By Mrs. Nikki Maxwell (IMCOM)August 24, 2013
Yongsan, REPUBLIC OF KOREA -- The Joint Hometown News Service Holiday Greetings team will be here, Aug. 29-31, at the Dragon Hill Lodge courtyard, to record holiday messages from those serving overseas to loved ones in the United States.
The team will record holiday greetings from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, but it is customary for them to stay until the last person has recorded their greeting. Servicemembers, civilian employees from all branches of service, and their family members are eligible to participate.
When the team sets up, there are just a few guidelines to follow to ensure family and friends back home see your personal greeting on local television, and hear it on local radio stations:
Servicemembers must be in uniform. Work uniform is fine. Family members should accompany their sponsor, unless the sponsor is deployed. And, of course, don't forget the props: Santa's hats, pets, banners and Christmas attire.
Make sure to bring your address book. You'll need family members' names, city, state and phone number. No street address is needed, but station managers need phone contact info to let families know when the greeting will air.
In front of the camera, there aren't a lot of rules, but here are some tips to make the experience go smoothly -- relax, relax and relax. So what if you'll be seen by a million TV viewers. When you're taping it's just you and the camera.
Try to be cheerful and in the holiday spirit. It doesn't show well on camera if your teenage daughter looks like she'd rather be at the mall than wishing grandma happy holidays.
Try to keep hand gestures to a minimum and, of course, no profanity. When you're giving your greetings, don't say "Happy Thanksgiving." Most of these greetings will air from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day and could quickly become obsolete if the specific holiday mentioned has come and gone when your greeting airs.
You don't need a teleprompter or a script, but try writing down your main points on a 3 x 5 card. Sometimes nerves can cause forgetfulness, so jot down your family members' names and the points you want to get across. If you have family in more than one area, you can do several greetings. You've got 15 to 20 seconds per greeting, more than enough time to get in your holiday wishes to those closest to you.
In 2009, this program produced close to 9,500 TV and radio greetings which were sent to 1,234 TV stations and 1,689 radio stations. Based on feedback received from the stations, more than 52 million households watched the greetings on TV and another 21 million heard them on the radio.
For more information about this program, call the USAG Yongsan Public Affairs Office, 738-7354.