Creative services directors, marketing directors, audience development specialists, brand managers and promotions managers at TV stations across the country are anxiously awaiting the Station Summit, the annual conference put on by PromaxBDA June 25-26 in Las Vegas.
No matter what title they hold, these are the top marketing executives at their respective stations responsible for increasing viewership on broadcast and engagement on social.
And they flock to Vegas in June to hear and see industry speakers, attend educational sessions, meet with their respective networks and syndicators to learn the latest trends in all things related to marketing local television and local news.
For first-time attendees, a word of advice: pack a light jacket.
Because although it’s normally over 100 degrees outside, you’ll spend nearly all your time inside the Mirage resort, and the air conditioning can give you a chill.
Rick Swanson, the man charged with programming and marketing the Station Summit, says registration is pacing ahead of last year’s summit.
In fact, Meredith is sending its news directors along with its creative services directors from all its 12 markets to the summit.
“It’s a way to invest in the people in news and marketing now more than ever,” said Gary Brown, Meredith’s new news and marketing VP.
“What better way to foster that than put them together. News and marketing can’t have silos.”
And given the focus of the summit this year, having news directors attend is a smart move.
“I would say that the major theme of the Station Summit this year is the convergence of content and marketing,” says Swanson.
“Because of the shift in audience behavior, we no longer live in a world where the newsroom does the news stories and the promo department does the promos. This is really a time and a place where television stations have to think about working together, forging partnerships between these two departments.”
Swanson says there are three sessions scheduled on this theme at the Station Summit.
Hashtag Our Stories, says Swanson, is “going to be really eye opening.”
Led by Yusuf Omar, former CNN senior social media reporter and Sumaiya Omar, a social media consultant, “their tool of choice in this 360-degree world is the mobile phone,” says Swanson.
“I think for a large number of people that this is going to be a game changer. I think it’s going to really open their eyes to a whole different way of doing, not only telling stories in the 24/7 on-demand world, but also how to tell stories in that fast-paced world. So it’s going to be very exciting.”
Swanson says there will be a workshop using just a mobile phone. “I think that’s going to be powerful for a lot of stations.”
Another session about convergence of content and marketing is When Worlds Collide: Content and Marketing Convergence led by Larry Rickel, president of The Broadcast Image Group.
This session will challenge how news and marketing have traditionally functioned by “attacking the product from a completely different operational perspective.”
“What we are proposing in this session with Worlds Collide is tearing those walls down. In a lot of stations, the news departments’ news rooms and marketing departments sit in the same room together because there is a constant dialogue back and forth and each department is participating in the storytelling from various different angles, really utilizing all of the resources of the television station to get a story out in a meaningful way.”
Stuff Great Leaders Always Do (and One Thing They’d Never Do) is led by Alan Schnur, the founder of The Schnur Group, and will focus on “those interpersonal barriers that traditionally exist between a marketing department and a news department,” says Swanson.
He adds that this year’s theme of content and marketing convergence “will inspire innovation at many different television stations. It’s very exciting stuff.”
Very exciting indeed. See you at the Summit.
Click here for more information about this year’s Station Summit including an updated list of the sessions scheduled for Thursday, June 28.