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Video News Release (VNR) definition

Video News Release (© everythingpossible /

Video News Release (© everythingpossible /

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.

openPR-Tip: The idea behind a video news release is to provide the media with content that has been ready-made for broadcasting and puts your business, your product, or the services you offer in a positive light. News agencies might air a VNR in its entirety, they may air only a portion of it, or they may incorporate it into a news report if it contains information that ties into a story or is something that viewers would be interested in. How much they air and how they use them is up to their discretion.

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.

Press releases

Interview with Dr. R M Santilli on Hyper-Combustion to Achieve Complete Combustion of Fossil Fuels
Pubrelco today published a nine minutes video news release interview with Dr. Ruggero M. Santilli, CEO & Chief Scientist of Thunder Energies Corporation. New York, NY, October 10, 2018 -- Pubrelco today published a nine minutes video news release interview with Dr. Ruggero M. Santilli, CEO & Chief Scientist of Thunder
City Inn rebrands as Mint Hotel in advance of opening two new hotels.
Embargo: 0700 hours Monday 29 November 2010. City Inn [] has rebranded as Mint Hotel in advance of opening two new hotels in prime locations in London [] and Amsterdam [] nearly doubling the number of rooms. Mint Hotel will open a second London property of 583 rooms at the
Apple-Only Press Release Service, prMac, Boosts Revenues 89% Over 2010
Dallas based prMac, a Press Release Service specializing in news of products and services for Apple computers and mobile devices, today announces revenues up 89% over this time last year. Celebrating their fifth anniversary next month, prMac offers a wide variety of affordable services, including: Extended Distribution of Press Releases