Category Archives: Stories

Songwriters get tips on how to beat the odds

By Russ Corey Staff Writer

Last Updated:July 29. 2006 12:00AM
Published: July 29. 2006 3:30AM

 Lonnie Sill, of the Sill Music Group (left), and Frank Radice, a vice president with NBC, listen as Randy Wachtler, of 615 Music, talks about music in TV shows.
DANIEL GILES/TimesDaily

FLORENCE — Songs are pitched almost daily to people in the music business in places like Nashville, Tenn., but only a fraction of them are ever recorded.

A panel of experts offered some advice for songwriters who want to try to beat the odds and write a hit song.

“How To Get a Song Cut” was just one of three panel discussions presented during this year’s Songfest, an event sponsored by the Muscle Shoals Music Association in conjunction with the W.C. Handy Music Festival.

TVWeek In Depth Making the Most Out of an Award Win By Allison J. Waldman

“I think if you don’t make use of an award in your marketing you will miss a number of opportunities,” said Richard Goedkoop, a professor of communication at La Salle University in Philadelphia and author of the book “Inside Local TV News.” “Mainly to tell your customers, clients and end users, see how good we are, that’s why you should consume our content. And that can translate into increased sales in the long run, if the marketing itself is effective.”

The marketing of an award is not something that can be done without careful consideration. In some instances there are rules about how an award can be advertised. “You need to know what those rules are first, but you can use it to point the finger at yourself and say, ‘Look, we’ve been recognized for excellence in this field by our peers and that’s why you should pay attention to us,’ ” said Frank J. Radice, a former promotion executive for NBC as well as a past president of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which hands out the News and Documentary Emmys, among others.

News organizations and TV stations that win Emmys can use the image of the statuette in a variety of media, including print, on-air, online, outdoor, newsletters and magazines. Radice also mentioned a new way to announce a victory that’s perhaps the most significant new development in award marketing — social networking. “It will be the most important way to use awards right now because, quite honestly, it’s all about word of mouth. If you can use it in a Facebook page or in Twitter, then you’re going to get more bang for your buck,” said Radice.

Snagging a major award can carry clout in the short term, but if a station or news outlet isn’t delivering on a consistent basis, the award designation won’t matter much.

Paul Conti, assistant professor of communications at Empire State College (SUNY), was news director at Albany’s NBC affiliate WNYT-TV before he joined the faculty. Under his leadership, WNYT’s news operation was No. 1 in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy market (DMA rank 57) for years, and he was a regional Emmy winner.

“Winning awards can help build credibility with viewers, but it is not of singular importance,” Conti said. “It is one element of creating a TV journalism persona. A successful news operation that employs people who win such awards can use that as a marketing advantage. But in my experience, a third-rated station that is not successful by any measure you wish to assign that word will not become successful just because staff members were given that kind of distinguished credit. Organizations used to sink big dollars into entering some of these contests. It does not happen with much regularity now.”

Doug Spero, professor of mass communication at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., took the opposing view. “I used to be a news director and never once hired or didn’t hire someone based on them having or not having a specific award. I don’t mean to dismiss the value, but, professionally speaking, I don’t put much weight in them.”

Spero recognized the value of an Emmy or a Peabody for promotional purposes, but questioned how rare it is to win an award like that today. “Years ago they were worth a bit more, but now they are green stamps. If you really want an award somewhere, you can go out and find one. Now that being said, I do think it is good for the industry. It encourages competition and ownership in the product. But I don’t think they hold a lot of weight.”

Having been on both sides, Radice has a unique point of view. When asked what tips he would give to a promotion or sales department to market a winning show or personality, he said, “First thing, if you’re nominated for an award as important as a duPont, a Murrow, a Peabody, an Emmy you have to get the message out — in advertising. If you’re television, you do it on-air. If you’re in print, put it in the publication. You advertise. You promote the fact that you’ve been nominated and you use that to extend your brand. That’s step one.”

The second step would be campaigning for the award, he said, such as through “For Your Consideration” advertising that reaches award voters.

