GOOD BROADCAST DO SOME STRAIGHT TALKING

2 weeks ago

Following a breakfast briefing event with Channel 5 and BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Good Broadcast’s Phil Caplin does some straight talking on how brands can best target younger audiences via broadcast communications. 

Today Good Broadcast had the pleasure of hosting an audience with Jess Bulman, Deputy Editor – Channel 5 News, Jack Leather, Digital Editor – Channel 5 News and Chris Smith, Presenter – BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, discussing all things Love Island, floss dancing, and meme culture.   

For businesses looking to take their broadcast media straight to the heart of those millennial and Gen Z whatsapp groups, we’ve put together five fast facts for you to sharpen up your broadcast strategy.

1. Be young at heart, but don’t be phoney  

A common misconception about attracting a youth audience is that you have to try and imitate their culture and their language. In reality, there’s nothing more cringey than a spokesperson trying to desperately get down with the kids. Don’t use slang or try to keep up with the latest crazes. Younger audiences have a very keen nose for fakery from brands or mass media, and in-authenticity will work against.

Concentrate on the issues that young people are interested in, and are affected by. C5 News gave the example of a story about the lack of regulation in barber shops – an issue that really affected a younger audience, and resonated well.

When formulating your idea, put people at the heart of your story. Every successful story has a strong voice. Whatever the emotion is, be it anger, happiness, upset – make sure you communicate this and don’t allow to be lost to your wider messaging.

2. Good news is always good news

BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat advised that they’re always looking to cover crowd-pleasing ‘good news’. But, for brands, good news is a very difficult thing to find and cover. Good news has also got a really bad cache in newsrooms because it usually comes in the guise of a skateboarding panda. A top tip, but quite a hard circle to square.

3. Resolve to solve

If you haven’t got any skateboarding pandas, go instead for proper solution based journalism. Broadcasters are desperate to cover this.

This means finding a story that leads with the solution to the issue – and not just the issue itself.

It’s not about one individual young person that has done a wonderful thing. Instead, think more along the lines of the people that grabbed brooms and cleared up after the London riots, or the crowdfunders that replaced Nottingham taxi driver’s car after the England football match on the weekend.

Find a problem, and solve the problem.

4. Get creative with your content

The news agenda is what it is, but you can always produce and reproduce your content in more engaging ways.

C5 News now send their political correspondent out around the country, gathering people’s views and then returning to Westminster to put the politicians to task. It’s more relevant for the correspondent and the audience.

When starting to plan a story, decide early on what format you need the content. C5 News digital editor repackaged their ‘Finn’s Law’ news piece as a digital idea. It’s completely different to regular news TV. They filmed it square, and directed the speaker to look directly into the camera. Younger audiences respond well to such stories with direct emotion and bespoke production.   

Similarly, a 30 minute television documentary on a mental health hospital was condensed down into three minutes of YouTube content, making it more powerful for younger people who consume and share content online more than other audience.

5. It pays to be practical

When pitching – know who you’re trying to talk to. If you don’t know, ask to speak to a news planning editor. Always speak to planning, not the newsdesk, otherwise you get put through to the days busy reporter who won’t have time to listen to your brilliant proposal. C5 News also hinted that pitching between 10-12 is your golden time – it’s just after meetings, but before programs.

Think about your story’s elements – what case studies and people have you got that will make your story powerful? You need people to tell the story and pictures to sell the story for TV. And you need lots of detail.

If you’re pitching a report – the person who wrote the report must be available. And if you’re a story with a celebrity – make sure they have a genuine connection to the story and are authentic.

Always engage early – at least a few days in advance. The logistics of TV are a massive part of the operation – if it has lots of elements, they might need to film over a week.

Finally, your press release has got to stand out. Journalists lack time so don’t send it as an attachment.  Following up with a phone call is also effective.

Conclusion

Targeting younger audiences via mass media requires inhabiting their mindset, understanding what stories would appeal to them, and then following through on all the above practicalities and details to make sure you have a winning broadcast campaign.