News Promotion

As we outlined in Chapter 10, newscast producers spend a good chunk of their time crafting teases for the stories that appear in their newscasts. Some of the best tease writers end up doing that full time as a creative promotion producer.

Promotions producers put together highly-produced video teases for the station’s special projects and create what are called “image” promotions, which seek to showcase the station’s brand or its people for the audience. For example, you’re likely to see an image promotion about the station’s weather team and technology on the air during hurricane season in some coastal markets.

Promo producers also work on something called “topicals”--essentially daily news promotions that help alert the audience to what will air in the next newscast. Promo producers select stories they think will attract most viewers and then they write (and often edit) video teases that air in the programming leading into the newscast.

To try your hand at news promotions, read the two stories linked below:

You have 00:20 total to promote both of these stories.

Now, take a look at what the station’s topical promotions producer created

Promo producers will often include sound from the story to add audio interest and topical promos are often characterized by quick edits and highly produced graphics. In this promo, the producer included 12 different visual elements--more than one every 2 s to help build a sense of urgency.

Watch the promo again and critique its effectiveness. Would this promotion make you watch the newscast? Why or why not?