Posted on October 4th, 2018 By John Culliton
All the talk of mergers and “will we be sold?” dominates a lot of brainpower lately. Most everybody you talk to is either for sale, buying somebody, or speculates if they are one or the other.
Hasn’t felt this way for a while—maybe never.
And…you begin asking yourself in most waking hours whether you’ll find threat or opportunity as things shake out. What do we hope will happen? What do we hope won’t happen?
Posted on October 3rd, 2018 By Bill Seitzler
As the effects of Hurricane Florence continue to be felt in the Carolinas, SmithGeiger asked Climate Central to write an article on how and why Hurricane Florence was such a different rain-maker. Climate Central is an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. They provide resources for journalists covering weather and the environment. We hope you find value in reading this article and in using their work to supplement your storytelling. A lot of their material makes for great digital content with plenty of social opportunities.
Posted on August 7th, 2018 By Andrew Finlayson
What does back to school time mean to you and your station? For number one stations it means an exciting opportunity to connect with viewers throughout the region. While too many stations confuse back to school with features on backpacks and bus stop forecasts starting up again, smart stations realize that back to school isn’t just about the kids ending their summer break but a fundamental change to the market.
Back to school is back to five important developments that smart stations take full advantage of:
1. Back to School
Certainly there are a big set of stories to be had with back to school, ones that touch almost every part of the station from sales to news, from traffic to weather to the sports department. Smart stations realize that back to school coverage isn’t just aimed at busy parents but recognizes that schools (including colleges and universities) are big employers in the region, are one of the biggest tax spends by local governments, and a new school year speaks to key issues facing the community such as drug abuse, gun violence, and other important issues that often benefit from the station’s investigative team taking a closer look, creating stories that are timely, relevant and speak to the entire market, not just parents.
Posted on August 6th, 2018 By Nicole Bergen
First, new business is a game of quality over quantity. When we ask our account executives for their list of “current prospects” we are often surprised to see them bring an alphabetized list of over 50 accounts. How can a person make progress on anything if they are calling on 50 accounts!? Instead, focus on 6-8 quality prospects at a time and put them in order of strength. Set individual goals for each account and put outlook reminders in your calendar to accomplish certain tasks like…
1. Cold call client
2. Send client email
3. Send client an article
4. Send client research
5. Send client a case study “sneak peek
Posted on July 11th, 2018 By John Culliton
We all put stories through different filters—patrolling for clarity, urgency, pace, meaning, context and more.
The one filter we were all taught on day 1 of journalism school or at our first small market job was that “news is about people.”
At this point, you kinda want to say duh-but instead I’m gonna say oops. As in oops - a lot of our coverage is missing real people. Where have they gone? How can we get them back?
I’ve seen countless newscasts where I can say:
Posted on June 5th, 2018 By Bill Seitzler
It’s the first week of June and many of you have already seen massive rain associated with the tropics. As if you needed a wakeup call!
Here are some strategies & examples put together by the SmithGeiger team (special hat tip to Andrew Finlayson) we trust you can use to add to your 2018 Hurricane plan. Many of these thoughts will also apply to those of you who compile Severe Weather & Monsoon plans as well.
As usual, this is just a short list so contact your SmithGeiger consultant for more strategies & examples and market-specific research!
Hurricane Season Strategies:
- WEATHER IS A TEAM SPORT WITH CAPTAINS PROVIDING DIRECTION
-News & Weather personnel must be invested in the planning & execution
- Your station’s Chief Meteorologist and the weather team should be the captains who can articulate the value of your weather brand, your radar, and other tools in your weather center
- The Team & Technology are investments that your station has made in keeping your community safe.
- WEATHER LEADS THE WAY
- Make weather own it… all weather accounts have to stay tight to this story…meaning they are on top of every development, every announcement, and their social platforms are the source of the station’s main social platforms
Posted on June 4th, 2018 By Andrew Finlayson
SmithGeiger has noticed an increasing number of stations using voting on-air and online/social to connect with their audiences. When used correctly, interacting with the audience can have some significant benefits. When done poorly, such on-air surveys can damage the brand, the newscast and the digital success of the station.
There are six reasons we’ve identified to consider interactive voting tools:
1. Revenue – If stations can sell the concept to local advertisers and make money, that is reason enough to consider using this tool day after day on multiple platforms. That said, stations have to know how to do it well. If a station makes a few dollars but ruins a quarter hour rating day after day with poor execution of on-air questions/contests, it can cost a station money in the long run.
Recommendation: Discuss where such interactives will appear and how often before sales is engaged to sell any voting presentations. SmithGeiger can provide additional recommendations on what content and concepts work best across screens.
2. Page Views – If stations do on-air voting and point to the website for the voting effort, it can lead to increased traffic to the website. That can be a place of sponsorship mentions, but it can also be a source of additional revenue from ads in the page beyond the sponsor mentions, not to mention additional clicks to the website from the voting page.
Recommendation: Look at the voting experience like a viewer each time such is used on-air and see if the digital team can embed videos or point to related videos and other links. The vote page should be a recirculation engine to other content if at all possible…come to vote and stay for another piece of content.
Posted on May 2nd, 2018 By Bill Seitzler
Have you ever had it happen to you? You bump into the same person over and over again in the same week or month. Sometimes it’s a friend you really enjoy seeing. Maybe it’s a person you don’t know but you recognize them from the local grocery store. Or perhaps you keep bumping into somebody you really don’t like.
As marketers in a multi-platform world, your job is to get people to “bump into” your product/brand over and over on many different platforms, hopefully in a short period of time. Reach & Frequency targets for local TV ads have changed as viewers’ habits on watching TV has changed. TV advertising is still very powerful and can create an emotionally connective experience where we get viewers to feel something while they learn something. To get that broad audience (Reach) and get your message heard over and over (Frequency) you need to blend in the advantages of social & digital platforms. We need to do this in branding our local TV news image and quite frankly we need to sell local advertisers on this concept as well!
Before reading on, let’s be clear about the use of the word “brand”. Your brand is not your positioning statement or slogan. Your brand is the “top of mind thoughts” people have about your product. Your positioning statement (slogan) should move people to the brand you are trying to achieve.
Posted on May 1st, 2018 By John Culliton
Why do we inject digital references in our copy for live newscasts?
Easy answer, right? Pump up awareness for our digital platforms. Signal that our website, apps, and social media are alive and kicking all day and night. Some have gotten pretty good at blending in digital references without obliterating newscasts. Some overdo it.
ALSO: Saying, “we first told you_____on our APP at 2:30 today…” has become the 2018 way of saying we were FIRST to report a story, replacing the old version of back selling to the prior TV newscasts.
That’s was we’ve done. Here’s what we need to do next:
Posted on April 9th, 2018 By Bill Seitzler
Seth Geiger was one of the key presenters at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas. In addition to presenting research findings in his session “The Media Trajectory: Alignments Between Leaders and Consumers”, Seth moderated a NAB Show panel which included Dave Smith, Chris Archer, Chris Lang, John Culliton, Mark Biggs & Andrew Finlayson.
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