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Video News Release

Turn on the news these days and you are likely to see a news story reported by an unfamiliar face. When the story is complete, the camera goes back to Mike and Susan, the regular evening news anchors, as they thank ‘Jim’ for his report and move on to other news. “Jim? ” you think…”must be new. ” Actually, the story and the reporter are part of a Public Relations strategy known as Video News Release. Video News Release, or VNR, is a pre-recorded piece of information utilized by businesses and media outlets as “press release” and is usually aired as part of their own coverage.

Video News Releases are used as a way to cover certain issues or to reach audiences in order to deliver messages. They have long been a part of media, and have proven effective in their purpose. Claiming to be the first to air such products back in the early 1980’s, DWJ Television provides a substantial amount of material available for media broadcasters to choose from (Johnson, 2002). Businesses hire Video News Release companies to attractively depict their services, products or issues.

Broadcasters then select from those Video News Releases, sourced on local issues, such as the opening of a new fitness center or growing rate of business in a certain area, or international issues, such as the effects of global warming (McInerny, 2005). The convenience this product offers for both businesses and broadcasters is priceless, mainly because some businesses don’t have access to widespread target markets, and some broadcasters do not have the resources to cover the reports themselves. In effect, Video News Releases offer their users an ‘edge’.

Recently, however, Video News Releases have been under much scrutiny over their authenticity. The issue is whether or not it is ‘moral’ for broadcasters to air Video News Releases, as the majority of the content, while fact, is delivered through paid actors portrayed as journalists, and the focus usually is biased…a “no-no” in news broadcasting (Wikipedia, 2006). Video News Release 3 Additionally, some broadcasters have chosen to ‘bump’ the paid actor delivering the report and edit-in their own correspondents, therefore claiming originality.

An alternative to Video News Releases, known as B-Rolls, offer the opportunity for broadcasters to do all of the reporting and not be faced with the expenses of sending someone out to capture the information (McInerny, 2005). B-Rolls are unedited versions of Video News Releases. This allows for broadcasters to pick and choose the information they air, as well retaining the PR opportunity that would not be available without the help of VNR’s or B-Rolls. While some question the legitimacy of Video News Releases, the benefits they offer Public Relations is necessary to effective strategy planning.

Video News Releases assist in issue-coverage that would otherwise be unknown to the public. Video News Releases do the job of many without the expenses, which makes this product necessary to any successful PR strategy.


1. DWJ Television. (2002) DWJ Television: Johnson, G. March 2007. http://www. dwjtv. com/about/ 2. Definition for Video News Releases. (2006) Wikimedia, Inc. : Wikipedia Writing Staff. March 2007. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Video_news_release 3. 7 Pictures Inc. Video Productions. (2005) Seven Pictures, Inc. : McInerny, G. March 2007. http://www. video-news-release. com/

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