The best(and sometimes the worst) promos around! Have something you'd like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, since I am in a smaller market, it's difficult to hire producers with any experience. I often use tests to see if candidates have a decent grasp on their writing skills. I will usually ask them to watch one of our late newscasts and then give me some examples of how they would try to entice a viewer. Their form may not always be right, but it gives me a good idea if they can put some decent copy together.
I'm a firm believer in testing how well they ask questions. Many times - reporters or producers fail to give up all the facts.Having the candidate ask questions lets you see if they have what it takes to not only write strong topicals - but also be strong enough to ask the newsroom smart questions that often lead to better topicals.
Along with whatever else you do, have them describe the active voice in a sentence or two. Make them write an example sentence using it.
I absolutely depend on writing tests - as most candidates don't come in with promo producer experience. Before the tests I direct them to promo sites (like this one & 602communications) so they have an idea of how to write good teases.My tests always include a topical where I list a bunch of stories & info - to see which of the topics the applicant picks to tease, what information they LEAVE OUT, and if they know to pick soundbites with emotion vs official sound.I'm looking for writing that shows me the person can think outside the box.
No test. That's what the reel is for.
If it's for a topical producer, I give them some AP copy from the wires, a standard promo format and tell them to write a topical promoting 2 or 3 stories. For image I give them the parameters and tell them to write a news image promo that they feel represents us. Not only does it give you a sense of their writing style and abililty but also gives you an idea if they understand your brand and you can see if they follow direction. Always give them a deadline. I've actually had candidates not turn in the test on time. In that case it's 'see ya'.
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