How to Get Local TV to Cover Your Event

Holding a press event is a tricky thing. It can generate great media coverage and public exposure, but you also run the risk of throwing a party where no one shows up.

If the key to your event is getting press to come, then you need to be able to get their interest and participation. That’s why I’ve jotted down the following tips to help you get the word out to the press in a way that will give you a high percentage shot at having them attend.

Writing Media Alerts

Getting a television crew to your event requires some finesse, and the format of the pitch is different than that of a press release. A media alert is the appropriate tool which gives a TV producer or assignment desk editor all the information they need to decide on whether the event you’re holding is of interest to them. Write the media alert in five sections: Who, What, When, Where and Visuals.

  • Who: Name your company and any key executives or dignitaries who might be in attendance. Include only those who will be available to speak on camera.
  • What: What is the announcement or the reason for the event? Include all material you consider news.
  • When: Make certain to include the date and time of the event, and how long it will run. Also include the schedules of any on-camera spokespeople, and if they will be available before the event.
  • Where: This is key. You need to include an address, directions, and a link for Google Maps or MapQuest if you can. Getting a reporter or a crew to an event can be won or lost in how well you direct them there. If security personnel will be at the event or venue, make sure they know the media might be coming.
  • Visuals: TV is a visual medium, so make sure you have something for the cameras to shoot. Talking heads does not a press event make. Have demos, graphs, lots of people around, so they’ll have something other than an executive in a suit to shoot.

Timing the Delivery of Your Media Alert

To get a television crew at your event, you should follow these instructions precisely, to ensure the highest level of communication possible without annoying the producers and assignment editors.

  1. First, send the media alert out two weeks prior to the event. Then, one week prior. Then send it to them each of the three days just before the event. The reason for this is that there are different desk editors on different days and different shifts, and they delete all their emails frequently to make room for new alerts.
  2. Two days before the event, call the assignment desks at all the TV stations you want to cover your event. Ask them if they received your alert – they’ll say no. That’s okay. If it doesn’t grab them right away, they’ll toss it. Send it again, and then call him back immediately afterward, and pitch your event. They’ll give you instructions on how to proceed, which will usually include them asking you to call the morning of the event. That’s okay – you’re going to do that anyway.
  3. Call on the morning of your event. By now, they know your event, and they know who you are. If your event is interesting enough for them, they’ll tell you. If your event is on a Saturday or Sunday, please be advised that most TV stations only have one crew on duty on the weekends. They’ll be stretched thin, so you reduce your chances for success with weekend events.

Use the right tools, making sure the producers and assignment desk editors are fully informed, but do it in a professional way so as not to drive them crazy, and you’ll have a much better shot at getting coverage for your event.



Social Media Doesn’t Work in the Industrial Revolution

It’s a given today that Social Media doesn’t work for many companies. Upon further analysis, it rarely has nothing to do with Social Media… it has to do with marketing and using it as if you were still living in the Industrial Revolution.

Around the turn of the Century we left the Industrial Revolution behind us… some are sad and many are happy. We welcomed in the Internet Revolution with open arms and were anxious to see how the Internet could change our lives for the better. It has in many ways… but it has also brought its own set of issues with it.

The Industrial Revolution was awesome for what it stood for… mass production, innovation in technology relating to computing, new companies entering markets to give us more choices and a whole host of other really great aspects. It also, unfortunately, gave us marketing agencies and firms that adopted the concept of “broadcast messaging, campaigns, mass media, radio advertising, TV advertising, and lots of printed materials.”

These agencies were firmly in control of marketing and tight control over what we were “allowed” to hear/see and what we weren’t. We also had news sources that told us what they felt was important for us to know and we had to go along with it since there wasn’t any other means to validate it unless you were physically there. We, the consumer, were at the mercy of these giants and the messages they wanted us to receive.

Fortunately, the Industrial Revolution has died and this kind of “spray and pray” media that made ad agency executives incredibly rich has died (or is rapidly dying) with it. Social Media, a key component of the Internet Revolution, has essentially taken control away from these dominant groups and given it back to you and me… the customer.

The customer is now firmly in control today and there is no sign we are ever going to give it back. This is a good thing… and a bad thing for companies today.

