Slick packages made to look like news with a reporter are commonly used unedited by small regional television stations that have limited budgets for news production or are understaffed.
While some stations have a policy of not using VNRs, it is good public relations practice to provide professionally shot video clips designed to be used as stock footage.
Some critics of VNRs have called the practice deceptive or a propaganda technique, particularly in cases in which the segment is not explicitly identified to the viewers as a VNR.
So it is a grey area and one to be careful of. At the end of the day you need to weigh up the costs of doing it versus the potential return on investment.
If you only have a small budget, I would avoid a VNR and just use a standard media release.
Interviewer: What other aspects are important in putting together a media release to help get it to publication/to air?
Thomas Murrell: Accuracy, timing and the quality of your distribution list. And of course you will have more success if you have a personal relationship with the journalists or editors concerned.
Sometimes having a coffee or lunch with select media can be just as successful in getting media coverage than just blasting away to a list that you have no relationship with.
Media get bombarded with hundreds of releases a day. If you can target specific sections - health, business, education with specific angles you will have more success.
Interviewer: I have heard lunch works well!
Thomas Murrell: Lunch is good - but often media are time poor. You must pay and never have any expectation that anything will come of the luncheon.
Interviewer: Can you give us any tips for leveraging your ideas?
Thomas Murrell: If one person has questions about your area of expertise, then there will be many others with the same questions.
Interviewer: Can you expand a bit more?
Thomas Murrell: Turn all these questions into titles for articles and media releases you are going to write.
For, example - with your permission, I'm going to take all the questions you've asked in this global online forum and my answers and I will turn them into at least three articles.
These articles will be pitched to health professional trade magazines, websites wanting articles and of course my own eZine, Media Motivators read by 8,000 professionals in 35 different countries.
I could then take seven of these articles and then turn them into a white paper or free eBook.
This could be given away as a downloadable PDF on a website or other online forum.
You see providing tailored content that provides answers to the questions most commonly asked by your prospects is the new currency to promote yourself as a recognised authority.
I call this the gravity effect of a strong personal brand and positioning yourself as the 'go to' person.
By attracting prospects to your business by this powerful and invisible force, you not only have more qualified leads which will increase your conversion rate to sales, but you will also have less wastage.
Traditional marketing reaches out to people through the push approach, but the gravity approach uses information to pull people to your business.
Besides being interviewed on an online forum, here are five other ways I leverage my expertise:
- Writing articles for eZines, websites and trade magazines.
- Turning these articles into an eBook, white paper or traditional book.
- Interviewing other experts for an article, book or podcast.
- Reading other books and doing a book review with key points. You learn and then leverage with others.
- Record presentations and turn them into a product or break them up and broadcast them as a podcast or video on YouTube.