This is the final part of our five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 4 here.
Across the country, millions of people watch the entertainment programming TV stations provide during the day and at night. So it makes sense for stations to promote their newscasts topically within all that programming in the hopes viewers will stay and watch the next newscast.
For years, this was the only means stations had to recruit news viewers with the news of the day, unless stations bought time on other media, like radio, print or cable.
Then came Facebook.
Facebook provides stations with another — and much more mobile — screen to reach potential news viewers.
This is Part 2 of a five-part series, Building Viewership with News Topicals. Read Part 1 here.
Being a news topical writer/producer is one of the toughest jobs in local TV news marketing.
And to do that job well, the experts say, you need to have a passion for journalism, a thorough knowledge of what news is covering in the newscast, the ability to recognize what stories will resonate with viewers, and the confidence to promote those stories even if they’re not the news department’s top stories.
I’m guessing that when Dax Dobbs outlined the shooting schedule to the promotion/production staff for the new morning news campaign for KVUE, there was some moaning from the staff at the Tegna ABC affiliate in Austin, Texas.
I don’t know exactly what time they all had to be on location ready to shoot, but it’s safe to say it was early in the morning, way early in the morning, like before-dawn early.
“A lot of the credit for these goes to Dax Dobbs, our promotion manager here,” said Mark Willenborg, KVUE’s creative services director.
“We threw the challenge out to him and the team to do something breakthrough.”
What Dobbs and his team proposed was to find some KVUE morning news viewers and be at their house as they woke up and turned on the light to begin their day.
Before her morning run, Zoe turns the light on each day with #teamdaybreak. How about you?
“We really wanted to show the city of Austin waking up and how we’re a part of the Austin morning routine,” said Willenborg.
Willenborg said Dobbs and the team found the people through the station’s Facebook page, and others were fans the morning news team knew would be good.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t fake any of this. These are mini-docs on these people, this person’s life in the morning.”
According to Willenborg, the morning news ratings in Austin is a horse race, down the wire every day.
“KVUE is a strong competitor in that time slot. We fluctuate between No. 1 and 2. One thing that’s in our favor over the other guys is our team. They’re genuine, and viewers like them.”
Willenborg says they were looking for a different approach that would turn the camera the other way, and would appeal to their target demo, women between 25 and 54.
“I know if we did a spot that talked about weather on the 10s, or traffic, no one would be sitting around talking about it. We’re generating conversation with these pieces. We’ve gotten great response to these.”