cover the event, Boom publicists will make it a point to reach out to the affiliates across the country to encourage them to use locally produced b-roll footage.

The bottom line is that the success of your event b-roll package depends on the execution as well as the fickle news cycle on the day of your event. But, the good news is that stations are always looking for a visually compelling, fun kicker story that can end their news cast on an upbeat note.

Donna_color headshot

Every month (or so) Boom will feature someone who works with Boom who we think is fabulous and ask them ten questions that will give you some insight into who they are, how they think and what them makes tick.

This month’s feature is Donna Crafton Montgomery, AVP Client Services DMX Engage – who when asked to describe herself in ten words or less quickly replied: Tenacious extrovert passionate about people and problem solving. A Marketer!

Read on for more reasons we love Donna!


1. What was the last picture you took with your phone? Selfie with my kids at the park – they are selfie obsessed so we have fun with it!

2. Best compliment you ever received? “You’re a lot like your mother.

3. If you could wake up tomorrow as someone else – who would you be and what would you do? So many I could name, but at the top of the list today would be Ariana Huffington. She is smart, tough, a mother and is non-wavering in her beliefs. I’d host a fabulous dinner party with my favorite 20 people from her Rolodex.

4. What industry jargon do you find yourself using the most? What is your least favorite industry jargon? I say “integration” more times than I can count each week, but I won’t stop any time soon. My team helps clients make sense of not only all of the technology available today to us as marketers, but to the bigger picture of what business challenge we are trying to help them solve. It’s easy to make these things complicated, so our job is to simply their work and that happens through smart integration strategies. Synergy is my least favorite. And when people “leverage synergies” it’s even worse.

5. If you could choose any other profession what would it be? Why? A sculptor, I love art and am inspired by artists. I’m also intrigued by change. The most notable moments in my career have been times of transition, and when I saw an off-ramp, I was inclined to take it whether I knew where I was headed or not.

6. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? I read more columns and feature stories than books these days. I’m also completely addicted to CBS Sunday Morning…the content, the delivery…old school journalism at its best. I think it’s my way of rebelling slightly with the digital world we’re forced to engage with every minute of every day.

7. What television show is your guilty pleasure? Scandal. So smart and I have to stay focused to keep up. It’s a challenge for me to sit still, so anything that can accomplish that must be really good.

8. What famous person do people tell you that you most resemble? Do you take it as a compliment? Sandra Bullock. Of course!

9. What advice would you give to your teenage self? Talk less and listen more. This applies too much in my business today, too. We should all listen more.

10. What is the oddest food item you have ever eaten? Chocolate covered grasshopper. 5th grade science fair – to impress a boy.


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.

Happy Birthday Boom!

Today marks Boom’s 11th birthday! And like any 11-year old, we’ve had to navigate some fairly significant changes over the years. It’s been a wild ride and we know we are possibly entering “that awkward stage,” but for now we’re feeling a little nostalgic.

Remember when broadcast news was the big player when it came to “electronic media?” We do. While the interwebs have been taking us on a wild ride we think our timing launching Boom could not have come at a more interesting time. Here’s a few notable trends that have come, gone or broken onto the media scene this last decade-plus-one:

  • Podcasts. Our clients had to have one 9 years ago. Then they didn’t. Now, thanks to Serial we all know what a podcast is again.
  • Mommy Bloggers. A whole new species when considering pitching a story, content, or an announcement. Like any good mommy, they call the shots, do it “their way.”
  • Social Media. Who’s on it? Your ad team? Your PR team? The web team? These were the questions that needed to be answered these last 11 years. Who’s keeping up?  Ironically, the only one that is truly keeping up is probably the 11-year-old next door.
  • Video. Time was, a video was a video was a video. Now, and let’s say it together…it’s “CONTENT.”
  • Mobile.  The newest category of media. Remember when we could fit our flip phones in a pocket or the inside zipper of your bag? Who would have predicted our “devices” (aka “phones”) would be getting bigger these last few years rather than smaller.
  • Text-neck.  See “mobile” above.  Now the challenge is to presume what game, app, or site that “user” is staring at and slip in your message.  If your story can’t be told with 6-second content, might need to consider another route.

So there you go.  The times as always, are a changin’. And while 11 can certainly be the start of those awkward years, like our 11-year-old selves, ignorance is bliss and we’re ready for the ride.

Ready To Start?Onward

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