Content Submission for VPM
Thank you for your interest in working with VPM. We are committed to working with great producers from diverse backgrounds to help us tell amazing stories.
Before you submit your idea for consideration, please read our content strategy below. We believe this will help you understand the types of content we look to make, how we think about content decisions and the times during the year when we consider new projects.
Please note: In order for your submission to be considered, it must include a treatment and you must agree to the terms of the Release Form.
Storytelling is at the heart of our work. We will leverage data, market research and community input to offer our audiences distinctive local and national programs when and where they want. We commit to:
- Produce relevant, high-quality, multi-platform content that is rooted in Virginia in the genres of News, History, Arts & Culture and Science, and reflects the diverse communities we serve
- Extend the reach of our content through marketing and maximizing distribution across platforms, as well as through new technologies and partnerships
VPM will focus on four key genres: News, History, Arts & Culture and Science. These genres are areas public media is known for and ones VPM is uniquely positioned to cover. VPM will produce a mix of local and national content. National content should have strong relevance and connection to central Virginia, while local content will be based around the stories and issues that matter most to our community. All content should advance our mission to use the power of media to educate, entertain and inspire. We will also produce content that helps achieve our vision of more connected, informed and empathetic Virginians.
VPM is platform agnostic. To reach our audience where they are, we will produce content in each genre with a multi-platform approach, ensuring our distribution strategy prioritizes audience experience. Research and data will inform what content works best and on which platform. We will also leverage community partnerships and outreach to understand the stories we should prioritize telling.
VPM’s media footprint is extremely diverse. We serve a largely rural population with several urban centers, with the audience in Richmond over-indexing for African American households. Each content initiative will identify its intended audience and opportunities to expand our reach to new audiences.
For certain projects, we will seek national distribution and partner closely with PBS, NPR and other public media groups and partners, where it makes sense. We will endeavor to share Virginia’s stories across the country and also seek opportunities to bring in revenue.
We will continue to produce content with our in-house producers and specialists as well as working with diverse partners to help us fulfill our mission.
Across all of our platforms, we strive to establish a portfolio of content that includes regular series featuring local talent, as well as one-off projects on critical community issues.
Timing and Evaluation
For television, radio and digital, VPM will evaluate program ideas and treatments during three windows each year: March, August and December. Submissions must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the first Friday of the month of the review period (ex. March 6, 2020) to be considered during that evaluation window. Otherwise, the submission will be reviewed during the next evaluation window.
Making choices on content will involve many factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- All content projects should align with at least one of our News, History, Arts & Culture and Science genres.
- Content should be relevant to our audiences, and producers must define audience demographics in any proposal. Knowledge or anecdotal evidence on why a certain topic would be relevant to a certain audience is helpful.
- Each project should have a desired distribution strategy including which platforms will it be on and why and is it possible to live in multiple places.
- Content must meet the editorial integrity and quality standards of public media.
- Projects should consider extensions for education and classroom use.
- Cost and budget will be considered, as well as the ability to offset costs.
These factors will be considered along with our ongoing budget administration to help us make final content decisions. Content ideas will be evaluated by a group of producers from VPM’s different genre teams, as well as VPM’s Chief Content Officer.
News coverage in the U.S. and locally doesn’t seem to be fully meeting the needs of our community. VPM has an opportunity to fill this void and provide a deeper understanding of local and regional issues. We will continue to increase our news coverage across platforms to inform, engage and inspire current and new audiences. VPM News will serve to bring us together, building empathy and a better understanding of various perspectives.
History is vital to our understanding of the past and how we put context around future events. Located in central Virginia, VPM is in a rich historical area of the country with amazing historically relevant sites and deep intellectual capital to draw from. Finding ways to tell these stories across platforms to audiences of all ages will be a priority.
Arts & Culture
Expanding how our audience sees the world is important, and bringing quality Arts & Culture programming can inspire personal growth and empathetic thinking. We will continue to look for local and nationally relevant Arts & Culture stories that help shape our view of one another and contribute to the vibrancy of our arts community.
Science helps us understand our world. VPM science content will help others to value science and understand its importance to our future. We will look to expand our science content with the Science Matters platform continuing to be our signature initiative. Science content is particularly of interest to teachers, so VPM content must consider curriculum-based materials.