June 7, 2020  
 
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Video In PR

 

B-Roll Best Practices

Good B-roll can often tip the scales in your favor, convincing a TV news producer to run a story on your firm. But without the B-roll they might take a pass. Here's the information you need to use B-roll to obtain televised PR placements.

Chances are you've seen a lot of B-roll video footage and didn't even know it.

B-role footage includes shots of people, places, or things news producers use to illustrate a story. While A-roll footage features dialogue and/or natural sound, sound is a secondary consideration for B-roll. In other words, B-roll is the background scenery video editors use while the story is being reported.

What most news viewers don't realize is that with out quality B-roll footage, it's impossible for producers and editing professionals to piece together an effective news story. In fact, many news stories are limited by the amount of B-roll footage that is available. If there isn't enough B-roll, the story won't run – at least not in the way you would like it to run.

Public relations efforts that rely on video have to consider the amount of B-roll footage that is passed on to news producers. A video news release that lacks adequate B-roll has a slim chance of success. With that in mind, there are at least three kinds of B-roll footage you might want to include in your next piece of video PR.

  • Event-driven. Good B-roll continues to tell the story you are telling through video. If your story is based on an event like a trade show or a company-sponsored community day, your B-roll footage should include ample wide-angle footage of the event and closer shots of some of the featured activities. The rule of thumb is that good B-roll should give news stations the same footage they would have obtained if they had sent their own cameraman to the event.
  • Product driven. Some video PR initiatives are designed to highlight the features of a specific product or product-line. For this kind of video PR, B-roll should include a variety of shots that capture the product(s) from multiple angles. Always use a neutral background to focus attention on the product, incorporating both close-ups and panned shots into the footage.
  • People-driven. Yet another type of B-roll footage is based on a person. If your PR piece is designed to promote a specific individual, your video news release will include A-roll interviews and sound clips of the person speaking. But you also need B-roll footage that will run behind the actual reporting. For this, producers often rely on shots of the subject doing something in the background. A common B-roll shot covers the individual walking out of the company's headquarters with the company's sign featured prominently in the background.

Related Articles

Want to learn more about this topic? If so, you will enjoy these articles:

Video News Release Best Practices
Bypassing Traditional Media with YouTube PR Videos


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