L to R: Tom Hebel WFLA/Tampa
Hope you had a happy 4th. So I can have a little time to paint and frolic, we have the very talented MARIAH GARDNER who graciously wrote about her experience in Vegas. Proving once again about things staying there doesn’t happen all that much…Anyway, take it away Ms. Mariah, who is pictured here with DAN FLAXER of WSAV/Savannah, ROBERT PIPPIN of WJBF / Augusta, JAMES RASCO of WVTM / Birmingham, BRETT KENYON of WJTV / Jackson, KATIE TOWNSEND of WHLT / Hattiesburg and our darling MARC MORRISTON of WNCT / Greenville NC. MARIAH is the one in the center.
5 Lessons from the Promax BDA Station Summit
By Mariah Gardner
The second annual Promax BDA Station Summit, held June 26-29 in fabulous Las Vegas, proved to be another valuable learning and networking experience for many station marketing folks thanks to organizational efforts by the Promax BDA staff and their Station Summit Advisory Council. One creatively refreshed station Promotions and Marketing Manager shares a few of her takeaways from this year’s conference:
5. We Love Swag (and Our Viewers Will Too)
Remember all the statistics from those dazzling PowerPoints the studios showed off during their presentations on Wednesday? Me neither. What I do remember is shaking hands with our reps, asking questions one-on-one, and getting some neat stuff to bring home to my market. Let’s be honest, swag is important. Whether you give it away to viewers or keep it on your desk, swag can fire up a good conversation about the show it’s promoting and help keep it top-of-mind. Thumbs up to Warner Bros and NBCUniversal Television Distribution for some of the most exciting and creative swag I encountered, like the prescription bottle of mints promoting House – definitely a great conversation piece.
4. Promo Time Has Value
When the economy tanks and everyone’s told they’re lucky just to have a job, it’s easy to let your sales department talk you into giving up some prime promotional real estate on your logs for the sake of making a much needed extra buck. Fold no more, promo people! Stand your ground – it’s the best possible thing for your station to self-promote on our favorite medium, which also happens to be the one most accessible to us. If anyone needed validation about this concept from network bigwigs, we got it with the “State of the Industry: A View from the Top By Broadcast’s Best” panel, which included NICK BELPERIO (Fox), SCOTT BLUMENTHAL (LIN Media), MARLA PROVENCIO (ABC Entertainment) and VALARI STAAB (NBC O&O). Wonder if I could convince them to call my GSM…
3. Don’t Be Anti-Social
If you’re suffering from Facebook burnout, you’re not alone. However, if you’re not utilizing Facebook, Twitter and some of the other top social networking tools (Instagram, Pinterest) as much as you should, you could be missing out on big bucks and major viewer interaction. WXIA (Atlanta), WTMJ (Milwaukee), WVIT (Hartford) and KING5 (Seattle) were among the over-achieving social media marketers featured in the NBC Affiliate Marketing breakout session “Social Superstars” and their success is inspiring. Featured speaker CORY BERGMAN from Lost Remote and Breaking News also touted the benefits of being a social-friendly station in his session “Tales from the Lost Remote Part Deux: Best Social Marketing Practices in Local Media.” In addition to driving viewers to your programs with live interaction online, broadcasters now have a new option for “second screen” experiences with products like ConnecTV, a sort of entrepreneurial peace offering from STACY JOLNA and others behind TiVo. The product looks to help reinvigorate a sense of urgency and excitement around live television viewing through real-time social interaction.
2. Stand for Something
If you have the tools to convey a powerful message (as we all do), perhaps it’s a noble idea to use those tools and creativity to promote a charitable cause in your community. Be part of something bigger than your normal routine. Promax BDA lauds charitable station initiatives through their Just Cause Awards, with this year’s honors going to WTWC (Tallahassee), WBRC (Birmingham) and WEWS (Cleveland). And if you weren’t inspired by keynote speaker MICK EBELING’s message about the power of creative innovation and invention, then either you weren’t paying attention or your heart still has room to grow three sizes. In conveying his story about collaborating on the invention of the EyeWriter, Ebeling made it clear that creative types have a unique ability to make the world a better place. We also have the perfect platform with which to initiate change, so what’s holding us back? Put your reservations aside and lead the charge to stand for something in your community.
1. We’re in the People Business
Isn’t it nice to put a face with the name of the person you’ve been emailing all year long? Getting a few days’ break from drowning in logs and our crazy daily routines to reconnect with our network marketing teams (you missed out this year, Fox!) and share ideas with our peers is supremely valuable. Thanks to those who showcased their work. I still can’t get that “News Men of Fresno” song out of my head – a really fun spot by JIM GRAVINA and his team at KSEE. Wasn’t it also great to get a wake-up call from GRAEME NEWELL of 602 Communications about why we’re really here in his session “The 360 Station Brand”? We’re in the people business so why not put the very people we aim to serve each day in a spot or two instead of relentlessly shining the spotlight on ourselves? If it works for Walmart, maybe it will work for us, too.
THINK ABOUT THIS: "Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society." ~ John Adams