For the third step, he said, “You have to take advantage of secondary platforms, that is, not just the platform that you’re on. If you’re a television channel, you want to tell people on the secondary platform, ‘Look at us, watch us.’ You do that on multiple platforms. Everything right now is 360; you need to be advertising and promoting in a 360-degree way. That’s on air, on cable, online, social networking, even on the radio and outdoor.”

An example of a campaign that succeeded in the kind of saturation exposure using an Emmy win to drive awareness was the promotion for Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” In the on-air commercials, the different stars from the show all coveted taking the Emmy award home with them, like it was the Stanley Cup. Radice recalled that Showtime called him before filming the ads to be sure that it was all right with NATAS.

“I said absolutely, and I was blown away by the final execution. It was the most effective use of an Emmy award win by any group I’ve ever seen,” said Radice.

For a PBS program like ITV’s “Independent Lens,” the marketing of award wins is essential, according to series producer Lois Vossen.

“Industry awards are important because they help establish careers and can help the producers secure funding for new projects. Winning one of the major journalism and news and documentary awards such as a Peabody, Emmy or duPont Award adds cache to the work and validates the filmmaker,” Vossen said.

“When ‘Independent Lens’ won the Best Documentary Emmy Award our first and again our second season on the air, it validated the series and sent a clear message that we were presenting programs of the highest caliber and the additional Emmy, Peabody, duPont and other awards and nominations our films have received since then add to that message,” she said.

The idea that award marketing will generate sales revenue, however, remains a specious claim.
“I don’t think that the promotion guys are going to look at promoting their nominees with an eye toward having it generate revenue,” said Radice. “But I do believe that you can influence sales by showing the sales community that you’re the organization that is deserving of the awards, that’s why you’ve gotten nominations and awards, and those are the people you should be putting your money behind. It’s not an out and out, go get money because you won an award, but there’s certainly some of that at play.

Rockin’ at 30 Rock: NBC Agency’s Frank Radice brings showmanship to network news

By Anne Becker — Broadcasting & Cable, 4/30/2006 

There are 18 guitars in Frank Radice’s 18th-floor office at 30 Rock in New York. And rock he has, both on stage and in the television news and promotions industries for three decades. Radice—or “Rock ‘n’ Roll Radice,” as he was known in his early days as a producer at ABC News—has shaped news production and promotions at ABC, CNN, CBS and NBC. Now, as senior VP, advertising and promotions, The NBC Agency, Radice is exercising his flare for entertainment.

An accomplished musician, having studied guitar since age 10 and jammed with the likes of Steven Tyler, Radice credits a series of serendipitous encounters with shaping his varied career. “When things happen to you in your career that are bigger than what you’re doing, those are the milestones that allow you to go further,” he says. “Most people only have that happen to them once. I’ve had it happen to me a number of times, and I consider myself the luckiest guy.”

A Low-Key Transition for ‘Today’ Hosts

June 28, 2012, 9:56 AM76 Comments
A Low-Key Transition for ‘Today’ Hosts
By BRIAN STELTER

11:54 p.m. | Updated On Friday morning, Savannah Guthrie is scheduled to be sitting beside Matt Lauer on the “Today” show — and once again, NBC’s ability to pull off talent transitions will be put to the test.

Ms. Guthrie is expected to succeed Ann Curry on “Today,” a hugely popular but now highly vulnerable morning show that is a profit center for NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast.

Ms. Curry tearfully announced her forced exit from the “Today” co-host chair on Thursday morning, ending one phase of the network’s plan to reinvigorate the show and beginning another phase that involves Ms. Guthrie and possibly other changes to the cast.

Ms. Guthrie has been a co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” for a year. As of Thursday evening, she had not signed a contract to become the co-host of the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. hours, and NBC had not confirmed that she would be taking Ms. Curry’s position on the show. But those moves are seen as inevitable by people inside NBC, as evidenced by the fact that she was set to fill in for Ms. Curry on Friday.

Those people, who insisted on anonymity because they feared losing their jobs for discussing internal deliberations, said Thursday that the priority now was protecting Mr. Lauer and Ms. Guthrie from the wrath of Ms. Curry’s fans, thousands of whom posted angry comments online after her announcement.

