Educate and Build Brand Visibility Through Broadcast Media
Allison Beadle, MS, RD, LD
Editor, RDBA Weekly
Retail dietitians want to reach the most customers possible and that’s why vehicles that reach large audiences—newsletters, social media, in-store audio, blogs, and television—are so important. Although television viewership patterns are changing dramatically (how many of your have watched a video on your phone in the last 24 hours?), this channel is still very important and it's content now reaches consumers beyond television sets in their living rooms.
Many retail dietitians are “regulars” on their local TV stations—some have weekly or monthly segments while others are the go-to expert when producers are working on nutrition- or food-related stories. These TV spots provide excellent opportunities to showcase the best of what’s happening with your retailer, driving awareness of private label, new products, health and wellness programming, events, and most importantly, your expertise as a registered dietitian. And nothing beats the impact of actually seeing a food and nutrition message.
But what sets the best TV segments apart from the rest? Here’s what we think:
- Strong Theme. Having a distinct and timely angle for your TV segment is critical. Take cues from headlines—what are consumers reading about online, in magazines, etc.? These "trend arrows" let you know what content is piquing consumer interest. You need a catchy title for your segment that captures the essence of what you’ll be discussing and presents it in a way that will catch the viewer’s attention.
- Simple Messages. Three truly is a magic number when it comes to delivering messages. Try to boil your content down to three concise messages that can be clearly articulated and reinforced throughout the segment. It’s very easy to want to say everything, but this makes it very hard to get your point across. “KISS” (Keep It Short and Simple) is an essential approach for effective messaging.
- Go with the Flow. Once you know your theme and your key messages, you need to have a neatly organized segment flow that tells the story so you, the producer, and any other on-camera talent (hosts or other guests) know what to expect. A solid segment flow helps organize your thoughts and your props (more on those up next) so the segment unfolds coherently. And if you’re well-rehearsed, you’ll be comfortable with any unexpected twists and turns that might arise on camera (such as surprise questions from the host, etc.).
- Eye Candy. You’ll want to make sure that both you and the set look sharp. There’s a science to this and much written about it online, but here are a few key pointers. Wear simple clothing and jewelry—avoid anything distracting (patterns, chunky necklaces, etc.) and remember that you’ll need to wear a little more makeup than usual. If possible, organize your props so that they form three groups or vignettes that correspond with your three messages. Choose simple white or clear dishes and if even if your segment doesn’t mention produce, bring some with you. Beautiful, fresh produce looks great on camera, even if used just as an accent piece, and helps to create a “healthy” feel for your segment. If you’re focusing on private label products, make sure you have several examples on hand of various sizes and shapes, heights, etc. with highly visible logos.
- Provide Assets. If your segment is taped, provide the producer with high-res files of your retailer’s logo as well as hi-res images of any private label products highlighted in the segment and your headshot. There’s no guarantee that they’ll make the final cut, but these assets may come in handy when your segment gets into the editing process. If they're used, these assets will provide additional brand visibility. You can also provide your producer with key messages distilled into headlines that can be used if graphics are added during the editing process. You don’t want to provide them with the full message, just a headline, such as “Look for the words ‘whole grain.’”
- Segment Extensions. Think about how you can extend the life of your segment. If the station doesn’t automatically write an article to “live” on their website, offer to do this for them. If they place your segment online (most do these days, but ask to be sure), post it to your and your retailer’s social media channels. With the station’s permission, post the video to your retailer’s website or embed it in a blog post.
If you have a video segment that you’re particularly proud of, we’d love to see it. In the comments section of this article, feel free to post a link to your video or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.