How to become a member of the press

Did you know that anyone can be a member of the media or press? Journalism is simply the act of disseminating news to the public and the term can apply to anyone. All you have to be is either a reporter or a writer for a publication. Many journalists start their journey by writing for a personal blog building their brand or covering stories by their computer web camera and sending it out by a video platform. As the growth of the information age, it has been increasingly harder for people to tell who actually fits into the title and who doesn’t, which is great for people looking to jump into this area of content creation.

Though I am not a lawyer, I will tell you there are ethical responsibilities to identifying yourself a journalist or part of a media outlet. First off when you publish your content you have to only publish the truth. This is part of the first amendment Clause that protects the right of individuals to express themselves through publication and dissemination of information, ideas and opinions without interference, constraint or prosecution by the government. If you publish something that makes fun of your subject it has to be in such a way it can be identified as satire, otherwise you’re slandering which is illegal.

Being a member of the media or press does have its perks. Often at big events, there are reserved special sections at the front or free passes for members of the media at conventions.  Heck you could hit up VIP parties via twitter and ask if you could send a vlogger to cover the event. (It helps if you have a following on a major platform.) In fact, several years ago I did just that to get into a Funimation party with an open bar during Sakuracon. We were escorted by security into the VIP area where we were able to meet many of the people who worked at Funimation as well as other people who were seen as VIP. It’s great for networking, creating content for your channel and the ability to align your name with bigger brands with established followings.

To help you identify yourself as a member of the media it helps to have a badge and business cards stating so. There are claimed accredited associations you can go through that will charge you upwards of $200 for a card with their logo letting people know that you are a member of the media. You can also just have a badge printed up which is what most outlets do.  To help you with this process we have made 3 FREE mock up Press Badges. You can use these or you can design your own.badgesStep 1: Download the PSD file package of your choice.
Step 2: Edit the information on the badge template for your channel.
Step 3: Print one or both sides of the press badge off. Use a thicker card stock for the print.
Step 4: Cut the sides out to match the same height. If you need to, use double sided tape to hold them together and cut the sides of the cards together so the line up even.
Step 5: Look at the front of the badge. Where you see a white circle, punch a hole through the cards.
Step 6:  Laminate the badge.
Step 7: Cut the plastic off the outside of the badge but leave enough area for the plastic to stay together.
Step 8: Punch a smaller hole back through the original hole before we laminated the badge.
Step 9: Put a lanyard in the hole and wear it.
If you download the template, be sure to share the article on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. Thanks!

Design 1 | Design 2 | Design 3

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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Big list of Challenges

There are a lot of challenge videos out there. Some very dangerous and should NEVER be done, for example “the snort a condom through your nose challenge”. Yes, this was a real thing among the YouTube community last year. While others are challenging but yet doable, like the cinnamon challenge. I often see on forums, twitter and at the end of videos requesting challenge ideas youtubers can do. So here is a giant list of challenges with video examples of those challenges being performed. Just a side note, some challenges are referred to as “Tag” videos. If a challenge has a warning on the end of it then you most likely should not being during unless you have a medical professional around.

[Example] Saltine Challenge
[Example] Rainbow Milk Challenge (Warning)
[Example] Salt and Ice Challenge (Warning)
[Example] Cinnamon Challenge
[Example] Chubby Bunny Challenge
[Example] What’s in my mouth? Challenge
[Example] Blindfold Make-Up Challenge
[Example] Drawing Youtubers blind folded challenge
[Example] Oreo Challenge
[Example] Innuendo Bingo
[Example] Banana and Sprite Challenge (Warning)
[Example] Electric Shock Challenge (Warning)
[Example] Bean Boozed Challenge
[Example] Ghost Pepper Challenge (Warning)
[Example] Egg Russian Roulette Challenge
[Example] Pop Tart Challenge
[Example] Popcorn Challenge
[Example] Speech Jammer Challenge
[Example] Guess the chips Challenge
[Example] Have you Ever Challenge
[Example] Tongue Twister Challenge
[Example] Ice Cream Challenge
[Example] Gold Fish Challenge
[Example] Chicken McNugget Challenge
[Example] Emoji Challenge
[Example] Whisper Challenge
[Example] Cotton Ball Challenge
[Example] Photo Booth Challenge
[Example] ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
[Example] Boyfriend/Girlfriend Does My Makeup Challenge
[Example] Boyfriend/Girlfriend Picks my outfit Challenge
[Example] Cup Song Challenge
[Example] Listerine Strip Challenge
[Example] Mentos and Coke Challenge (Warning)

There are many challenges I left off the list because they are extremely dangerous. If you’re going for shock value, you don’t have to put your life in danger. All challenges should be accompanied by someone else in case you start choking during a challenge or have a severe allergic reaction you may have not known about. If you have any ideas for challenges that didn’t make this list, then leave a comment down below! If you completed a challenge after reading this list, send it to the Press Play Twitter so we can see!

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

Planning your channel

Planning your channel

While anyone can start a YouTube channel many new creators get lost at the beginning of their YouTube journey often pondering the questions “What do I make my videos on?”, “How often should a video be released?” or “What’s the Process of making a video?”. Choosing your channel’s focus should be something you’re passionate about. If you’re a singer, then write originals and do covers of popular songs. Are you a chef? Make cooking videos with new recipes that no one has seen yet. Are you a VFX artist? Get friends together and start making short films. I can tell you right now if you come into the arena with the response “I just want to be famous”, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. If you just start creating content with a general idea of what you want to make, then you can learn the best practices as you go on. Almost no one starts a YouTube channel with a 100% fool proof plan. This will you will develop over time. This is often due to the fact that you won’t know how your audience will react to your videos. It’s best to have a plan that you can refine to build your video making skills then build your online presence and growth.

