Having produced many video news releases (VNRs) over the past two years, I thought we would share with you what my experience has shown to insure success for your latest VNR.

1. Make sure your event is newsworthy. There is no guarantee that a station will air your VNR just because you provide them some video. Your VNR must have a significant amount of interest to the general public, not just a limited few.

2. Schedule your event in the morning or early afternoon. This will insure that the video crew and producer have enough time to cover the event, edit the highlights and deliver the copies to the stations in time for airing on the heavily-watched early evening newscast. Evening shoots may make air, but might only make the late evening or early morning newscast.

3. Set up interviews in front of your logo. You want the most publicity for your organization, so don’t forget to arrange an area for interviews in such a manner that your company sign or logo is visible in the background.

4. Notify the stations that a VNR will be arriving. Try to do this at least 24 hours prior to the event. The assignment desk must know about any VNR’s which may be on the way in order to schedule the newscast. For national VNR’s, a story summary with satellite feed times will be sent to more than 700 stations. Pitch calls to top-market stations is also an option.

5. Have a printed press release ready. It is very important for the stations to receive a printed press release which includes all the details of your event. For local VNR’s, we typically include the release with the tape that we deliver to insure that it won’t get lost. For national VNR’s, we will arrange for the press release to be sent on the wire services.

6. Do not use an on-screen reporter. Won’t air. Enough said.

7. Consider investing in a mic flag. A microphone flag with your logo on all sides can increase the awareness level of your organization by a surprisingly large amount.