Christine Clayburg has been a familiar face on Twin Cities TV newcasts over the last decade. But the next time you see her on-camera, she’ll be giving you the news as viewed through the eyes of her corporate clients.
Clayburg, a former meteorologist, reporter and program host for WCCO and KMSP, doesn’t expect to ever work in a newsroom again. She’s devoting full time to her corporate communications business, Clayburg Creative.
It’s an indication of the growing movement toward companies communicating directly with consumers, a trend I’ve written about a number of times for MinnPost (here and here.)
As traditional media wither and new communication channels are created, corporations don’t need to find someone at a newspaper or TV station to do a story about them. They can tell their stories to consumers through their websites, through Facebook and Twitter, and through online videos. It’s that last area where Clayburg is putting her skills — honed in traditional broadcasting — to work.
“This is the wave of the future,” she said. “There is a demand for production of news-style content on a corporate level.”
Clayburg approaches her corporate assignments like a reporter. She researches topics and grills her subjects in hopes of eliciting emotional responses that connect with the viewer. The difference is, her videos will never be seen unless the client approves.
“We come in like a news team and cover what’s fresh and interesting about a company,” she said. “Every company has amazing people with passion. Every entrepreneur has an inspiring story. But they don’t know how to tell their story.
“To me, what we do is well-told good news.”
Clayburg arrived at this juncture in an unorthodox manner. In covering natural disasters as a weather broadcaster, she developed an admiration for the National Guard soldiers she met and the relief duties they performed.
Joined Air National Guard
So, two days before her 35th birthday — the deadline for joining the Guard — she left the news business and joined the Air National Guard to train as a loadmaster for C-130 cargo planes. She loves the Guard and says the timing was right for her to leave the often-shallow world of TV news.
“In TV, they own you. They own your whole life. I’m not going down the Botox highway — I beat them to the punch!” she said with a laugh.
She’s actually able to devote more time now to developing good stories, she said. With all the staff cutbacks in newsrooms over the last few years, time is a luxury that’s rarely available to reporters any more.
“What we’re selling is compelling content,” Clayburg said. “A camera is a loaded thing. You need to know that you’re in control of the bullets so you make sure you’re not hit by one.”