Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To POP or not to POP

Devastating tornadoes recently hit the Kentucky/Southern Indiana area.  A producer from the Fox station in Charlotte Louisville wrote to ask "Do you do a POP in these situations?"  He'd like your opinion of exactly where the line is.  Here is the spot he eventually produced -- choosing to let the people tell the story.

I think this is the only type of spot you can do at this point - along with any kind of community relief efforts.  Any type of promo drum beating/"We warned you first/First on the scene/the only station with..." is just insensitive.   TV stations are there to serve the community... forget rating points and building your weather image right now.    I think being there to document the events and providing a service to your community is the only way to go.

Share your thoughts on POPs during extreme circumstances?

My heart goes out to the people of this area.   Judging by this video -- they've been through hell.


Bobby Rigg said...

Very powerful and moving. I agree with the no VO decision and I think the images and sound chosen were spot on. This spot said everything that needed to be said. Bravo from me.

KellenDargle said...

Our news director in Lexington wanted us to tout all the comments from Facebook and twitter and tout all the special coverage we did. Instead, we did this: http://youtu.be/zMIThYFGu2I

Anonymous said...

When this kind of disaster comes to your market, it’s when ratings, competition, and promotion become second, third and fourth. What WDRB created was moving, emotional, revealing, and powerful. While I was aware of the fact that tornadoes tore through sections of the US and that people were killed and others injured (I watched a new story about a mom who had protected her kids even while she had lost both her legs-where do people find that kind of courage and devotion?) , this video related the extent in terms of human suffering….that one piece of video of the woman under the umbrella hearing the reassuring words of firemen that her family was safe, really got to me.
I would find more video like this and put more of these types of videos together as those folks are the heroes.
And like the moderator said, judging from this video, they have been through hell. It’s their story, not yours and good job for having the wisdom of seeing that.
Paul Greeley

Will Benson said...

Thanks for the feedback! It really helps! This was one of those promos where you get emotional while editing it.

I'm actually at WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky. Not Charlotte. (But Charlotte is nice! haha)

Anonymous said...

Great spot. I would have added a Red Cross phone number at the end.

Paul said...

Great Job, Will! A few of us working "across the street" really enjoyed the emotion you captured and the selfless presentation.

I 100% agree with Greeley on that shot with the woman holding the umbrella. Stunning.


P Barton said...

Emotional and powerful. A lot of stations assume a POP is all about what the station did. It's not.

No one cares you were first on the scene. Let the story tell itself. A compelling POP like this, says a lot more about your station than giving your coverage a pat on the back.

Nice Job!

Anonymous said...

Great job. We had a similar situation with devastating wildfires and chose the same POP approach. Very moving piece, great video, I even got choked up with the woman who didn't know where her kids were!

Anonymous said...


Did a similar spot a few years back after a Colorado town was ravaged by a tornado. Aim was to raise money but aircheck clips added to the POP approach. Agreed you must be sensitive in these cirumstances.