KMSP Minneapolis, like most TV stations, has many openings it needs to fill. The station created a recruitment video unlike any other, a wild musical with an eye-catching song and dance number starring its employees.
TV stations are constantly looking for staff in every department, with some, like news, in more dire need than others. It’s not just in the traditional TV broadcasting side — the move to expand stations’ digital offerings only adds to the need for staff.
What can a station do to differentiate their station over all the others?
That’s the dilemma KMSP, the Fox O&O in Minneapolis, was facing.
Mim Davey, KMSP’s GM, says her station is recruiting for open positions as it continues to grow.
“We want to give people who might be looking a bright idea of who we are as a station,” Davey says.
Davey says the station gathered people from all departments in a meeting and asked why they liked working there.
“Without missing a beat, it is our culture,” they responded, Davey says. “We are family first,” she says. “We are collaborators. We are innovative. And we have a lot of fun.”
“Right away,” Daneman says, “my creative supervisor, David Pint, said what if we did a musical?”
A musical recruitment video for a TV station?
“That was something that we wanted to accomplish, to stand out a little bit more in a pretty crowded environment right now,” he says.
Selling the idea to Davey was the next step.
“She looked at me and was a little surprised,” Daneman says. “But she had a little bit of that intrigue in her and said, ‘well now, that is an outside of the box, but it could work,” he says. “So that was about as much of a green light as my team needed.”
The end result is a wild musical, an eye-catching song and dance number starring the employees, nobody sees on TV. Actually, one reporter and meteorologist make a cameo, but by and large, it’s the behind-the-camera employees doing the singing and dancing.
Daneman got together with the team from Stephen Arnold Music, who came up with a music bed option that matched the sound KMSP was looking for. Within a few days, Daneman’s team had written the lyrics, and made a scratch track using everybody’s real voices.
“Everything was sung by the people on screen, our employees,” Daneman says. He says the production of the video had “like 50-something shots that we needed to get.”
From concept to completion took five weeks. “The whole station participated,” Davey says.
Internally, the station screened the video to the employees. “There was a standing ovation,” she says. “It reflected exactly how they feel about the station.”
The station came up with a strategic plan to launch the video on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even TikTok.
“Right out of the gate, it has been pretty successful,” Daneman says.
“A lot of our viewers commented on Facebook:, ‘We want to work there,’” Davey adds.
Who wouldn’t want to work with a family of thinkers, creators and doers who believe in community, honesty and equality as it says in the video?
All of which makes one think: If a musical video is so potent for recruitment, perhaps it can also work for audiences as a general station promotion.
NOTE: The woman who fronts the video throughout is Erin Schwab, works for The Jason Show, a daily entertainment talk show on KMSP. Schwab is a performer outside of work. This is a highly produced video with great staging, editing and animations. Be sure you catch the babies’ lip-synching effect.