Broadcast TV Consulting & Training
*602 Communications offers a variety of training workshops designed to maximize market share, brand equity, and employee productivity. Our workshops are hands-on, highly interactive, and video intensive so your staff can see exactly how successful organizations create compelling content on a day-to-day basis and learn to do it themselves. We’re pros at this stuff. For almost 20 years 602 Communications has coached and trained employees at some of the best media companies in the world — including Disney, NBC, ABC, Fox, Hearst-Argyle, and Sony. To get started click on one of the following workshops for more information.
Tease & Promo Writing Workshop
This workshop teaches producers, anchors, reporters, photographers, editors, and marketing staff how to craft teases that get viewers into our newscasts and keeps them there. Participants learn how to identify the viewer-focused parts of the story and drill down to the compelling, complex parts of our coverage. Then we teach a method to write a strong teases quickly. This workshop also reviews our own teases and examines the systems that get the best of our coverage in the field back to those crafting the teases. Click Here to watch video on Tease & Promo Top of Page
Branding Focus Workshop
This workshop is all about consistently executing a brand strategy across EVERYTHING you do: content, promotion, and community efforts. At many companies, marketing is just a “promotion thing,” and the product never truly demonstrates the brand position. We start by laying out a plan to promote the specific components of your coverage. We take each of the major news elements and develop a definitive plan of action for marketing that component, including weather, investigative, breaking news, and all the other critical coverage areas.
We show you how to sell a compelling story AND reinforce the station brand at the same time. We build promotion and newsroom production systems that identify the most promotable components and then sell those components to reinforce the station’s branding position every night.
To develop this workshop, we studied the country’s most successful businesses that have a clearly defined image in the viewer’s mind. We recorded hundreds of hours of commercials, promos, and teases and developed a training class around them. During this course we show your team the specific components of these very successful campaigns. They’ll learn how to give viewers a compelling reason to watch while reinforcing the station’s clearly defined brand. Top of Page
Relationship Marketing Workshop
In this workshop we show teams how to build relationship brands that focus on the customer’s image of themselves, not just the product. We find the audience’s emotional hot buttons, then show you exactly how to create content and marketing that mirrors their deepest feelings of personal identity. We show your entire team the specific producing and writing techniques that build these strong emotional connections. The goal of these workshops is to train your team to break out of the familiar rhythms of tired TV imaging. We teach specific skills that tap the powerful passion your audience already feels about your products. We show you how to turn mere viewers into dedicated and loyal fans who tune in because they have found a deep emotional connection with your brand. Your team leaves this workshop with a frontline tactical plan for executing core emotional drivers. This process has three stages.
- Step One: Identifying the specific imagery, copy points, and tone to use with each core emotional driver.
What are your audience’s emotional hot buttons? We use hundreds of examples of the most effective advertising in the world to show your team how to build strong & passionate connections that create fans.
- Step Two : Demonstrate the best creative approaches for each core emotional driver.
Most promos have a mind-numbingly similar creative approaches that primarily rely on show clips and voiceover. We show the team how to break out of this rut and use new approaches such as metaphor, testimonial, humor, sarcasm, curiosity, or one of the 55 other primary creative vehicles.
- Step Three : Feedback & Follow-Up
Once the plan has been created, we continually record and monitor your product, giving feedback on your effectiveness. We conduct online review seminars with your team and do onsite workshops to assure you’re walking your talk in all your content and marketing products. Top of Page
Building Audience Flow:
Keep Viewers Glued to Newscasts: The viewers—on the couch watching our life’s work—are juggling flaming chainsaws. These chainsaws are loud and on fire. This workshop considers how to make viewers put down the flaming chainsaws and stay with our newscast from minute-to-minute. This workshop combines the basics of good storytelling with what we know about how viewers watch TV from minute-to- minute. We explore how to create newscast opens that draw viewers into the tent. Next, we figure out how to get them past one of the biggest tune- out points in a newscast—the anchor lead. We explore how to produce live shots and stand ups that get the viewers attention. Then we look at techniques to rid our newscasts of confusing, mind numbing wallpaper video. Top of Page
Journalism is the lifeblood of democracy, and it’s important to remind viewers of our value. Process storytelling—also called “transparency” –invites viewers to take a glimpse of how we gather news and how we came to report what we did. This technique gently but constantly reminds readers what we’ve done for them, are doing for them, or will do for them in both news content and marketing messages. Participants consider “best practices” in process storytelling and learn simple techniques to incorporate into their own storytelling and teases. Top of Page
Morning News Workshop
This workshop shows your staff how to connect with the morning news viewer. Participants learn how viewers watch TV in the morning, what type of content morning viewers seek, and how to deliver content to morning viewers so that they tune-in longer and more often.