For that reason, Ms. Guthrie’s promotion will be introduced relatively quietly, with little of the fanfare that accompanied Ms. Curry’s elevation to the role one year ago or Meredith Vieira’s arrival in 2006. The change probably will not be announced on the show until July 9, according to one of the people.

“They’re not going to do themselves any good if they blow it out,” said Frank J. Radice, a former NBC executive who ran the marketing campaign for Ms. Vieira, who succeeded Katie Couric at that time.

NBC made the most of that transition, complete with a theme song called “It’s a New Day Today” with a “Welcome Meredith” airplane banner that was flown around the island of Manhattan. But this time, given Ms. Curry’s sudden and awkward exit, he said the smartest thing would be “not to draw attention to a change in anchors but to let that change in anchors just happen.”

NBC seemed to do that on Thursday, scheduling only a few minutes at the end of the show for Ms. Curry’s announcement. “This is not as I ever expected to leave this couch,” Ms. Curry said, indicating to viewers that leaving was not entirely her choice.

Ms. Curry will become the “anchor at large” for “Today,” a roving correspondent role that was offered to her more than a month ago by executives in an effort to move her off the morning show, which is under recent ratings pressure from ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

That show beat “Today” for several weeks in April and May, but “Today” has won for the last four weeks, giving the show a dose of confidence ahead of the Summer Olympics, which NBC will televise in four weeks.

In the past, NBC, and in particular its news division, prided itself on seamless handoffs like Ms. Couric to Ms. Vieira and, a few years before that, from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams as the “NBC Nightly News” anchor.

But Thursday seemed like a divorce more than anything else, and it brought to mind the entertainment division’s botched transition involving Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien in 2010, one that has left Mr. O’Brien bitter.

In that case, however, Mr. O’Brien left NBC and wound up with a new late-night show on the cable channel TBS. In this case, Ms. Curry is sticking with NBC and is picking seven staff members to work with her on news reports and special projects.

Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, said in an internal memo on Thursday that “this was not a farewell from “Today“ for Ms. Curry. “Ann’s reporting will be showcased on ‘Today’ as well as all other NBC News broadcasts,” he wrote. “Outside of the confines of the studio, she’ll have more freedom for those pursuits.” His memo concluded with the words, “Simply put, she is the absolute best person for this job.”

Brian Stelter writes about television and digital media. Follow @brianstelter on Twitter and facebook.com/brianstelter

Coca-Cola Releases “Happiness Truck” [VIDEO]

Todd Wasserman by Todd Wasserman35

 

Coca-Cola, whose Happiness Machine video became a feel-good hit for the brand last year with 3 million views, is back with a sequel that offers more of an international flavor.

 

“Happiness Truck” takes place in Rio de Janeiro and is a twist on the original idea, which showed a Coke machine that spit out free Cokes, flowers, balloon animals, pizza and submarine sandwich at a college cafeteria. This time around, a special truck dispenses free Cokes as well as a beach toy, a surfboard, sunglasses, beach chairs, t-shirts and soccer balls. Coke is launching the video on itsFacebook Page today.

In between the two videos, though, there have been some 40 others that took inspiration from the original “Happiness Machine,” says Shane Grant, global brand director for Coca-Cola. Grant says the brand chose Rio for this major project because “we wanted to show how happiness translates in markets around the world, not just the U.S. or Western Europe.” Grant says there are no plans to cut this video into a 30-second version and show it on TV in the U.S., as the company had with the “Happiness Machine” video.

NBC TAKING ‘TODAY’ MUSIC TO POP CHARTS

NY Daily News

BY PHYLLIS FURMAN

Wednesday, March 22th 2000, 2:12AM

They already dominate morning television, now Katie Couric and Matt Lauer are ready to top the pop charts.

Looking to squeeze even more dollars from its highly profitable “Today Show,” NBC is planning to launch a series of albums based on the program’s popular summer music spots, entertainment sources said.

“NBC would like to leverage the tremendous success of the ‘Today Show’ concert series”

NATAS Plans to Honor Promos

In Depth: TV WEEK

Awards Set for News, Sports, Daytime Spots

By Michele Greppi February 16, 2008

And the Emmy soon will go to … promos, those spots that tell viewers what, when, where and why to watch news, sports and daytime television programming.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will begin honoring promotional announcements for news and documentary shows, sports and daytime entertainment programming—all categories it honors every year.

