As the name suggests, a video news release (abbreviated VNR) is a news release that is issued in a video segment. The segment is designed to look like a real news report, but instead of being created by a news agency, it is created by a marketing team, a public relations agency, a business, or an agency within the government. In this article, we will further discuss video news releases, including their benefits and features.
A video news release is a segment of video that is designed to resemble a real news report; however, instead of being created by a news agency, it is made by a public relations specialist, an advertising agency, or a corporation. A VNR is given to television newsrooms and are used as a tool to shape the opinion of the public, to promote the products or services that a business offers, to publicize an individual, or to support some other type of interest, with the intent of gaining attention.
Elements of a Video News Release
A good VNR will contain each of the following elements:
- A professional news reporter, someone who has on-air experience with the news, or an actor.
- Interviews with experts who usually have legitimate expertise in a topic, though that expertise may be biased.
- Eye-catching visual elements, such as a company’s logo.
- Demonstrations of the products or services that are being discussed.
- A short run time; typically no longer than 2 minutes.
Things to Avoid
If you want a video news release to be effective and meet your objective, you are going to want to stray away from certain things. The following things should be avoided when creating a video news release:
- Highly promotional. Though the goal of a VNR is to promote a company, a product, a service, or a person, it shouldn’t appear too promotional. If it does, it will be viewed as an advertisement rather than “news”.
- Excessive producing. Some producing is fine, but too much can detract from the value of a VNR. If it’s too produced, news agencies won’t be able to put their own spin on it, which is what they intend to do.
- Inappropriate visuals. Video news releases should contain visuals, but they should contain the right visuals. In other words, images should match the content that is being shared.
Benefits of a Video News Release
A VNR can provide several benefits, and if done correctly, can serve as a powerful part of a public relations campaign. Some of the most notable benefits that VNRs offer include:
- Audio and visual elements of the story, which makes it more engaging than a written press release.
- They show journalists and viewers the story you are aiming to share rather than having them imagine the story after they read it.
- They can boost the credibility of a company, organization, or individual, as they highlight expertise.
- They are much more attention-grabbing than standard press releases, which means that they can be a highly effective marketing tool.
- They’re more effective than standard press releases because viewers can easily obtain the information they contain in a very short span of time.
Criticisms of Video News Releases
Though they can be an effective marketing tool, not everyone agrees with them. In fact, critics have referred to video news releases as deceptive propaganda that tries to influence viewers under the disguise of real news. This is particularly true when it is not made clear that a VNR isn’t real news. In fact, that’s why many people refer to video news releases as “fake news”.
Disadvantages of Video News Releases
In addition to being largely criticized, there are other disadvantages associated with video news releases. Some of these disadvantages include:
- Costly production. A steep investment is required to create a video news release.
- High competition. There are so many organizations, business owners, and private individuals that create video news releases, which makes the competition very high.
- They involve a complex, highly technical process.
- It can be difficult to create an effective VNR that will have an impact on viewers.
How VNRs are Distributed
It used to be that video news reviews were distributed to news agencies via video cassette. However, today, they are fed through satellite, which makes them easier to assess. Once a news agency receives a video news release, they give it a once over and read any accompanying documentation that may be necessary. After reviewing, news agencies decide how they can incorporate the VNR, which is based entirely on their discretion. For example, they might choose to showcase the entire video, or they may decide to incorporate it with a news story.
Organizations that Use Video News Releases
A VNR can be a tool that any type of business, individual, or organization can use. Some examples of industries that use these public relations tools include:
- Government agencies, such as the US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Large corporations that sell a collection of products.
- Small businesses that offer unique and specific services.
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Cosmetic companies
- The food industry
Virtually any type of business can use a video news release as a way to market what it is that they offer, to boost brand awareness, to establish authority, and to connect with and engage with their target audience; however, companies, organizations, or individuals that intend on marketing themselves to the general public can use VNRs.