The good part is we now have “vocal and engaged” customers who have the microphone in their hand and can tell anyone they want what they think. They can share insights to help others learn about your product/service and their experience working with you. This is information we were never exposed to when the agency behemoths had control. We have been “information liberated” with the birth of the Internet Revolution.

The other good part is now we can find anything we ever wanted to know about with just a few clicks on our computers or mobile phones. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than we could ever possibly use in 10 lifetimes. And if we want to purchase something, we can find 50 places (or more) that sell whatever it is we are looking for and even deliver it to us with the same few clicks… no more need to get in the car and drive all over town looking for something. We, as consumers, are empowered and we love it.

The bad part is the noise. Unfortunately, now that we are now in control, have access to all kinds of information and products, and can make choices from hundreds of options, companies are still behaving like they are still living in the Industrial Revolution. Now, more than ever, they continue to blast us with their information (pushing to us). We don’t just see the advertisement in the Sunday paper, we get 50 e-mails telling us to buy it from them because we happened to search on the item and now everyone wants to sell it to us. “Spray and Pray” is still alive and a key strategy for far too many companies today. For them, it didn’t die with the death of the Industrial Revolution.

Companies who still behave (including marketing) as if we are still in the Industrial Revolution are getting no benefit from Social Media. By using the same old techniques the agencies used decades ago… blasting us with enough ads and propaganda in hopes that you will remember them and buy their product or service… they are actually doing the opposite of turning off their audience. They must not have gotten the memo that the Industrial Revolution is over… the customer is in control and can tell us what they want and don’t want. We don’t want to be told what to buy… we can figure this out nicely for ourselves in the Internet Revolution.

The really sad part of this story is that companies use Social Media as simply another “delivery vehicle” for their Industrial Revolution approach. They believe that blasting us with their messages far more frequently and on more channels than they could have ever afforded to do when they paid their agency geeks millions of dollars is still working… it’s NOT. Social Media is FREE… all channels and frequency of messaging is without cost… just the personnel needed to send the blasts. The same “broadcasting, campaigns, advertisements, and propaganda” are still being sent out… only through Social Media channels instead of the radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail, and other traditional sources. It’s not working…

Companies that choose to still live in the Industrial Revolution are finding FAILURE in their use of Social Media. It’s failing because Social Media doesn’t work for companies who are acting the way they did when they were in the Industrial Revolution. It is a tool designed for the Internet Revolution.

When companies use Social Media to HELP THEIR CUSTOMERS improve their lives or business, the content is valued. When they share stories that benefit their customers and customers offer additional comments to add further insight, this is of value… and how Social Media can be a powerful tool for a company. Finding ways to help your customers save more time by interacting with your Social Media and digital channels is of great value. These are the OPPORTUNITIES for companies that live in the Internet Revolution and have left the Industrial Revolution behind.

Which Revolution is your company participating in today? When you analyze your marketing activities, are you communicating like you still live in the Industrial Revolution by “spraying and praying” or are you “helping” your customers improve their lives? Do the analysis… see which Revolution you are actually living in today and you might have just solved the mystery as to why Social Media isn’t working as well as you were hoping. It works when you help… not when you sell.



TV Cabinets

When you’ve got several options for storage, TV cabinets can often create your perfect solution to storing the mass of cables, boxes and more that make up your home entertainment system. Quite simply put, they are often the best solution between creating a haven from what can be a disorganised clutter versus having a place for everything that is custom designed to work with the needs of a Television display and storage unit.

– Living room cabinets are often open plan affairs that allow you to store everything as close to your TV as possible. This combination of practicality and function makes them ideal to ensure that your cabinet is well used. Making sure they are designed for the weight and support needed for a TV of that size can make the difference between a poorly functioning, broken cabinet and a well-designed one. Ensuring too, that the cabinet is either adjustable or has space for all of your bits and pieces can make the difference between it looking overstuffed or comfortably used. Remember that games consoles have controllers and almost every TV or DVD currently comes with a remote control, so storage for them is also a must.