Must Tweet TV (via The Wrap)

As Social Media Hits Television, 2012 Is the Year of Must-Tweet TV

content by The Wrap

By Lucas Shaw at TheWrap

Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:13pm EST

Forget about the age of must-see television, 2012 will be the year of must-tweet TV.

Networks large and small are using social media to engage second-screen viewers like never before. A few of the most high-profile recent examples include:

>> Monday, Fox News used Twitter to measure viewer reaction to its GOP debate and encourage online interaction based on the candidates’ answers.

>>NBC partnered with Facebook for its “Meet the Press” debate Jan. 8.

>>VH1 offered a four-hour live stream of analysis during its Critics’ Choice Movie Awards broadcast last week.

“Particularly over the last year, we’ve seen social media grow from just being the latest shiny new toy to being a really powerful tool that is integral to gathering news and telling stories,” Ryan Osborn, senior director of digital media for NBC News, told TheWrap.

Also read: Rupert Murdoch on MySpace: ‘We Screwed Up in Every Way Possible’

The World Is Flat Matt’s


TV Week

October 24, 2005 12:00 AM

“Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?” begins its seventh annual race around the globe Monday, Nov. 7, but several hundred pint-sized flat Matts already have hit the road to get “Today” viewers in the mood for Mr. Lauer’s annual mileage marathon. In the spirit of the phenomenon spawned by popular kids’ book “Flat Stanley,” in which a paper-thin boy is mailed to visit his friends, The NBC Agency recently began mailing some 600 1½-foot-tall cardboard cutouts of Mr. Lauer to NBC stations and other points throughout the country and world. The mini-Matts are accompanied by instructions to take still or moving pictures of Flat Matt in interesting locations-in Paris, for example, Flat Matt got a bike ride along the Champs-Elysees-and send the photos to the network in New York for promotional use. In addition to spots on NBC, NBC Agency East Coast Senior VP Frank Radice is buying off-network TV promotional time in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Mr. Radice and Agency senior writer-producer Miranda Patterson Taylor are encouraging NBC affiliates to be creative with Flat Matt. At least one is said be planning a Flat Matt scavenger hunt, with the winner going to New York to see “Today” in person. -MICHELE GREPPI

Definition 6 Named in Top 10 Social Media Campaigns of 2011

Original story via: Advertising Age

Like This, Follow That: It’s the 10 Best Social-Media Campaigns of the Year

Česky: Logo Facebooku English: Facebook logo E...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Obermutten, Switzerland
The Swiss hamlet of Obermutten, population 79, became a Facebook sensation after its fan page launched with a video of the mayor promising that anyone who “liked” it would have their profile picture posted on the town’s (real, not virtual) message board. Obermutten now has more than 14,000 fans. Jung von Matt/Limmat created the campaign for a regional tourism department.

Halls’ ‘Uva Verde’
After the Kraft Foods-owned brand Halls discontinued its green-grape flavor in Brazil late last year, cough-drop enthusiasts took to social media to demand its return. Kraft relented, then commissioned Agency Espalhe Guerrilha Marketing to hire artists to create busts of three fans out of 5,000 units of Uva Verde. The agency also ran a Facebook campaign to find a fourth subject.

Small Business Saturday
Social media again played a central role in the second year of “Small Business Saturday” — anAmerican Express-led effort to drive shoppers to local retailers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Facebook offered a $100 ad credit to the first 10,000 businesses that registered. The page has more than 2.7 million fans, compared with 1.2 million last year, and #SmallBizSaturday trended on Twitter. Crispin Porter & Bogusky developed the campaign with Digitas.

'True Blood'

‘True Blood’

‘True Blood’
HBO hyped the Season 4 premiere of “True Blood” by creating a Facebook app, “Immortalize Yourself,” which enabled fans to produce videos of themselves with real characters and Facebook friends. The app pulled in data from users’ profiles to generate the videos, which could feature random or specific Facebook friends. It was developed for HBO by Definition 6.

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