Whether you seek a straight-forward, hard news format that concentrates on news, weather, and traffic, or a more casual and relaxed style, this workshop teaches your staff how to develop a core following of morning viewers.
Morning news is more than writing the news with a “fresh and forward” style. This workshop demonstrates how to handle breaking news from anywhere. It will teach your staff how to make interviews that have impact, studio segments that are memorable, and reporter live shots that are vibrant and entrancing.
This workshop shows your anchors how to connect with the morning news viewer, teaches your weather person how to go beyond the forecast, shows the traffic person how to go beyond the gridlock, and teaches the reporter how to set up assignments that guarantee a great live shot each morning. Top of Page
Daytime Television Workshop
The daytime viewer wants new information delivered in a visual and entertaining format. Unfortunately, most producers don’t know how to produce content that goes beyond the traditional sit-down interview. Your staff will learn what kind of guests to target, how to book those guests, and how to produce segments that leave the viewer talking.
Whether it’s cooking, health, parenting, or fashion, this workshop teaches your staff how to get the most out of booked guests and produce content that connects with viewers. In addition, we work with talent to mold them into “personalities,” and teach the staff how to create a show that keeps viewers tuned in and coming back day-after-day. Top of Page
Immediacy and Urgency Workshop
This workshop teaches participants how to start every story and every newscast with the latest information, as compared to the stale method of telling stories in chronological order. Using video examples from all over the country, we show how the same techniques producers and reporters use in live breaking news situations can be applied to everyday, non-breaking stories. This is NOT about hype or calling stories “breaking news,” when they aren’t really “breaking!” This is about good journalism, and how to tell stories that grab the viewer’s attention in an appropriate and ethical manner.
As we all know, many viewers will start channel flipping almost immediately if the lead doesn’t hook them. The news staff see why it’s not just the selection of the lead story that is important, but the manner in which it is written and presented that can be critical in building and retaining your audience. We cover a variety of issues in this workshop:
- Writing with immediacy
- Reporting with immediacy
- How to use natural sound
- Effective use of cold open sound
- Writing very specifically to video
- Calling attention to great video
- Stand-ups with immediacy
The producers and reporters will come out of this seminar “charged” with the responsibility of making sure their newscasts and stories are produced in a more immediate and urgent style. Top of Page
Writing to Video Workshop
Matching words to pictures may be the single most important technique in television news. The reality is that most people today listen to television more than they watch it, unless you tell them they should watch. Not writing to video is the number one reason why stories fall flat and why viewers say, in research studies and focus groups, that the news is boring. This workshop shows participants how to grab the viewers’ attention. Participants will be taught how to write to video, even when under deadline. Top of Page
Reporter Storytelling Workshop
We focus on how to highlight and sell the unique qualities of a story. You can change graphics, sets, anchors, franchises, etc, but in the end, improved ratings all come down to how good you are at telling interesting stories. This seminar covers the basics of good storytelling and looks at new trends in writing and reporting the news. We look at story structure, how to use sound, stand-ups, and most importantly, how to tell stories as compared to reporting facts. In addition, reporters and producers learn how to identify interesting stories, find interesting people, and center stories around those interesting people instead of officials and bureaucrats.
