Out of focus, a person sits to the rear of a library. In the foreground, a video camera is visible to capture their interview.

What is a Video News Release?

Short form or long form, vertical or landscape, online or old school, the demand for video content is stronger than ever before. Modern audiences expect to be immersed in engaging audio-visual content, and news media outlets know this.

With an influx of content available, it’s important to ensure your story stands out from the crowd. Here’s how to put together a media kit and video news release that will be irresistible to journalists:

Let’s start with the basics.

A quality media kit serves to provide news media outlets with accurate, up-to-date information about your organisation and the story you want to tell. Media kits typically include key materials such as a media release, visual assets, and details about spokespeople available for interview.

Media kits are an essential part of an earned media strategy, as these resources save journalists time and energy looking for information they need to put together a news story about you. Learn more about earned media vs advertising here.

In some cases, adding a video news release (VNR) to your media kit can give your organisation an added edge. VNRs are raw video and audio materials that media outlets can edit and embed into their news stories.

Why invest in a VNR?

Journalism in the age of the 24-hour news cycle is tough on news media outlets’ budgets, and the last thing you want getting in the way of sharing your story is logistics. With limited production crews available to travel, film and conduct interviews, creating a video news release puts you one step ahead of the game.

Video news releases provide journalists with the full package – a newsworthy story complete with video, audio, interviews, images and a print media release ready to go. They incentivise media to cover a story that may have otherwise been too difficult to film for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Location: Certain media calls may be difficult for a camera crew to physically reach, or might simply be too far from where prominent newsrooms are located.
  • Safety: A story can also be unsafe for a camera crew and reporter to film on site, such as a disastrous weather event, contagious illness or construction site.
  • Talent availability: Depending on the nature of the media call, an organisation’s representative may not be available for an interview or press conference ad hoc, and may prefer to pre-record an interview to ensure they are providing quality, accurate answers for anticipated press queries. 
  • Confidentiality: Organisations may also choose to use a video news release in order to control exactly what is filmed and released to the public in order to protect confidentiality and security, for example. 

Beyond publicity needs, footage from video news releases may also be suitably repurposed for your business’ content marketing, whether via your website or social media channels.

Best practice for video news releases

  • Keep the video neutral with limited edits or branding. Remember that it should be suitable for news coverage, and isn’t supposed to be highly produced.
  • Include background audio, with a good variety of shots and angles for editors to choose from.
  • If you are including interview footage, make sure to include clean, succinct sound bytes in the form of whole sentences. (More info on this can be found in here.)
  • Embed a basic text description in the video in case the editor may not have access to the text media release.
  • Ensure you comply with each media outlets’ video file format requirements.
  • Keep the video file small enough to be easily downloadable – roughly 5 minutes.
  • Double check what you’re sending. Once content is released, it’s out of your hands. 

Our team are experts in delivering successful public relations strategies. If you’d like to see your brand showcased in high-value media to engaged audiences, contact us today.

AUTHOR: Nicole Odviar

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