Steve Schwaid, the Senior VP of News & Programming for the NBC station group, revealed some research that I think is astounding.
In the session, Hit ‘Em Where it Counts: Promotion in the Ever-Shifting Landscape of the Media-Savvy World, Schwaid said, "you will find that there are significant parts of your day where more people are looking at your Web site than are watching your air.” I wonder how true that is at most local TV stations. If it is, think about that a minute. If you’re a local TV station marketing executive, what are you doing on your web site to promote viewing on your TV station? Schwaid said that most broadcasters are not running any true promotion on their sites. If I had Oprah, I would certainly have at least a text message promoting what she’s doing on today’s show, if not a quick promo ID that pops up. What about a short news topical or image spot that rotates in the pre-roll ads that preface your news stories? You’d certainly be talking to news viewers! How about a permission-based e-mail that you can send out during the day that might have a text message about what stories your news room is working on for tonight’s newscast? Or even a promo for tonight’s network primetime shows? I envision a day when local TV stations will e-mail short promos for the network prime, and the evening’s local news along with a coupon for discounting at restaurants in the users zip code.
The whole issue of the internet, web sites, and the digital world we live in is a dominant theme at this year’s PROMAX conference. Lee Hunt talked about it in his session, New Best Practices. Trans media, he called it, how to reach vusers, TV viewers and computer users. He advises us all to be everywhere-on TV, on the web, e-mail. He says to embrace everything–YouTube, My Space, blogs. And finally empower everyone–solicit feedback, have discussion boards, give vusers a voice and a choice. Many of us in the local TV station business are already doing some of that on our web sites with user generated material like photos, free classified, and community calendars, to name a few.
It’s certainly an interesting time to be in the TV marketing business.
On lighter note, lots of attendees were seen at partying up in the Stephen Arnold Music Presidential Suite last night. It was a good fashioned jam session with just about anyone either playing the guitar, harmonica, singing, or banging on the tambourine. Speaking of Stephen Arnold Music, they gave away a Martin guitar at their booth today. The lucky winer was Darin Fields, the Dean of College at Wilkes Univeristy inWilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
In the next dispatch from this PROMAX/BDA conference, I’ll try and answer the question, who’s here? I saw on one attendee’s badge that he was from Finland.