B-Roll

Although newsrooms continue to shrink, there remains a huge demand for news content; however, there is still one age-old technique you can implement to garner some prized airtime for your company. That technique – B-roll.

Here at Commonwealth PR, we have increasingly become experts at shooting and providing B-roll of our clients’ activities to local TV news stations. We are finding a lot of success in the practice and want to share some tips and tricks with you below, so that you can do the same.

But first, let’s take a look at an example of a story that WTVR CBS 6 recently ran where all of the footage they used came from our team as B-roll. Click here to see the B-roll we sent to local TV stations and below is what they ran.

 

Get the Right Equipment

Surprise! You don’t have to have a $5,000 or $10,000 video camera to shoot B-roll that TV news stations will use. We often use our iPhones and have had lots of success with stations using our footage in news stories. However, you should invest in a tripod, lighting and microphone. These aren’t high-dollar tools, but they will ensure good quality B-roll that is more likely to be used.

How to Shoot It

Keep it simple! Start and stop filming in segments of 15 to 30 seconds, but don’t do too many, which can make it hard to sort through hours and hours of video.

Think outside of the box for unique images that will get a TV producers’ attention. For some great ideas on B-roll video or techniques, I always turn to Vlogger Peter McKinnon. Peter uses his YouTube channel to teach photography and cinematography. Here is one of his vlogs on shooting unique B-roll:

 

How to Distribute

Don’t overthink what you are going to give to the TV station. Pick three to four clips that are a maximum of 15 to 20 seconds. Believe it or not, 15 seconds is a long time in terms of news coverage.

Save the clips into Dropbox or Google Drive and share the file via email with reporters or producers.

Provide a Script or Details

Let’s face it, you could have the most beautiful and engaging B-roll in the world, but without context of what it is about, news stations aren’t going to use it. We often provide a short script that an anchor could read on-air or a producer could re-write so it can be used. Also, don’t forget to provide your press release, which will also provide context for your news story.

With some of these basic tips and tricks, B-roll can become one of your company’s best tools to garnering some much-needed news coverage of your next announcement, event or activity.

Want to know more, give us a call or email me at brian @ commonwealth-pr.com.