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Tapping New Media Storytelling for Barnes & Noble + 5W Public Relations

Client: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Agency: 5W Public Relations
Project: A Digital Production Featuring the Grand Opening of a New Flagship Store

the challenge

In a down economy, Barnes & Noble’s newest flagship store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan needed its grand opening to leap from brick and mortar to television and computer.

Spreading the word to loyal Barnes & Noble customers and honoring a strong relationship with the Upper East Side community were key objectives in reaching out to T.V. newscasters.

Add to that a long-anticipated opening day deadline. With only a couple weeks to the ribbon cutting, the public relations experts at 5W turned to us.

the players

Barnes & Noble has boldly embraced video content on the Internet with a full network of branded channels on their Barnes & Noble Studio website, with productions winning 2 Emmy’s in 2009 in the Advanced Media Category. Working as an integrated extension of their marketing department, 5W PR turned to us with the question: to b-roll, or not to b-roll? We offered two solutions: the first was a basic news b-roll package, and the second added sound bites and a narrative component.

the plan

We partnered with 5W PR and Barnes & Noble to translate their communications objectives into a comprehensive and easy to deploy package consisting of b-roll, spokesperson sound bites, and a narrative segment interweaving the images and interview together to tell the whole story in a polished, news-style tone.

Step one entailed discussing a detailed shot list, assessing the production schedule, and understanding goals of the campaign. We were looking at turnaround times more typical of a broadcast news crew and incorporated our experience producing for CBS affiliates into a plan for shoot, edit, and delivery times.


Cross-platform production strategies in hand, we set off to shoot the store with some ambitious goals. Our first objective was to capture the store elegantly while mimicking ENG or news-style footage. This actually simplified the shoot in certain respects, but posed the challenge of how to create flattering images without appearing too commercial.

Solution: We made extensive use of hand-held camerawork yet shot in full HD resolution with a custom light and lens package in order to capture the vibrancy of the store’s interior design. When it came to the spokesperson interview we relied heavily on our background in feature documentary film, collaborating with our partners to ensure the segment was on message and edit-friendly.

Finally, we crafted a narrative in post that doubled as a story guide for news producers in order to provide 5W PR with a targeted deliverable for media outlets to employ in their coverage.


We helped maximize marketing efficiency by producing this video segment across media platforms, allowing Barnes & Noble to use it for both broadcast and placement on their website, all in all contributing to the successful launch of a truly 21st century book store.

Howcast Media
Howcast Media
TransitCenter | Stein Rogan + Partners
TransitCenter | Stein Rogan + Partners
Barnes & Noble | 5W Public Relations
Barnes & Noble | 5W Public Relations
Brightcove | Showtime | Wall Street Journal | Dupont
Brightcove | Showtime | Wall Street Journal | Dupont

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F: 1-212-591-6115