Why Local TV Advertising Matters Right Now
In the overwhelming sea of information related to COVID-19, TV stations stand out as a trusted source of relevant information. They are doing their very best to report fairly and accurately when the demand for true information is at an all-time high.
It’s often said that times of crisis bring out the best and worst in people, and whether you realize it or not, it’s true for these local news organizations, which are at their very best at this moment.
Stations and their crews are addressing the needs of their home communities in real time with essential information pertinent to viewers and how they live their everyday lives. This is a stark contrast to the endless sensationalism found both online and in cable news media, where the focus is more on entertainment than critical information.
These local news organizations are truly offering a community service. Our family, friends and neighbors need to know where to go for information, what to do and how to stay safe at this moment. This is exactly the kind of coverage you see on local news.
As broadcasters accurately cover the pandemic, they are doing the hard work of journalism to assess the threat it poses to their staff, communities and businesses and what the long-term effects might be. And, like most of us, these outlets are shifting their operations to remote and distance work environments.
The challenge is, these local news outlets are in need of the financial power to keep their operational engines running. While organizations like Facebook are earmarking millions of dollars to keeping news outlets in operation, these stations are facing the realities that come with the drop in advertiser dollars as other companies pull back on campaigns and spending as part of the fallout of the virus.
We encourage advertisers to find ways to continue their media buys to provide critical support to local news outlets at this important time in our history. The ad impressions that local outlets receive through on-air and online are essential to their continued success.
While everyone is being incredibly conscious of spending at the moment, we must do our part to support these organizations. This includes supporting any way possible, including donating ad impressions, as my company, Bitcentral, has done, to run valuable public service announcements with crucial information to keep communities safe.
We challenge all in our industry, including advertisers, to find ways to support local news as an essential fixture in our world at this moment. Local television operations are truly a force for good in these difficult times and should be looked to as the gold standard for accurate information on how this pandemic is affecting us all.
Fred Fourcher is the founder and CEO of Bitcentral.