Welcome to the PIT List!

I'm a network field producer who also worked in local tv as a line producer and field producer. Over the years, I have had the great fortune to work with super people. Now I'd like to pass along what I know and rant a tad.

"Dear Maggie..." pitlist@gmail.com
I check it sporadically, but I love answering emails, so if you have an issue or difficult person you need help with, don't hesitate to shoot it my way.

Maggie L

Maggie L
One of the rare times I'm in the office

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Got a pen?

Quick, write this down. What? You don't have a pen handy? Impossible!

And yet, this is what we do to viewers when we ask them to write down random numbers from our newscast.

"Chester the molester is on the loose. Here's his picture. If you see him, call police at 555-5555."
"The Art Fair is this weekend! For more info call, 333-3333."

The entire story is probably :30 seconds long. How are viewers expected to find pen, paper and write it down in that time?

Instead have a station or show hotline. It's easy to set up and you just update it daily. Then every time you show a number, it's the hotline number. And you repeat it several times in the show. Also, tell viewers you'll repeat it:

"The Art Fair is this weekend! For more info call our hotline 777-7777. If you didn't get a chance to write that down, we'll repeat it again later in the newscast."

Then you can put it as a bump back in to your last block. Use the hotline number in that spot every day so that loyal viewers will know it's always there.

Same thing applies to websites. Instead of showing the actual web address, drive them to your website and then put the info in a spot that's obvious for viewers to find.

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