Here is a plan to get you started.

  • Start with a good video series premise, then name your channel accordingly.
  • Get all the social media accounts with your new name. We’ll discuss branding in a later blog post.
  • Write a 10-52 weekly video schedule with what you’re making those weeks. Some people use Google sheets others whiteboards.
  • Making your content can be very basic. Write a general script for the first couple videos to get the process down. Pay attention to your setup, filming and editing practices.
  • Release your content. If you have a bigger video that is taking up a lot of your time. Make “filler videos” to keep your audience engagement up. Then let your audience know your big video is coming out a week away from its release.
  • Pace yourself, It’s better to release a video a month than 12 videos in a single month and nothing else for the year. It’s best if you can release a videos on a weekly schedule.
  • Once you have a video completed, spread the word. Put your video on all your social media channels both branded and personal.
  • Use the analytics tools on YouTube to see how your audience is reacting. Are you losing your viewers in the first couple seconds? Maybe your intro is too long. Are people seeing your video but not opening it up? You might have a thumbnail that doesn’t grab the attention of the people seeing your video.
  • Repeat the process and grow as a channel. You got this.

Video Life Cycle

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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Audience vs Community

In the old days before the internet, TV shows relied on their audience. At a standard time a show would air to the public and their audience would tune in to watch. But times have changed and we have become an electronically social society and because of that many of the top TV shows now include audience participation. A good example of this is American Idol. People try out for the show and if they have enough talent they will continue on to the live show. Once the weekly live show starts you have the ability to call in to to vote on your favorite singer. There’s the audience participation. Now jump over to YouTube where instead of an audience you are trying to build a community. Sure an audience is great to have but they will leave you much quicker than a community. Some of the interactions are the same, there is usually a call to action on both formats but the difference is on YouTube the viewers can interact with each other and not just the content presenter. When you have interaction elements with a group of people digitally that’s when the community aspect becomes active.

How to build an audience:
1. Give a call to action in every video.
2. Ask for ideas for content through comments. Then present those comments in the video if the ideas are chosen.
3. Reply back to the comment of people who ask questions.
4. Develop online relationships with the top contributors.
5. Run contests and give away prizes to selected contributors.
6. Give them reasons to subscribe and frequently come back.
7. Give your viewers a reason they should support you.
8. Make sure there is a clear leader to your community.
9. Your community should have a mission.
10. Make your content beneficial for your community.

If you think of any other tips to build a community, leave a comment down below!

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV

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YouTube Conventions

If you’re like us, then you probably attend conventions for your various passions. There are almost too many conventions for video games, movies, comic books and whatever you might be into. I’ve actually been on tour for my own channel and have had very few free weekends because of it, often skipping out on one convention or trade show for another.  But if you are a YouTube fanatic then your search is a little more refined. Here is a list of the top YouTube oriented conventions you should go to.


Who is this for? Vloggers in general

Though this convention is relatively new (3 years old as of 2015), it’s geared more toward youtubers with a personal vlog presence. Started by Chris Pirillo, also known as the face of the content network Lockergnome, Inc., the show is mostly made of local youtubers from the Seattle Area but don’t let that stop you from attending. Vloggerfair has also hosted many bigger youtubers including Ijustine, Shay Carl, ItsjudysLife and Tyler Oakly. The area happens to have a wide variety of talent that attend the event. Also, oddly enough Vloggerfair has an older brother called GnomeDex which was more technology oriented and may be making a return after this year (it was discontinued in 2011).


Who is this for? Fans of popular YouTube

If there is one destination every Youtuber should go, it’s Vidcon. It’s the mac daddy of all YouTube conventions and they know it. It was started in 2010 by Hank and John Green better known as the YouTube channel “VlogBrothers”, Vidcon had grown to host almost 20,000 people both professionals and fans alike. What makes this convention unlike the others on the list is the fact they offered a series of programs to help smaller youtubers connect with bigger ones in a mentorship program


Playlist Live

Who is this for? Youtubers who want to see creators or party down

Playlist Live is one part convention, one part concert. With two locations (Orlando, FL & Washington, DC) you now have options if you want to attend. These three days events were made to always have some sort of activity going on during convention hours with Friday being business day while Saturday and Sunday have more relaxed activities.


Buffer Fest

Who is this for? Film makers or fans of youtubers making films

While the other conventions on this list act more like a er… conventions, Buffer Fest is set up like a film festival. So if you’re watching YouTube videos that last 3 minutes long but want to end up like Joss Whedon directing the Avengers, you should attend. This event focuses on the longer form content from the same content producers that you would see at the other events but have decided to take a more serious approach. Buffer Fest offers two types of presentations during the three day event, Genre screenings and creator screening.  The next one will be in October in Toronto. (The Hollywood of Canada.)

Article Written by Eugene Capon, Art Director Press Play | CaponDesignTV and ComicShopTV


We have a Magazine!?

Press Play is a content creative consulting company in the Pacific Northwest. It’s best to just assume it’s in Seattle if you’ve never been up here. So as we wear our nerd glasses, flannel shirts and drink our Starbucks in cups made from recycled plastic, just know we are here for you. YouTube is a community… And as a business in that community we decided to blog about the many ways you can better your online channel and content.