– Bedroom cabinets are designed to hide pieces such as the TV and often have deep doors that swing open or tuck away to reveal the equipment inside. Caring for these is slightly harder than other objects as they can be tricky to keep clean and uncluttered. It’s easy too, to forget to close the doors properly, which can cause damage, or be bumped into at night/early morning. It’s good practice to get up and close these doors, if they don’t tuck away into the cabinet.

– Wall mounted TV cabinets or other items that can be built into otherwise barely used recesses might be a solution to space problems in oddly shaped rooms. Leverage the shape of the recess to create a media storage area, or a place to keep your TV and it’s sundry pieces without creating an issue with other areas of the room.

– In a child’s room, a cabinet can be an effective way of ‘putting away’ the TV for the evening and gives a great opportunity for adults to ensure that the child has access to the TV at appropriate times. When they are small it doesn’t even need to be locked, just close and store for appropriate, cosy play and watching. In a teenager’s room, locks may be used for the teenager to protect their stuff, rather than stopping them from accessing what is inside, and respecting this privacy can create bonds with parents that might otherwise be harder to come by. And it also makes it easier to tidy.

No matter what your choice, TV cabinets are the best choice for both out of sight and open plan storage and can create a great environment to store your   TV  and related  media  materials.



How To Pick The Perfect Tv Tuner Card

Choosing the right TV tuner card is harder than ever. Simplify your life with this easy guide!

A Media Center PC without Live TV capability is just another computer that stores your music, movies and pictures. Bring it to life with the simple addition of one (or more) easy-to-install components!

With a TV tuner card (and the right software), you can:

* Watch and Record Live TV

* Pause and rewind (then Fast Forward) Live TV

* Browse program listings and schedule recordings days in advance

* Store your favorite shows on your computer, then burn them to a CD or DVD

If you have two (or more) cards, you are able to watch one channel and record a different show, or record two shows at the same time! Never miss your favorite program because your spouse (or kids) insist on watching ‘their’ show.

Types of Tuner Cards

Internal TV tuner cards. The most common type available. These cards plug into a slot inside your PC. They do not require any extra cables or connections.

Simply screw your Cable TV feed (or antenna) to the proper port on the back of the card. Many also accept other types of video inputs (S-video, component-video), and some include FM tuners.

For ultimate TV quality, choose a HDTV TV Tuner Card. Similar to regular TV tuner cards, but able to receive and display high-quality HDTV signals. These cards are perfect if your media center pc is attached to a HDTV capable TV (ie. 50-inch Plasma TV) or a computer monitor.

Be aware that some HDTV cards only support OTA (Over-the-Air) broadcasts, which means you will need to attach an external antenna to your card — and live in an area that has HDTV broadcasting stations.

Please note the difference between HDTV and Digital Cable (or Digital Satellite). Some HDTV tuner cards will not handle Digital Cable or Satellite.

An external TV tuner card connects to your Media Center PC through a USB or Firewire cable. These devices generally offer the same features and functions as their internal counterparts, and can be either analog or HDTV capable.

How to Choose the Perfect Card

First off, you need to know your main use for the TV tuner card.

Interested in watching and recording non-digital TV, cable, or satellite shows? Will you view these shows on a non-HDTV TV? If so, then a regular analog TV tuner will be right for you.

Do you have digital cable, satellite, or HDTV? Maybe you’ll be doing most of your viewing on a big-screen HDTV or large PC monitor. Pick a quality HDTV tuner card.

Want to use a laptop as a media center? Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable opening up your computer case to install an internal card. Grab an external USB TV tuner for easy connectivity.

OK…you want the full-blown TV viewing experience. You want to watch one HDTV show while recording another. Simple…get two (or more) TV tuner cards! Add as many as you want (or have slots for). Hey, it’s your life. Watch TV on your terms!



What Is Social TV?

What is Social TV?

Social TV is the act of using social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook on a ‘second screen’ namely a smart-phone or tablet, to comment on TV programs before, after or during the transmission.

In 2010 Social TV was named as one of the ten most important emerging technologies in the MIT Technology Review, the following year it was followed up by a report on Social TV analytics and how the information gathered can be utilised in marketing campaigns.

Social TV, especially the analytics side of it, is driven mainly by Twitter and the frequency of ‘Tweets’ before, during and after a television programme has finished.

