(Current as of Jan 25, 2019)

Background for Updated Guidelines

The PBS Social and Digital teams co-manage the PBS YouTube account.

Over the last few years, updates to YouTube algorithms, changes to industry standards, and users’ feedback have led to a need for a refresh in our previous titling conventions.

Purpose

In order to provide consistency across video titles for all properties under the PBS brand, a cross-departmental working group at PBS developed new titling conventions in late 2018 with the following goals:

With an eye toward optimizing video assets for SEO and user accessibility, these guidelines get as much contextual information around video titles as much as possible. On YouTube, this means adding information about Show, Season and even network (PBS) to video titles. In Media manager, some of that context is added automatically. The examples below show the ideal end result in both platforms.

This document provides these updated guidelines for promotional video titling conventions. These conventions are required for videos going into the PBS YouTube account and are very strongly recommended for video titles in Media Manager and producer YouTube accounts. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please reach out to your program manager.

Video Titling Conventions

General Summary of Titling Formats

Video Title | Show Name | PBS

General Notes on Video Titling

1 Media Manager titles have a max of 60 characters (including spaces). Note that Media Manager programmatically adds the show name to the a video landing page’s page title.The uploader should add as much unique show metadata as possible in the title field to provide clarity for Google search. If there are many show assets just titled “Preview” on pbs.org for example, they may all seem like the same asset to search engines.

Video Categories

Series Sell

Promotes the whole show or season, and can be of any length, such as “first look” or “series sell.” These videos do not include interviews.

DO:


Examples by Platform:

Long Lead Tease

Promotes the upcoming show as a season, and is often released before the show has a broadcast date. The teaser can vary in length and typically do not include interviews.

DO:

Example by Platform:

Show With Multiple Trailers

Certain priority shows can have multiple trailers. To differentiate each trailer, use numbers for the trailer names, unless there is a strong relevancy around the “name” of the trailer (as judged by the PBS Marketing Strategy team).

DO:

Examples by Platform:

Episodic Promo

Use this titling for the 20-30 second episodic preview videos. Notes:

DO:

Examples by Platform:

Full Episode

Use this titling for full episodes. Notes:

DO:

Examples by Platform:

360° Video

Add 360° and/or VR (when applicable) and show name in title if associated with a specific show.

DO:

Examples for YouTube, other platforms:


Straight Lift/Featurette/Press Tour Filler/Social-First/SFV etc

Topical videos or clips that vary in length (generally 1-3 minutes) and are a portion of a show, a vignette of a topic or character, and/or a feature interview with the stars and producers.

NOTES:

DO:

Example by Platform:

Broadcast Sizzle Reel

Announces the show line-up for each season or broadcast campaign (typically 30 seconds long).

DO:

Examples by Platform:



YouTube Metadata Description Format

YouTube: Ensure video descriptions are keyword rich in the metadata section to boost your video’s presence in search. Official website, hashtag and social follow language and other PBS/show links helps to extend the user’s connection with the PBS brand.

Series Sell Example

Official Preview | Ancient Invisible Cities | PBS

Official website: https://to.pbs.org/2OMpIXe | #InvisibleCitiesPBS

Professor Darius Arya explores the hidden secrets of three of the most fascinating cities of the ancient world: Cairo, Athens and Istanbul. 3D scans allow us to view the architectural jewels of these cities as they've never been seen before. Ancient Invisible Cities premieres Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 9/8c.

Subscribe to the PBS channel for more clips:  https://www.youtube.com/user/PBS/featured

Enjoy full episodes of your favorite PBS shows at https://www.pbs.org/video/


FOLLOW US:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PBS

Shop: https://shop.pbs.org/


Episodic Promo Example 1

Snow Bears Preview | NATURE | PBS

Official Website: https://to.pbs.org/2Qgd0Rd | #NaturePBS

Witness the incredible journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they learn to survive in the Arctic. Snow Bears premieres Wednesday, November 28 at 8/7c on PBS. The full episode will be available to stream online and on the PBS app the following day.

Subscribe to the PBS channel for more clips:  https://www.youtube.com/user/PBS/featured

Enjoy full episodes of your favorite PBS shows and at https://www.pbs.org/video/


FOLLOW NATURE:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/PBSNature

Twitter: http://www.twitter/pbsnature

Instagram: http://instagram.com/pbsnature


FOLLOW PBS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PBS

Shop: http://www.shop.pbs.org/

Set against the harsh backdrop of the Arctic, Snow Bears is a dramatized story based on the extraordinary adventures and life-changing journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they leave the safety of their den for the first time. Bravely led by their mother, the cubs must make the perilous 400-mile trek to the sea to feed. Encountering many dangers and adventures along the way — marauding male bears ready to kill, extreme weather, Arctic foxes, Walruses, Narwhal, snowdrifts and ice cracks — they undertake an epic survival challenge. These cubs are rarely seen in their natural habitat, and this is a unique glimpse into their world. Kate Winslet narrates.


Episodic Promo Example 2

Episode 4 Preview | Native America | PBS

Official Website: https://to.pbs.org/2DdzTCv | #NativeAmericaPBS

Discover the cosmological secrets behind America’s ancient cities. Scientists explore some of the world’s largest pyramids and 3D-scan a lost city of monumental mounds on the Mississippi River; native elders reveal ancient powers of the sky. Watch Episode 4, Cities of the Sky, Nov. 13 at 9/8c.

Subscribe to the PBS channel for more clips:  https://www.youtube.com/user/PBS/featured

Enjoy full episodes of your favorite PBS shows at https://www.pbs.org/video/


FOLLOW US:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PBS

Shop: https://shop.pbs.org/


Native America explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. The four-part series reaches back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. Watch extended interviews, digital-exclusive video & more at https://to.pbs.org/2DdzTCv 2


Straight Lift Example

Kirsten Gillibrand Faces Rejection | Breaking Big | PBS 3

Official website: https://to.pbs.org/2kWvMid | #BreakingBigPBS 4

After many rejections, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was given the opportunity to work at HUD, where she served during the last seven months of the Clinton Administration. This position gave Kirsten the self-motivation to run for office. Breaking Big airs Fridays at 8:30/7:30c

Subscribe to the PBS channel for more clips:  https://www.youtube.com/user/PBS/featured

Enjoy full episodes of your favorite PBS shows at https://www.pbs.org/video/


FOLLOW US:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbs/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PBS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PBS

Shop: https://shop.pbs.org/


Why and how did some of the world's most influential artists, innovators, athletes and leaders break big? Talented men and women recount their most difficult, dramatic and serendipitous turning points, while renowned social psychologists connect the dots. Breaking Big airs Fridays at 8:30/7:30c. Watch episode, clips and previews at https://to.pbs.org/2kWvMid 5


2 These bitly links should be changed for each show. Contact your program manager if you have any quesitons

3 Video title should be descriptive to the clip. Show name should be in sentence case (not all caps). Again, the only exceptions are FRONTLINE, POV, NATURE, NOVA, MASTERPIECE and ANTIQUES ROADSHOW which are always styled with all caps

4 Get Bitly link from Hashtag and Vanity URL google doc

5  Description: Series description at the bottom is no more than 75 characters suggested. If the video is a preview/trailer, then you don’t need double series description.


YouTube Thumbnail Naming Format

6 Download the PSD template to your computer and open and edit in Photoshop
7 The only exceptions are FRONTLINE, POV, NATURE, NOVA, MASTERPIECE, which are always styled with ALL CAPS