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Local broadcasters serve the community

Local Broadcasters Are Catalysts for Good in Their Communities

September 2nd, 2016   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas

Local TV stations are an important source of news and information for their communities. The Poynter Institute points out that as newspapers continue to consolidate, reducing staff and relying more on wire services, local broadcasters are on the front lines. These are the reporters covering the need-to-know information such as weather alerts, crisis updates, and political briefings that directly affect citizens. A 2015 study by Keller Fay and TVB, the not-for-profit trade association for the local broadcast television industry, found that Americans trust local news more than cable news.

The National Association of Broadcasters recently launched the #WeAreBroadcasters campaign. It aims to educate lawmakers and the public about the role that local radio and television stations play in their communities, emphasizing that broadcasts are free and available to anyone with an antenna. In addition to providing local news and information, they also benefit their communities by mobilizing people for charitable events and fundraisers.

Knowing the Market

Advertisers also have unique opportunities to partner with local broadcasters, notes TVB. In addition to the charitable events mentioned, they can help support local sports teams and provide or sponsor educational programming.

When advertisers partner with local broadcasters to sponsor community events and charitable efforts, they create an emotional association. If the positive feelings that are evoked are strong, they have the power to rub off on the brand, according to Chris Johnston of AdoreBoard.

Public affairs specialists at national organizations should work directly with the community affairs directors at local stations to make sure the messaging is relevant to that specific community, according to Bill Goodwill, CEO of Goodwill Communications. When sales reps and community service directors at local stations craft programs they know will be compelling to members of their communities, they should also brainstorm a variety of ways that advertisers on the local, regional, and national levels can get involved.

A Win for Advertisers

KaBOOM, an organization that promotes active play for children, says sponsoring community events has many intangible benefits:

  • Interaction with people at live events
  • Emotional experience
  • Authenticity
  • Customer loyalty

Here’s how some local broadcasters have gotten creative with programs tailored to their individual communities:

  • In Birmingham, AL, WBRC-TV hosted six Shred-A-Thons, allowing residents to safely get rid of 50,000 tons of documents with private information.
  • Univision-owned KTVW-TV in Phoenix partnered with the State Bar Association to offer free legal consultations.
  • THV 11 of Wrightsville, AR, held a Summer Cereal Drive to provide nourishing, kid-friendly breakfasts to local residents.
  • Across the country, NBC Universal-owned television stations partnering with Telemundo have helped more than 65,000 abandoned pets find new homes, thanks to their Clear the Shelters campaign.

To find out how local broadcasters stay connected with community service, follow the #WeAreBroadcasters hashtag on Twitter.

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