A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When you look at what’s made news in Central Oregon over the past decade, some rather bizarre headlines come to mind: a pregnant man, another guy who tied a lawn chair to balloons and flew from Bend to Idaho, and what about when doctors discovered a Redmond woman had been living with a 140 pound tumor, after she’d been told to “put down the fork”? Her story made it all the way to Oprah. The others made rounds on Jay Leno, ABC’s 20/20 and Good Morning America. But before the national media firestorm hit, our own Amy Sharman, PR Specialist on the Campbell team, brought those stories to Central Oregonians in her former life as a news reporter for KTVZ.

Amy says that selling the twisted tales didn’t make much effort; the scripts practically wrote themselves. Amy says, “These stories stood out because they didn’t need words to get their message across. It’s pretty hard to beat video of a man lifting off with nothing more than a lawn chair and giant balloons. As a reporter, I saw several examples of stories not given the air-time they deserved, or disregarded altogether because they didn’t have the visuals to match.”

Unfortunately most reporters, TV and print, are underpaid and overworked, often lacking sufficient time to let their ‘creative juices’ flow.  So when I came across the article, Reporters Want More Than Story Ideas, I knew I had to share it, because every single tip is so true, and should help reporters tell your story to more people!

In addition to the tips listed in the link above, here’s one more: depending on the story you’re pitching to TV, still pictures can be substituted for video. Using simple editing software, a reporter (or their editor) can create a slide show from photos you email them. However, if you go this route you’ll need to provide high resolution photos, and tons of them. A common rule is that unless history is unfolding in front of you, you generally don’t want to stay on any shot longer than 4 seconds. I’ll let you do the math on figuring out how many photos you’ll need for a 90 second piece. And make sure the photos are a variation of close-ups and wide shots.