The Promotions Guide is available as a downloadable .pdf here.
Table of Contents
This guide is intended to provide clear instructions and guidelines for on-air promotions created
for individual ICTV programs. The Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity oversees all
promotional material for the station, but the producers of individual shows are responsible for
creating their own video promotions to create an audience to promote their show in the best way
possible. It is the job of the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity to guide producers
through this process, and this handbook serves as a tool to aid producers.
ICTV is a noncommercial television station, and therefore all on-air promotions for ICTV include
public service announcements, promotions for the channel, and promotions for ICTV
programming. As a professional station, all on-air promotions are expected to follow the
professional standards that are appropriate for a college student organization and a professional
television channel. Promotions content, therefore, should follow similar standards to that of
ICTV programming. Violations of the standards for on-air promotions include:
- The inclusion of copyrighted material that does not qualify as fair use
- The inclusion of content with obscene or indecent material – that which is patently offensive when applying contemporary community standard for family viewing
- The inclusion of content with obscene speech
- The inclusion of defamatory content
- The violation of any New York State and federal laws pertaining to educational access cable
- Content that fails to meet the standard of quality programming that ICTV hopes to foster
Producers and other creators of on-air promotions for ICTV are expected to use common sense
and good judgment in deciding what and what would not be appropriate for promotional content.
While the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity is responsible for creating the majority of
ICTV’s on-air promotions, ICTV producers are responsible for creating video promos for their
individual programs. Required video promotions include a Recruitment Night Video and two
promotional videos (spaced out throughout the semester) to be aired on ICTV during
commercial breaks. ICTV producers also have the right and are encouraged to create social
media accounts for their programs if they are interested in doing so. Detailed guidelines for all
program promotions are listed in this guide.
II. Recruitment Night Videos
Each ICTV program is required to make a video that will air at ICTV’s Recruitment Night in order to both create interest in their program and to advertise open positions on their cast and crew; i.e. a “Recruitment Night Video.”
Whether a new or returning program, all Recruitment Night Videos should:
- Show/tell the viewer what the program is about
- What positions are available in cast and crew
- Adhere to all ICTV on-air promotions/content guidelines, as detailed in the ICTV Handbook and the Introduction section of this Program Promotions Guide
- Be clear and concise
For returning ICTV programs, a sizzle reel of footage from previous semesters is acceptable for a Recruitment Night Video, provided that it meets the above requirements.
The technical aspects of Recruitment Night videos change for every semester. You can either ask the current Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity or look in the ICTV producer contract for this information.
When completed, videos should be delivered to one of the Macs in the Green Room, where ICTV producers can transfer their video into a premade folder on the ICTV server. Due dates for Recruitment Night Videos vary based on each semester’s schedule and on the current Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity’s time frame.
If submitted videos to not adhere to any of the above requirements, the Director of On- Air Promotions and Publicity has the right to edit any program’s Recruitment Night Video. If there is enough time for the program’s producers to re-edit and re-submit the video, the producers may be asked to do that instead.
Samples of excellent Recruitment Night Videos can be found in the “Resources” section of the ICTV website.
III. On-Air Promotions
Over the course of the semester, ICTV producers are expected to create two on-air promotions for their program. The general schedule is:
- On-Air Promotion #1: Created and submitted during Block I, specific date to be determined by the current Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity
- On-Air Promotion #2: Created and submitted during Block II, specific date to be determined by the current Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity
As due dates vary with each semester, ICTV Producers can expect that the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity will provide producers with a clear schedule of when each video promo is due. Due dates can also be found in the ICTV Producer contract that each show’s producers sign prior to the start of the semester.
Technically, all program-specific video promotions are required to be 30 seconds and submitted with the correct On-Air file format specifications. Other technical aspects will be provided by the Director of On-Air Promotions.
