Hire web-specific people to redo your station Website, and keep the TV people away from the project. That was the message from the guys behind the popular Lost Remote blog in their RTNDA session “‘Redesign’ Your Web Content With the Lost Remote Guys.”
The presenters, Cory Bergman of KING Seattle, Steve Safran of AR&D and Stephen Warley of 602 Communications, repeatedly asserted that the television approach was not working online for stations. “If your Website was a hotel brochure, you wouldn’t stay there,” said Safran. They stressed treating the Web much differently, such as tapping into niche departments like real estate and community events.
“Advancing page views is a terrible strategy,” said Safran, who in fact spent much of the session heavily criticizing station managers’ online efforts. “It’s niche, not numbers.”
The presenters stated that newspapers, despite their well-publicized online struggles, were doing a much better job of grabbing local business. A recent study they shared showed that newspapers scored $81 million in online video ad revenue, ahead of local television’s $32 million. That newspapers were beating television at its own game, they found particularly galling.
Bergman mentioned his surprise that, on the resume board outside the ballroom, only 15-20% of the posted C.V.s mentioned online experience. He suggested stations begin with small innovations online, and build upon the successes. “Start with little experiments,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, you can take it down.”