Planes, Trains, and Pork Belly Hash

The Challenge

There aren’t too many agencies that can claim the successful execution of two segments on national television in a single morning. Two different producers from The Today Show gave the green light to the Eckel & Vaughan team for two wildly different segments: One segment on a national breaking news story focused on train safety, and the other featuring a local chef preparing a recipe on live television. Live national TV and a breaking news story? Train safety and pork belly hash? All in the same day? No problem. We got this.


The Strategy

When these types of opportunities arise, there is little time for creating strategy. Strategic communication plans should have been settled and put in place long ago. Times like these call for instinct, persistence, resourcefulness, and a can-do attitude—and activities that harken back to a client’s communications goals. And that’s exactly what the Eckel & Vaughan team brought to the table. We had done our homework and were prepared, willing, and able to tackle the challenge.

Can’t thank you enough for all you did to make yesterday's and today’s shoots happen. I appreciate all the last-minute effort to pull off such an important piece. The story was very well received, and that is in large part due to all your efforts.
- NBC News Producer

The Outcome

We delivered. The train safety story—in response to the Hoboken, NJ train wreck—was shot in one afternoon with The Today Show’s own Jeff Rossen in a train at a rail yard with a safety expert, all of which we sourced and prepped for in a matter of hours. The very next day, we made the same train available for a live shot before and after the story, for the much-watched 7 a.m. news hour.

And the chef’s piece? Let’s just say that working with The Today’s Show’s own Al Roker along with North Carolina-raised pork belly and sweet potatoes is worth every effort. We coordinated with producers on every aspect of the shoot, created the live food set, and briefed the production team, Roker, and our chef, Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ to ensure a seamless three-and-a-half-minute segment.

All this before 10 a.m. that day. It reminded us of what it takes to pull off just one news story…something we have the luxury of watching from our kitchen table while enjoying our coffee most days.

Want to see the result of our handiwork?


Today Show Segment on Train Safety


Today Show Segment on NC Pork Belly Hash