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Don’t Rely on a Prop Demonstration on Live TV

Don’t Rely on a Prop Demonstration on Live TV

Posted by lukebuesnal in on 15 August, 2016

“Let’s do a demo of our product as we spruik to the media”. Sounds like a great idea, but is it?

Ask yourself, can you guarantee it will work when the cameras are rolling?

Obviously the collective brains trust at Myki and the then Victorian State Transport Minister’s Office thought they could. Myki sure put on a show but not one you want to pay for.


Props create a visual in the media but a live demonstration is fraught with danger. Like working with animals and children, props can make you look average quickly.

If your product is the cornerstone of your brand and a demonstration is needed in order to show consumers how it works, best bet is to supply the media with your own footage. Include it in your digital media release as an attachment.

To avoid the situation above and keep your reputation intact, try the following.

Four Tips for Producing Quality Footage for the Media:

  • Make sure your footage is understandable and concise – TV news footage changes (roughly) every five seconds when not live
  • Cut to the chase – focus on what your product does and how consumers benefit from it (everything else if just fluff)
  • Keep audio to a minimal in your footage – allow the journalist the option to speak over it, should they want to (plus your microphone might not be broadcast quality)
  • Download basic video editing software – George Lucas is not required. This software is easy to use, inexpensive and makes content look more professional

Don’t get stressed by your business bottom line. You don’t need the production values of a Hollywood blockbuster, as most smart phones house a video camera good enough to use. Smart phone footage is becoming the norm in TV journalism – think eyewitness content from the scene of a disaster.

Doing this will give you control of how your product/brand is represented. Furthermore, it might increase your chances of media coverage as it requires less work from a time-poor TV journalist.

Subsequently, every time Melbourne encounters a Myki problem the footage you’ve just seen of the ticket scanner falling off its perch is used. It hammers home the point – save yourself from a similar train wreck.

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