Client: St. John Properties

Agency Partner: Planit


St John Properties is one of the Mid-Atlantic most successful commercial real estate firms. After exceeding their financial goals, they decided to give their employees a giant holiday bonus. How much? $10 million. Not bad! They hired Early Light Media for PR video production to capture the moment. We worked with Planit Agency in lockstep in order to have the most success. The video went viral and was seen and shared millions of times.

Video Production Goals:

  • Capture the emotional moments
  • Edit and deliver the primary video within 24 hours as well as a media package that included b-roll, separate soundbites, and a version without music.


  • 1.3 million views on Vimeo
  • 258 million social media impressions
  • Appearances on Today Show, Nightly News, Washington Post, Fox News, Barstool Sports and more
  • Earned Media Placement was the equivalent of a $5.8 million ad spend.

Key Video Production Challenges & Solutions:

Preparation is key – The big challenge that we faced was being prepared for what we knew would be a very chaotic and fast-paced moment. In situations like this we don’t know exactly how people will react to the news, but we do know that a reaction will occur.

Therefore, our goal is to walk through the schedule of the evening to the best of our ability and plan for as many scenarios as possible. In this case, we sat down with STJP several times to find out how they were planning to make the announcements.

Then, we went through the list of employees looking for people who either had a good story behind their tenure or who were known to be emotional. This was crucial in choosing the people that might either have a great reaction on camera or whose story would resonate with news outlets and ultimately audiences.

Lastly, we constructed a deliverable plan based on the intended use of the video. We knew we needed to produce a polished piece to live on their Vimeo page but we also needed to provide more RAW elements to news media outlets so they could pick and choose what to showcase.

Anticipating Moments – The key to being in the right place at the right time is living in the moment as much as possible and looking for signs. It’s easy to get into position and feel the need to stay locked in that spot. However, you need to be open to moving quickly and readjusting if a better opportunity presents itself.

For example, Originally our B camera was set up on the stage focused on a group of three people. But, at the last minute, we noticed a woman who looked like she was tearing up before the announcement was even made. So we made the call to move our b camera to her and stay on her. This ended up being the main image that was shared.

Key Takeaway – The biggest takeaway from this was how important each element was to the overall project and, ultimately, the outcome. Of course, STJP was making an incredible announcement. The video had to capture the honest reaction to that announcement.

And the PR team had to get the media outlets to pick up the coverage. Working together with the Planit’s PR team made it possible to quickly turn all the elements and provide everything they needed to create a solid media pitch.

Together, it was possible to get this news in front of millions of people. There can be a tendency for PR companies to think about the assets they give the media after the pitch when it’s too late. But in thinking about the media’s needs and the assets that we could provide them before the pitch, it made it easier to hook outlets and get them to commit to coverage.

The elements that we decided as a group to provide was based on our knowledge of what the media requires and how they like to work. Thinking about the assets ahead of time made the pitching process easier and more effective.

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