Local Broadcasting is an Even More Effective Platform During a National Crisis

By Ashley Pratte, Vice President

As many Americans have hunkered down in their homes in the wake of COVID-19, they’re increasingly tuning into local broadcast television. In a crisis, local news plays an important role with its solid and often apolitical reporting and information sharing about important local developments. Many viewers are leaning on local newscasts for timely updates in their communities in relation to the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic and other events.

In fact, a survey conducted by Hub Entertainment Research found that broadcast television has seen a 32% spike in viewership from February to March—and while the numbers haven’t been released yet, this trend is expected to continue in April and May as well.

Key considerations include:

  • This increase in viewership means the time is ripe for advertisers. Readers and viewers have a deep trust in local news and that trust can carry to those who advertise in local publications and networks. While many companies and organizations are looking to preserve their cash in a time of crisis, now is actually the time to take advantage of viewership increases and pursue creative advertising on broadcast television if you’re able.
  • Those who were focused on advertising from the beginning of this pandemic realized they needed to shift gears and echo a message of togetherness and solidarity in their ads. What’s more, a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult asked participants what content they’d prefer to see in ads during the pandemic, and the most popular choice was ads addressing how companies have changed their services in light of the pandemic.
  • Recent research also shows that most people do not think negatively of brands for advertising in a “hard” news space if the messaging is appropriate as many American families remain stuck in their homes leading into the Summer or continue to and adjust to a new normal of face masks, sanitizing, and social distancing when out in public.
  • THG helps clients leverage these view ship trends and targets advertising to specific audiences within local broadcast markets via satellite carriers or over-the-top (OTT) services which requires a high-speed internet connection rather than a satellite provider.

As your company or organization considers advertising options as the pandemic continues, it’s important to think through the overall goals, objectives, and audiences of the advertisements and develop a strategic plan in line with the overall mission of the company or organization, and The Herald Group is here to here to help should you need us.