Top of Page
This is the seminar for your current and future main producers. How many times have you said, “I can’t find good producers”? This workshop trains the staff in the basics, and some advanced techniques needed to produce a contemporary newscast. We cover all angles related to producing:
- Immediacy and urgency
- Writing to video
- Getting your anchors more involved
- Breaking news
- Improved storytelling
- Doing great live shots and stand-ups
- Getting rid of monotony and predictability
- Advancing stories newscast to newscast
- Winning the lead
- Story selection
Using hundreds of video examples, we teach your writers and producers how they can produce a balanced newscast that increases length of viewing. Top of Page
Advancing Stories Workshop
How many times have you heard a producer say, “I don’t have enough to fill my show!” How many times have you heard viewers in focus groups say, “..they just keep repeating the top stories throughout all their newscasts. I’ve seen these stories before.” With better planning, many stories can actually become two stories, or three. Most reporters feel the need to cram every detail, every sound bite, every great piece of video into one huge, super-sized story. Often it would serve the newscasts, and the viewer, better if those stories were divided into different pieces. Why not save a couple of those angles to present in your next newscast? This workshop looks at exactly how to develop multiple stories out of just one topic. We have great examples of stories that should be divided into multiple parts, and examples of stories that were advanced from newscast to newscast using new angles. Participants see how much easier the stories are to understand, and how much easier it is to tease a story from newscast to newscast. In addition, this technique draws viewers along from newscast to newscast. We show the staff how a story can be advanced, whether it’s breaking news or a regular story that is better told by breaking it apart. Top of Page
Stand-ups and Live Shots Workshop
Too much of the news is filtered and processed, making it predictable and boring. Breaking news and reality television are compelling to viewers because they are unpredictable. We show producers and reporters that the same formula can be used on average, everyday stories. The staff will see examples of good and bad stand-ups and live shots, and talk about what the reporter could have done to make it more compelling. We also show producers why they must be involved in deciding what the reporter does in his or her live shot. Additionally, reporters and producers learn why it is so important to set the scene right off the top in live shots. Too many times reporters simply launch into the script that they have brought from the station or go right into an interview, but what viewers really want to know is what is going on at the scene “right now.” A major focus of this session is on reporters and photographers working together as a team in the field, and the need for them to stay in touch with producers in the newsroom. Top of Page
Since the news helicopter is often the most expensive tool used by a newsroom, you would think the copter would be one of the most memorable things in a newscast. Yet despite the dollars spent keeping it in the air, most news choppers become nothing more than an expensive additional camera. This workshop shows how to make the best use of the news helicopter and make sure that the viewers distinguish your station’s copter coverage.
Most stations use helicopters to cover spot news and traffic problems, but it is difficult to be memorable doing just that. In many markets, each station has its chopper over the same spot news story, and they all have their aerial pictures of traffic slowing down in the same place.
In this seminar, using multitudes of video clips, we show how to make coverage of breaking news from the chopper more memorable and compelling than the competition. In addition, participants will see how to make chopper coverage more interesting on days when there isn’t breaking news or significant traffic problems. There are many ways in which the chopper can be used on average days to make the newscasts more interesting.
This seminar teaches producers how to use the chopper effectively, teaches the chopper reporter and photographer how to win on breaking news and what to look for on those slow news days, and shows the promotion staff how to market the chopper. Top of Page
Sports On-Camera Workshop
This is geared toward athletes who want to improve their on-camera interview skills or who want to make the move into the broadcast booth. Through the use of hundreds of video examples, you will see the mistakes most athletes make and be taught how to avoid the common pitfalls of the sports interview. You will be put on-camera under the lights and be given immediate feedback as we critique your performance. You will leave this session much better prepared to be interviewed or to conduct an interview. Top of Page
How to Think Web
We’re not broadcasters anymore. We are multimedia journalists who slice-and-dice content across all platforms—whenever and wherever the audience wants it. This workshop examines best practices for news staffers now living in 24/7 web world. We examine systems and tools to get content onto the web quick, how to create web-optimized content that search engines like, and how to craft abstracts or blurbs that get users to go deeper into content. Top of Page
Social Networking Best Practices:
Building Genuine Customer Relationships. A big problem with a lot of social media marketing is that it’s too much “marketing” and not enough “social.” How can you inform customers about your content while still making them feel like valued friends, and not just sales prospects? This workshop lays out the best practices for creating social marketing systems that invite participation, foster approachability, and build genuine bonds with customers.
Your team will learn now to use new, powerful software tools that allow busy people to post like a master, and do it with amazing efficiency. We demonstrate the differences between the one-way style of traditional journalism and the two-way style of social networking. We show managers, editors, reporters, producers, and web staffers the specific role each one of them plays in building a conversation with the audience. We will show you how to best use limited resources, and how social networks fit into the staff’s workflow. Finally, we’ll help you create real-world tests to iron out the bugs and make sure the new systems work with your existing infrastructure. Top of Page
Lighting Palooza Workshop
This workshop sets the focus on using basic, in-house lighting equipment to make your video look fantastic. From live shots to portrait lighting and night lighting, this workshop shows you advanced lighting techniques used in television and feature films. Best of all, these expensive-looking tricks don’t require specialized equipment. These are techniques you can use in everyday situations, including how to get a $20 “Dollar Store” indispensables gadget bag.
- Live shots at night
- The Art of Casting Shadows
- White Balancing for effect
- The Sun as Backlight
- High Key / Low Key
- Inverse Square Rule (Falloff)
- Location Lighting Techniques
- Blue Gels at Night, Talent’s Delight
- Fixtures, Practicals and Misc Clamps
- Stingers & Stands, Fingers & Flags
- Studio Techniques/Portraiture
- Shooting News on Location
- Interviews – Don’t Just Sit There?
