(By Jeff McHugh) Bloomburg Businessweek recently reported on how television stations are adding more hours of local news coverage to their daily schedule. The average TV station now runs 5.5 hours per day of local news programming, and stations like WJW in Cleveland run 14 hours starting at 4 a.m. daily. Local news programming is cheaper than syndicated shows, and many advertisers prefer local news.
The problem for TV is how to fill that airtime. Here’s where you can jump in front of the camera, steal the spotlight, and create some effective marketing buzz for your show. Here in Portland, we work with Sheila Hamilton of KINK FM and McKinzie Roth of 98.7 The Bull at Alpha Media. Both have extensive television backgrounds and both shared examples on how to begin thinking of the promotions and events that you already do as ready-made television content.
High School Football – Chunky, McKinzie, and Jake hit the big high school football games on Friday nights, partnering with KGW to bring live cameras along for Game of the Week.
Visits from Recording Artists – Alpha Media’s Skype Live Studio hosts live performances. Local TV is invited to capture footage of the performance, meet and greet, and get interviews.
Backstage Access – Jason Aldean recently allowed McKinzie to visit his tour bus, and she brought a camera along. When McKinzie got backstage passes for Kip Moore, she took a KGW TV camera with her.
Novel Promotions – KINK FM hosted the “7.99 Meter Run,” an athletic event where participants jogged 26.2 feet, then drank beer. Local TV loves a combination of crowds, movement, and comedy. Another TV-friendly example Preston and Steve’s “Granny Grand Prix” at WMMR Philadelphia.
Reciprocal Contests – The Alpha stations often include a “watch to win” element in their contesting for a local TV station in exchange for a number of promo mentions of their station and on-camera appearances for their show cast.
Entertainment Segments – When David Bowie died, Sheila was quick to connect with KGW for this on-camera segment.
And spotting the need for a regular music news feature, McKinzie offered this solution for Fox affiliate KPTV. As an added benefit, McKinzie’s feature was picked up by a Las Vegas station too.
Help your show by helping your local television producers fill those hours of airtime. TV loves good community causes, and anything visual involving pets or children is a good choice too.
Plan ahead and reach out by phone to the TV news desk about 10 days out from your event, call again about three days out, and call the day before to stay on their radar. When you score coverage, send us the link so we can feature it in our newsletter.
Jeff McHugh is a media talent coach for The Randy Lane Company, collaborating with radio, television, video and podcast personalities in the US, Canada and Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected]