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Telling Duke Stories Outside of Duke

By: Mich Donovan

Last week, Duke’s Video Working Group’s monthly meeting focused on media outreach and how to best work with external video distributors. Keith Lawrence, from the Office of News and Communication, led the discussion.

We primarily focused on the use case of sharing video resources with local news organizations. To drive media interest in our stories, the two most important factors cited were a compelling visual and offering an expert’s opinion on a hot topic. However, given a media landscape where news organizations are often short-staffed and trying to do more with less, the process of sharing a well-produced story is even easier. If good visuals and expert sound are there, many places are happy to use material that’s already been created for them. Even if the video is not used immediately, some stories can have a long shelf life and be used months or even years later depending on the news of the day.

Rather than delivering the completely finished piece that we may use internally here at Duke, its important to break down the video into various materials when sharing with someone else. By providing a press kit of sorts, external producers can more easily select individual b-roll, photos and other resources that would best work for their situation. However, that doesn’t mean just handing over the raw materials. To best represent Duke, it’s still important to do some basic editing like color-correction and sound balancing before sharing with others.

One particular success story was the series Left of Black, produced by the John Hope Franklin Center of International and Interdisciplinary Studies. It has been published in various forms both on public access TV channels, as well as websites like The Root. It’s longevity and success have made it so academics often seek out to appear on the program, as doing so can help lend them credibility in their own careers. As programs like this gain greater exposure, it allows the producers to become more selective and priority driven with their work.

Categories: DDMC Info

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