Thursday, June 16, 2011
NBC News Producer on Embargoes: Give Us More Time!
Guest blogging for Newswise today is producer Bob Ray of NBC affiliate WMAQ TV in Chicago. Bob contacted us with his feedback on embargoed news releases, and we’re sharing his recommendation with our members to help advise and support your effectiveness in working with the news media. The message: when sending out embargoed news releases, reporters and producers need more advanced notice to get the story. Bob recommends at least one week advanced notice for embargoed news releases. His comments follow:
I’ve been a Newswise subscriber for years, but only recently has there been a need for us, and I suspect for other TV stations, to get more advanced warning about medical/science studies that are coming up.
As with most businesses, there have been cutbacks in TV news recently. For us, that means being able to shoot video interviews only once or twice a week. It would be helpful if we had at least one week’s warning for the release dates of studies and reports. That way, we could interview the study authors, if practicable, or interview one of our local Chicago experts about the study, and then contact the study author by phone to answer any remaining questions. We could do the video interviews on our ‘shoot’ day one week, then air them on the embargo dates for the following week.
One advantage I would see for your clients is that if we pick their study to shoot ahead of time, it would nearly guarantee that it would air on its embargo date here in the Chicago market. And we might even have time to send our video to our NBC syndication service (called News Channel) so it would be available to all NBC stations around the country.
Thanks for your consideration,
WMAQ TV (NBC), Chicago