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Going live… How we used TV broadcast skills to stage a launch event

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate, quite probably forever. We’ve all had to find new, sometimes unusual ways to get our messages across and it’s challenged us all to think differently and to try new and creative ways of doing things.

For the KOR team, it’s also given us the opportunity to deliver one of our most ambitious projects yet for our long standing client Clinton Devon Estates.

It began with a clear dilemma. The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, which is largely owned by the Estate, was being declared a National Nature Reserve by Natural England. Due to Covid restrictions though, the grand celebration event that had been planned, along with VIP guests, would not be able to go ahead. We needed to come up with an impactful and engaging alternative that was fitting for such a major announcement.

With many decades of live TV experience between us, both in front of and behind the camera,  we put our heads together to go live and stage the event ourselves, online.

With our team’s combined technical and digital expertise coming into play, we were in the unique position of being able to craft a live broadcast which could be planned and produced, from the opening titles to the closing credits.

From the start, we wanted to approach the event as we would a news programme, conveying the stories behind the declaration and examining the importance of NNRs to nature and wildlife and also for health and wellbeing. We wanted to capture the attention of the audience and take them with us on a journey exploring different aspects of the Heaths and the people who use them.

We mapped out an hour long show of speeches, news packages and an interactive Q&A session with our special guests from Natural England, Chair Tony Juniper and Chief Executive Marian Spain, along with senior members of the Clinton Devon Estates team.

Meticulous planning followed – researching and sourcing an online platform to allow us to direct things remotely, contingency plans should we encounter live technical problems, ensuring we could communicate with presenters and our host during the event and a carefully structured running order to strike the right balance of content. TV news programmes are much like a jigsaw puzzle, combining presentation, news packages and interviews, each with an assigned duration that combines to make up a running order to fill an allocated timeslot. This was the technique we employed in shaping the launch event.

Our team filmed and produced many of the short films, with our licenced drone pilot recording stunning aerials of the Heaths while our colleagues on the ground captured shots, interviews and editorial photography.

After a full rehearsal we were ready for the day of the live broadcast, anchored by the RSPB’s Chair of Council Kevin Cox and watched live by invited guests.

The broadcast was seamless and our client was able to sit back and enjoy the whole event safe in the knowledge our team had everything covered behind the scenes.

It felt good to push the boundaries and combine our in-house expertise with new technology to meet the client’s objective of sharing news of this important designation with its guests and also with its wider network, by way of a recording uploaded to YouTube.

Please take a look at the NNR launch broadcast and get in contact with us if you have an event or project that might benefit from a similar approach.