- Documents and Inanimate Objects
- Getting The Look of Film on Video
- 3 Point Lighting
- Portraiture & Shooting Talent
- Butterfly Technique
- Rembrandt Lighting / Split Lighting
- Narrow/Broad Lighting
- Product Lighting, Documents & Tabletop
- Cookies and Gels
- Reflectors and Ambient Reflection
- Shooting at Night
- Reflections, Neon, Streetlights and Sirens
- Avoiding the LimboColor Temperature
- Daylight vs. Tungsten vs. ?
- Color Correction
Top of Page
Today’s cameras are so advanced, they’re basically a PC with a lense on the front. We show photojournalists how to make maximum use of this incredibly powerful tool. The focus is on ultimately usable, everyday solutions. You’ll learn quick trips for shooting more effective video on the fly and advanced techniques to get a warmer, softer, more balanced look.
- Shallow Focus, Widest Aperture
- Use of Rack Focus
- Shutter Speed (1/24 vs. 1/30)
- Primarily use Prime Lenses (No Zoom; hold per scene)
- Limited (very) use of Zoom; usually MANUALLY CONTROLLED
- Metered Exposure; NO Auto Iris
- Grain Characteristics (random, organic)
- Contrast Range/ Gamma
- Detailing/ Edge Qualitie
- Optical Filters (812, ProMist, Polarizer, etc)
- Movement & Angles
- Dollys and Cranes
- Angles: High, Low, Motivated
- Motivation, Movement, Rule of 3rds,
- Foreground / Background interest
- Art Direction: Attention to Color & Layout
- Cheap Tricks and Timesavers
- Document Highlighter
- Remove Your Camera Light
- Charles’ $20 Dollar Store Gadget Bag
- Interviews – Don’t Just Sit There?
- Documents and Inanimate Objects
- Getting The Look of Film on Video
Top of Page
This workshop teaches newspaper editors, reporters, photographers, and marketing staff how to quickly write teases and promos that get readers to go deeper into the paper. It teaches techniques to drill down to our most promotable content and highlight it. It examines elements of “reader benefit” where we prove there’s something in it for the reader to view our life’s work. This workshop also reviews our own marketing messages, and examines systems that get the most compelling content to the people who create the marketing message. Top of Page
The 602 Communications brand audit is a report card that shows exactly how well your entire team is demonstrating your brand within your newscasts, marketing, and community campaigns. This comprehensive program of research and analysis reveals where your station is walking your branding talk and where it is falling short. We record 100 hours of your news content, then tag every story for brand compliance. After this analysis, we show your team how to focus and simplify your brand, and train your team in ways to demonstrate your brand within all your content and marketing because they have found a deep emotional connection with your brand. Your team leaves this workshop with a frontline tactical plan for executing core emotional drivers. This process has seven stages.
- 1) The brand audit starts with a review of your research studies and in-house marketing plans. We identify the key marketing tactics and specific priorities of your station brand.
- 2) We sit down and do extensive interviews with your managers and staff. We find out how each key person demonstrates the brand during their daily routine. For example, how is the brand demonstrated within key ratings special reports? How does the assignment desk integrate the brand into daily planning?
- 3) We find out how well you’re walking your talk. We record about 100 hours of your newscasts, hundreds of special report promos, topical promos, and PSAs. We go through every single story, promo and PSA. We tag every individual element of content for brand compliance. Is your weather coverage really demonstrating safety? Are your investigations actually protecting your viewers?
- 4) We compile all this data to reveal the specific places where your content is effectively demonstrating the brand. We also show you where your brand message isn’t communicated well, and reveal the damaging brand messages that your team is unintentionally building into your content. It is a comprehensive report card that shows where your brand commitment is shining through and where that commitment is falling short.
- 5) We build on this research and work with the entire management team to create a comprehensive plan that focuses your brand identity to a clear understandable point. We show your entire team that a brand is not just a slogan, but is a laser-focused customer attitude demonstrated within your content every night.
- 6) Training is the next step of this process. We roll up our sleeves and work with each of your key teams. We help you build a content marketing plan of action for each core discipline: reporters, producers, desk, promotion, community service. We show each team how to alter their daily routine so that it demonstrates the brand on the air.
- 7) Accountability is the final step. Once the plan is in place and the staff has clear direction on the specific tasks to be performed, we record your programs, and do analysis and training. We show the team how well they are implementing and guide them with specific feedback.
Watch an 8-minute speech video about how brand audits work. Click Here
Watch the full 45 minute speech. Click Here
Top of Page