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Become Your Own TV Journalist: Here’s One Way

by John on 02/17/2013


One of the goals of Informed Not Inflamed is to make you the most important journalist in your life.  It requires two things.

  • The first is the ROIL system which is my simple information gathering system of Read, Observe, Interview, and Learn.  Send me an email and I will send you a PDF of my book for free.  You need to know what you’re talking about.
  • The second is using the consumer technology available to you to publish or broadcast your news and information like I am doing here.  You need to present your info correctly.

I want to show you some examples of how easy it is to broadcast yourself.  This is something you can do for yourself as a hobby or for your business.  Remember, as time goes on, most search engines will recognize your website if it has video content.

This first piece is a video newsletter.  It’s actually a pilot or prototype.  I produced it for a friend’s new crowd funding company.  Even though he’s still in the funding and development stage, he gave me permission to show you this.  Primarily, it will be a monthly or twice monthly report that will go to his customers who are investors and entrepreneurs.

Take a look.

My business partner Susan Anzalone and I produced this in a hotel generic meeting room.  We used:

  1. a small HD camera
  2. one light
  3. a microphone
  4. an iPad as TelePrompter
  5. an iPhone that scrolled the TelePrompter
  6. Windows Movie Maker the editing software that comes with most Windows computers.
  7. The cost for all that is less than $2,500.  That would normally be the cost of hiring a video production crew for a half-day shoot, only one time, probably with no editing.

Is this Emmy Award winning stuff?  No.  Most companies really need to hire a professional video production crew to produce their marquis, out-front, marketing video.

This is not that video.  This is a video newsletter, a step up from a video email, that you could produce once a day, once a week, or once a month.  For a restaurant, it might be a reminder of the Special of the Day.  For an accountant, it might be a quick briefing on a new tax law.

But the key is the writing.  Even though we used every day communications technology, we combined it with some professional writing skills to make the message more effective for the specific audience:

  • The message was transmitted quickly; actually in a few hours from idea to airing online.
  • The message is controlled by you.
  • You’re not wasting your audience’s time by making them read.
  • It doesn’t look like some junior high kid shot it from his bedroom.

We also shot this newsletter for one of the companies we work with – BidXcel, an e-commerce auction site.  The company has an affiliate sales force, known as direct sales, network marketing, or multi-level marketing (MLM).  In other words, the members can earn bonuses and commissions  for bringing in customers, promoting the site and building a team of other members.

Because the company has members throughout the world and policies within the company can change, the best way to reach them quickly is through a video newsletter.  Since Susan is acting as the company’s VP of Marketing and she is known by most of the members, it made sense to have her address the members.

Although Susan graduated with a theater degree, she was never a TV news anchor or reporter.  Yet, because we wrote the newsletter like a newscast – short, punchy, to the point – she delivers a credible and precise message.

Take a look.

This is serious stuff for the members.  After all, for some of them, this is their livelihood.  So, it’s important to have a serious and credible demeanor while also being friendly and personable.  I think Susan pulls it off.

Notice too, she is speaking their language.  Some of the terms you may not understand unless you were an experienced network marketer.  She is speaking to an audience who has already been in the business.  When we produced videos that are introducing the company to potential members, we don’t use the inside lingo.

At the same time, we are experimenting with these new formats.  Maybe you caught my video review here about Lawrence Wright’s new book, Going Clear, on Scientology.

Notice the captions.  Although my review is serious, the captions have plenty of what I call snark and self-deprecating humor.  Why did I try this?

  • First, it livened up a video that forces you to watch me for too long.
  • Second, we wanted to keep the ADD in all of us happy.  Most viewers today multi-task.  How many of you watch a live event on TV but are paying attention to your computer online?  Enough studies say a lot of us do this.  
  • Third, it shows off my personality: serious journalist and goof-ball.

If you have an opinion on whether this works, let me know.

In fact, if you have an opinion on any of these videos, let it fly.

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