Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not quite Verbatim on ITV Thames Valley

Ah, the best laid plans... ITV Thames Valley Tonight did a terrific job covering the kind hearted gesture by call handling supremos Verbatim to handle the calls for one of its staff when she gives birth later this month... except they did not mention Verbatim by name!

Morgan PR always explain to clients that while public relations is the perfect way to promote the news stories within an organisation, the superior rewards of being in the news are tempered by the control you relinquish. If you want to guarantee what will appear in any medium and when, then advertising is the method - but of course does not attract the same objective consideration from the public.

All that said, it is not unreasonable to expect the hallowed six points of good journalism to be addressed - Who, What, Where, When, How & Why. These boxes were ticked, but only superficially - for example 'Who' is Donna Cox - which gets mentioned, but it is also founder and director of Verbatim Graham Hill and Verbatim itself, neither of which is mentioned.

On the brighter side, other media watch the news and are a bit more resourceful and one eagle-eyed publisher spotted my name on the text message that appears during the report and was quick to get in touch!

Below is what ITV showed last night - or rather it is what they showed with some helpful titles and subtitles to help fill in the gaps.


Graham Jones said...

I thought it was a good little report and I'm sure that you can capitalise on it - Verbatim "as seen on TV" for instance.

However, here's a couple of quick tips. Use the company name when speaking - Graham Hill said in his clip about "our customers"; better to have said "our customers at Verbatim". As it is mid-sentence they can't cut it out.

Also, whenever doing TV make sure the company logo is in the background (or the foreground). Donna could have worn a Verbatim T-shirt rather than her maternity top...! The TV crew will want to remove all corporate ID - but it's really quite simple. Don't let them - or position things such as they can't move them. For instance, the little screen image of Donna's Baby Line on the PC could have had the Verbatim Logo on it.

Obviously 20:20 hindsight is wonderful - and just as obviously I'm sure you would have tried several of these "tricks" (and several others) but they no-doubt ended up on the cutting room floor.

But don't worry too much - the reporter did say Donna worked for a call centre in Newbury. Type "call centre Newbury" into Google and guess who comes out top...! So it's not all bad - Verbatim will get something out of the coverage I am sure because interested people will type those words into Google.

Well done - a cracking story and a great example of how little ideas can make good TV; more businesses should be following this lead.

Nigel Morgan - Morgan PR said...

Thank you Graham - wise words as ever!

You are right about the cutting room floor - Graham Hill did use the company name and so did the daughter in her interview! Alas, it got trimmed.

Excellent point on the search engine and 'As Seen on TV' might just have to go on any marketing that appears in the wake of this!