Successfully utlizing community access television (CAT) as a communications platform not only requires some backstage leveraging, but also some technical and production know-how. Here are three related tips from Jeffrey Geibel of Geibel Marketing and Public Relations:
- Remember that often a story can be covered backwards, such as when you spot a CAT crew filming a client-related community event. Talk to the camera operator and/or the location director/producer. (Note: Sometimes the camera operator is the producer.) Ask what production they are working on. If your client is related to it—and they already have taped the B-roll—often the rest of a peripheral story can be back-filled and taped pretty easily. Suggest it and make it easy for them.
- If you produced PSAs, don’t forget to include CAT stations in your distribution list. Sometimes the CAT station can produce a PSA on a community-related subject that you’re advocating.
- With recent technical developments, community access programs can be uploaded to a centralized server (such as PEGMedia.org) for distribution nationally to other CAT stations or others who want to download the program. This extends the reach of a locally produced program to a potential national audience. Check with your local CAT station to determine if they are aware of this development.