The content standards for on-air video promotions are similar to those of ICTV programming and have been listed in the introduction of this handbook. Examples of violations of these standards include:
- Using a copyrighted theme song of a pre-existing television program as audio
- Plagiarizing a pre-existing commercial’s premise, setting, and script
- Bleeping out dialogue
- Containing content that is unrelated to the purpose of the program
- Having video or audio that is of poor quality
When completed, videos should be delivered to one of the Macs in the Green Room, where ICTV producers can transfer their video into a premade folder on the ICTV server. All ICTV producers can expect fair and unbiased feedback on their submissions.
If submitted videos do not adhere to the technical and content requirements, the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity has the right to refuse to accept the promo. If this happens, the ICTV producers will be expected to re-edit and re-submit their video. If needed, the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity will work with the ICTV producers to create an appropriate video promo.
Samples of excellent on-air promotions can be found in the “Staff Resources” section of the ICTV website. If there are any questions or concerns, ICTV producers are always welcome to contact the Director of On-Air Promotions and Publicity.
Most ICTV programs choose to create a sponsorship agreement with a local, Ithaca- based business; the business provides craft services, set materials, costumes, or other production supplies to the ICTV program, and the ICTV program advertises the business. To do so, producers can fill out the Sponsor Agreement forms located in the “Staff Resources” section of the ICTV website.
By forming a sponsorship agreement, businesses are not buying advertising time – they are buying underwriting, meaning that the acknowledgment of the show’s sponsor must be made within the program. ICTV is an educational access channel is legally prohibited from providing official advertising. Therefore, ICTV programs are only allowed to promote the business in the following ways.
A standard form of underwriting is the creation of a graphic with the business logo and name accompanied by audio. Accompanying audio should relate directly to the graphic seen.
This graphic must be brought up on screen as a full screen graphic – not on an LCD screen that can be seen on camera/in the background. It is important that the graphic be seen clearly so that a viewer can easily read it. Failure to do so will be seen as improper ICTV underwriting.
Accompanying audio: “Ithapocalypse is brought to you by Domino’s Pizza.”
- Written/Spoken Credit
This form of underwriting is very simple – inclusion of the business as sponsor in the credits or spoken by on-screen talent. Alone, this does not constitute proper acknowledgement of an ICTV program’s sponsor. It can be done in addition to a title card or graphic.
Host: “Today’s episode of Game Over has been brought to you by Sammy’s Pizza in downtown Ithaca.”
or In credits: Sponsored by: Moe’s Southwest Grill or The Gridiron Report is
sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grill
Both a phone number and business address can be included in underwriting, but ICTV producers must be careful as to not include a call to action. Underwriting cannot include a business’:
- Business Hours
- Deals of Special Promotions
Failure to appropriately underwrite a program’s sponsor will be seen as a violation of the standards set in the ICTV Handbook and the ICTV Producer contract.
V. Social Media
All shows are required to have at least a Facebook page. Acceptable social media sites include, but are not limited to:
Any ICTV program’s social media account should publicly associate itself with ICTV as much as it can. Twitter accounts should associate itself with ICTV in their name (e.x. @ICTVNews16, @PopQuizICTV) unless character restrictions come into play and ICTV cannot fit beyond the show name. Facebook pages do not have to have ICTV in the page name but must somehow mention being an ICTV show in the main ‘About’ section. Other forms of social media should follow the Twitter account format.
All accounts should link back to the ICTV domain. This is best done by listing the program’s website as their ICTV page in the About or Website sections of their social media profile.
Facebook pages should have at least one new update each week. All live and new shows must be publicized via status updates anytime before going on the air the day of broadcast.
As ICTV programs are only allowed to upload videos to the ICTV website, therefore ICTV producers should avoid making accounts on social media websites that focus on video sharing, like Vimeo and YouTube. The only exception to this is when producers are interested in sharing their video promotions on these sites. In this case, only video promotions can be posted through these accounts.
ICTV producers should keep in mind that even though their program’s account is separate from that of ICTV’s, these accounts still represent ICTV and, as an extension, Ithaca College. Any content posted through a program’s social media account should reflect the content standards of ICTV and other on-air promotions.