Shawn Nesaw

A goal for many PR pros is to get the message out about their client or organization by landing a segment with Brian Williams or Diane Sawyer. Realistically speaking, the story would have to be not only timely, but also timeless, national and heartfelt in order to gain such high recognition in the media circuit. It’s also important to remember the power of local news, especially in considering small, local businesses and the impact they are making in our communities.
We recently attended a Baltimore Public Relations Council event hosted at WMAR (ABC 2) studios in Baltimore. The event included a panel of the WMAR news crew sharing tips to always consider for TV news coverage. Whether national or local, these tips along with our own experience demonstrating the importance of being strategic and prepared.

Think about the audience

Yes, it’s always important to think about your audience, but when pitching a news station it is equally, if not more, important to consider the station’s audience. Make sure your story relates to their viewers and don’t be afraid to do some research first to see who their key audiences are – what’s the age group, do they skew more male or female, what is the average household income, where is the audience geographically, etc. If your story proves to reach their core demographic the producers and news editors will be more inclined to pay attention.

Visuals are key

When pitching a news story it’s important to consider what viewers will actually see when watching your segment. This is usually the first question a producer will ask you – what visuals do you have? If you don’t have any thing to show the audience then you’ll likely lose their attention fast! In developing visuals, also consider the time of day, weather, lighting, season, etc. A segment on environmental protection at the scene of a toxic waste dump is a great visual, however, sharing the same story in a conference room is boring for the camera and the audience.

Have sound bites ready

Producers and multimedia journalists love when you can make their job easier by having the right people available and ready with ideal sound bits on cue. A sound bite is a simple piece of audio the camera can pick up to run with the segment or over b-roll footage. This should always be something memorable, including an important fact, statistic, offer or breaking news. Having these sound bites ready for the station allows them to film and edit the segment faster and more efficiently, so they can cover more news in one day.

Be flexible

With a news station it’s essential to remain flexible and ready to adjust at any moment. You may be scheduled for a live or recorded segment but the station needs to push because of breaking news that is taking their team to another location. If you’re able to be flexible and reschedule at a moments notice, without complication or hesitation, the station and crew will be more apt to work with you and come back to capture the segment at another time. Don’t forget, it’s their job to share the news with their viewers and breaking news is the most important and timely!

Shawn Nesaw

Every once in a while there’s a commercial that makes us laugh or cry harder than the show we’re watching. As true fans of creative, we’re sharing our top 10 favorite TV commercials. We hope you’ll laugh, cry and love them as much as we do!

  1. With football season on the horizon, this classic reminds us that rivalries run deep.  Without college sports, this wouldn’t be disgusting
  2. An old school classic, playing on one of the biggest brand competitions ever, without using a single word. Pepsi Dissing Coke
  3. Shot with over 100 cameras across the country of the same sunrise in one day. That takes some incredible planning, coordination and cooperation from Mother Nature. Sunrise
  4. Showing the longevity of the brand and pulling on your heartstrings, this spot takes nostalgia to the next level. Love is Forever
  5. American pride with a twist of family love, this commercial tells a terrific true story and Morgan Freeman’s voiceover is flawless. Go World
  6. This one will make you literally laugh out loud. The best part – you know his facial expression, even with the mask on! Darth Vader Kid
  7. We love Ray Lewis, not to mention the randomness of the bear in this spot. Bear

10.  Animated drawings, old school music, this one actually makes you feel five again!    Rethink Possible – Birthday


Shawn Nesaw

It’s that time again – fall television has premiered and of course, A. Bright Idea has the top 10 shows of this season. So grab some popcorn, pull out a blanket and take a look at what made our must-watch list!
1. Glee
We’re a bunch of creative minds, so naturally Glee made the number one spot with this team. Considered a musical comedy-drama, Glee showcases an odd bunch of characters that like to sing – what’s not to love about that! Plus, you never know what musical legend might be featured next.
2. Modern Family
Mix-match family, spilling all their drama on TV (and it’s not a reality show) = mockumentary. This new type of show is a crowd pleaser at ABI for its hysterical situations and awkward family tree. And let’s be honest – it helps us all feel a little more normal at the end of the day!
3. The Office
An obvious hit with the guys, The Office continues to be a top contender with its quirky cast and witty improvs. Plus, after a long day of working who doesn’t love to come home and watch a bunch of people on TV, uh, working?!
4. Grey’s Anatomy
Filled with drama, medicine, awful circumstances, an A-list cast and, of course, Dr. McDreamy, Grey’s is a must watch with the romantics and excitement lovers alike. On any given week, a main character may be dying, a shooter may be roaming the hospital or somebody may be getting married  – which is exactly why you just can’t miss it!
5. The Event
A new one you may not have seen yet, but trust us, you want to get into this show! Focused on flashbacks, so far the series tells the story of kidnapping, murder and government assassination. The Event definitely has potential – be sure to give it a chance!
6. Dancing with the Stars
Okay, we couldn’t resist a little reality TV thrown in here. All you need to know is the cast this season includes The Situation, Bristol Palin and Jennifer Grey. Quite a hodge-podge, don’t you think? That’s what makes it so fun!
7. Dexter
Didn’t you go through a stage where you wanted to grow up to be a blood spatter-pattern analyst? Okay, maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get sucked into this show after the first episode! This drama focuses on a police department employee, who moonlights as a serial killer. But don’t worry, he’s the good kind of serial killer, you know, the kind that only kills other killers. Hey, we didn’t say it wasn’t twisted!
8. Boardwalk Empire
You may not have heard of this series yet but it’s turning out to be a great show, focusing on the birth, high times and corruption of Atlantic City. Sound similar to The Sopranos? That’s because it’s written and produced by The Sopranos’ Terence Winter!
9. Hawaii Five-O
An oldie comes back for another run, but don’t shut it down just yet, you may be surprised! This fictional state police force hits the streets of Hawaii once again to rid the islands of crime. Sun, sand and police drama – it doesn’t get much better than that!
10. Criminal Minds
Back for its sixth season, Criminal Minds hits the airwaves this fall with crazier cases than ever before. If you’re getting sick of all those crime shows out there, it’s worth considering that this series focuses more on the criminal and less on the crime – setting it apart from the others. Word of caution: this show is not for those who scare easily.
Make sure to take a break from watching your shows to check out our October top 10, filled with the best Halloween costumes out there, coming next month!