Although other social media channels are incorporated, currently Tweets volumes are the metrics of choice when measuring the popularity and opinion of the programmes.

Second Screen

A ‘Second screen’ or ‘companion device’ refers to the smart-phone, or tablet that most people now usually have close by and ready to use whilst watching a TV programme.

Whilst watching the programme the viewer will check social media channels, mainly Twitter, to see what there friends or the celebrities they are following are saying about that programme, this leads to interaction which gives users a sense of community and common ground.

The transmitted data from all these Tweets is then gathered by a social media analytics company and then sold to marketing companies and television networks and used to gauge public and social opinion.

In 2011 a joint study with NM Incite & Nielson/McKinsey was carried out which showed that a couple of weeks before the airing of a new TV programme a 9% rise in social media activity resulted in a 1% rise in viewing figures for that programme, once the programme was established it took a 14% rise in social media activity to produce the same results.

Analytics

The importance of these metrics are not only related to television programmes, but can be applied to wider social views in relation to political opinion, and social acceptance of programme content and viewpoints.

For example the political views of a news channel and how they sit with that channels demographic could be measured by the social activity related to that particular news story, or the announcement of a new policy by a government, and the reaction to it by that it’s citizens can be measured in real time by the opinions within the social activity it generates.

In fact the uses for the information gathered by social TV analytics are endless, and could potentially become the most important source of real time social viewpoint available.

Demographic

The demographic of TV viewers that would bother to tweet/comment about a programme they are watching tends to be between 18-34, this obviously limits the validity of mass opinion but is wide enough spectrum to make the results valid, especially for most TV channels who’s target audience is probably around this demographic anyway.

The future of Social TV

There is no doubt that the next big player in Social TV interaction and Social TV analytics will be Facebook.

A joint study by Nielsen for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing in September 2012, found that Facebook out of all social media channels had had the greatest influence when determining whether someone would watch a particular TV programme.

Facebook is rumoured to be planning various ways of getting in on the Social TV market.

The big players

The recent acquisition of Bluefin Labs by Twitter for $70mil, and the acquisition of SocialGuide by Nielson & NM Incite, both Social Media analytics companies proves that Social TV is growing more important by the week, and for good reason.

The ability to serve targeted advertisements during specific proven social interaction ‘hot-spots’ during a TV show or live event, will enable marketing companies and TV Networks to increase their ROI quite significantly, making Social TV Analytic data a valuable commodity.

You can find out more about Social Television and supporting technologies at http://www.social-tv.co.uk



Direct TV Satellite System

The Direct TV Satellite System is a latest innovation that involves the application of satellite technology to the television medium. Hughes is a communication satellite major, which started the use of Direct TV satellite system in 1999. Direct TV today offers hundreds of channels both local and international to its subscribers. It created history by starting the DTH or the DTV revolution and brought home entertainment to TV screens.

Direct TV Satellite System’s greatest advantage is its digital configuration. The digital edge over analogue marks its potential to provide DVD-like picture quality, high definition transmission and crystal clear audio output. These are the factors why it has replaced the home theatre system in popularity. A well defined on-screen guide with tons of relevant program information is an innovation that can only be brought about by digital technology and Direct TV satellite systems.

Dish Network is a popular service provider in the US and they currently offer free satellite TV systems. Each package includes up to four free satellite receivers, a free satellite dish, and free installation from a trained professional. The Direct T.V satellite system allows a service provider to offer a number of channels and several state of the art features such Direct TV TIVO & HDTV.

Direct TV Satellite entertainment has evolved successfully after several years of stiff competition with dish networks. Direct TV operates over many satellites, which float in space over the country. They enable continuous feeding of hours and hours of entertainment into small dishes on the rooftops of a consumer’s home. The technology also allows bundling of internet via satellite and radio channels

The rising price of cable TV is one reason for the rising popularity of Direct TV. A growing trend noticed is that many consumers are disconnecting their cable service and opting for a Direct TV dish. Apart from the savings potential, satellite television system also offers access to a larger number of channels and programming options.



Advantages of Digital Media Player

As with any other new technological arrival, digital media player comes with features that perfectly go with the latest needs.

Digital media player stores picture, video, and music files. It offers all the options that you would love to see in such devices. It allows you to transfer these files from the computer to the player. It keeps large files in compressed form, at 10:1 rate, and store the information as flash memory.

If you are deciding to buy a digital media player, better do some study first to make sure that you are adding a worthy component to your entertainment system? If you are unable to decide, look at the following details to make sure you are getting the right thing.

Handling: You will find a digital media player the easiest to handle device. What you have to do is to transfer the digital file to the player; the rest will be very easy. Finding your files and other navigations are very simple and easy. A digital media player is a simple and fast-to- handle device, do not worry about it.

Files Storage Flexibility: You should know that if you add a online media player to your system, means you are adding lot of flexibility to it. Finding and switching between files are fast and simple. Its greater flexibility shows in terms of the physical layout of the system; all the files are stored on the media player and the player takes care of all the files in an easier and flexible way. Files like the ones of pictures, audio, and video will be conveniently stored in a logical order.

Convenience: You can search the movie or any other file with all the ease and convenience. You do not have to bother with the DVDs, searching for the movie or music you want to watch or listen. You will get the electronic directory with all the lists of stored files; just click on the desired one and it will go on. Moreover, you can watch the movie right on your TV screen. All such operations are very skillfully designed to offer the maximum convenience.

Safe and Secure: CDs or DVDs do not remain long in good condition. They can be damaged by any accident or mishandling, or may get lost, or the quality of movie print on CD or DVD deteriorates over time. No such problems ever exist in digital media player. Whatever is stored, will remain in perfect conditions for much longer period of time. Just store the files and forget about its safety or security.

If you frequently use your entertainment system to listen to music or watch movies, sure a digital media player will be of great use. Your task will become much easier and fast, and you do not have to worry about handling bundles of DVDs and CDs. The ease and convenience of use will offer you more comfortable enjoyment.



What Is Apple TV – Get The Scoop Here

Apple TV has been around since 2006, when it was first unveiled by the CEO of Apple, in September at an Apple press conference. So what is Apple TV? It is a small box that is a digital media receiver. Since early development, several generations have been released and it is to be used in conjunction with an HDTV.

What is Apple TV? If you have the Apple   TV  digital  media  receiver, or have been thinking of purchasing one, it can be used to stream movies purchased from iTunes. It is specially designed to stream content, including that received online from YouTube, Mobileme, Netflix, Hulu, and several other content sources. You simply need to sign up for any number of these content sources in order to be able to stream them on your Apple  TV  digital  media  receiver.

This particular digital media receiver is much more powerful than any other device on the market. Although the originally released device had a hard drive, the newly released versions do not, although they do feature an internal 8 GB flash storage device. This is quite enough to allow you to download and view content through your HDTV, but not to store the media.

If you are like many people, you want to have the ability to watch the latest released movies and programs. All you need to do is access these programs and movies on Apple, then stream them through your Apple digital media receiver. The actual programs and movies can be rented through an iTunes account, and stored on your computer hard drive. When you want to watch your programs and movies, you simply access your Apple TV device and start watching.

When you rent a movie with your Apple device, you have a full 30 days to watch your movie, but once you access it, you have 48 hours to view it. This means you can watch it several times over a 48 hour period, and the average rental costs in the range of $4.99 to $5.99. It can be much more cost effective than driving to your local video store only to find out the movie you want to rent is not available. Most movies are available in SD or HDTV format, so they are compatible with any TV.

What is Apple TV? It is a cost effective way to display just about any computer related media on your television, including your photographs. You can easily share all of your digital photos with friends and family. Apple continues to develop this digital media receiver, and the new generations of this device continue to come loaded with new features.



Media Players – A Quick Overview

Media Players are connection devices such as Blu-ray Players and gaming consoles which allow you to link the internet and your Home Network to your television. It is quickly becoming a staple in home entertainment.

Having a connected HDTV provides applications which bring you film, web content, music, news, weather and much more. Some experts see it as the future for all TV viewing and will eventually replace cable TV. With prior announcements by Sony offering subscription base Hulu Plus to its PlayStation 3 Gaming Console, this just might be the case.

The three major types of devices available for internet connection are Plug-and-Play Set Tops, Blu-ray Players and HDTVs that have web access.

Roku HD-XR, Seagate Free Agent GoFlex TV and Western Digital TV Live Plus players are forms of plug-and-play devices that bring you content such as Netflix streaming, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube videos, Pandora, Sports and other selections. Seagate and Ruku are forever expanding their selections trying to entice consumers and developers. Seagate has 10 channels in addition to 17 international video feeds of news programs and 17 feeds from CNN, ABC News, NBC, Fox, CBS and MSNBC. Ruku, the first player to stream Netflix content, has almost 40 channels. (Separate subscriptions or transactions are required for most premium content such as Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand.)

Blu-ray Players and Gaming Consoles with streaming ability do not offer the amount of content as the plug-and-play set top media players. However, the amount of web base content is also increasing at a rapid pace. As stated earlier, Hulu Plus will be available on the PlayStation 3. Blu-ray Players offers a very adequate alternative to dedicated media players. Providing access to streaming movies, sports, weather, news, finance, photos, radio stations and much more.

HDTV with internet access is the last option and probably the least appealing. Due to the fact that purchasing a HDTV with an internal processor, you run the risk of having an out dated TV within five years. Your HDTV may be in great working order, but will be rendered out-of-date if it can not keep up with the new advances in technology. With technology changing all the time you need upgradable connected devices. Many feel Blu-ray Players and Media Devices like Ruku are the better options.

Media Players provide a simple implementation of content that can be readily available whenever you want it. Many consumers will come to the conclusion that subscribing to premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime and renting various set-top cable boxes is no longer worth it. And once they discover all the other things they can do (such as social networking) with an internet connected television, it will be hard for consumers to ever go back to just cable TV.



Satellite TV For Smart People

Television certainly has an undeserved reputation for being the tool of the masses. Not only is it elitist and snobby to proclaim, “Oh I don’t watch television,” when asked about a favorite show at a party, it’s simply a lie. The ratings aren’t fake, so it’s impossible that when millions upon millions of people tune in to watch a season finale, there isn’t a smart one in the bunch.

But even more than that, most people who act like their high definition television is more of a decoration than a part of daily life can easily be prodded to admit that they like whatever the latest accepted cerebral programming is. Whether it’s the sleeper hit of the HBO season or something like “Mad Men,” there’s always something on that snobbier people begrudgingly admit to liking.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a whole world of television for smart people, and it’s possible to spend an afternoon with satellite TV and not see a single show that would slow your mind down. The old reputation that TV is merely the boob tube is truly a thing of the past, and even programmers are reaching out to attempt to placate those viewers who keep television as their dirty secret.

For starters, channels like History and Discovery have grown by leaps and bounds, with numbers of offshoot channels devoted to single topics like science or World War II. It’s possible to watch extensive, multi-part documentaries based on best-selling non-fiction books that deal with theories about how societies grew. It might not be the same as a law degree, but a great deal of the programming on The History Channel looks at famous court cases and presents them in a way that part of your homework at law school might actually be to watch something on television and also read a book.

So the days of pretending that there’s nothing important or worth merit on satellite TV are long gone, and it’s just up to people to admit it. But even more than simple television programming, there’s an entire world of obscure cinema out there that’s only accessible through your HD TV. For example, a number of the independent film channels, like Sundance and IFC, offer one-time-only showings of up-and-coming director’s films, that would be impossible to see anywhere else. It’s possible to live in the middle of nowhere now and have a high cultural IQ only because of satellite TV and the internet.

No one is doing more for television and film than HBO, who has crews at all of the major and minor film festivals alike, scouting for great works that aren’t going to make it to big distribution. HBO then collects them and showcases them as part of its documentary series. Whether it’s a footnote in the programming or not, it’s one of the only ways for people who aren’t on the film festival circuit to see some of the best documentaries of today/

So the next time you’re at a cocktail party and someone huffs or sneers when television is brought up, just start talking about an incredible documentary you saw. Watch their eyes light up and draw them into the conversation. When you finally conclude your description and they eagerly ask, “Where’s that playing?” then you can happily tell them the truth: on their satellite TV, of course.