Shaping promotions to both reflect and speak to a unique local audience is a special skill, and soundtracks supporting stories of greatest interest in a station’s market can help local broadcasters creatively connect with the people they serve. In this complimentary webinar, our panel of experts share stories and tips based on their personal experience with crafting effective promos for local audiences.
Featuring Steve Bamonti- Owner, Generation Media LLC; Former Creative Services Director, WBAL-TV, Mark Kraham- News Director, WHAG and Randy Hart- Creative Services Director, Aircast Music.
Here are some key takeaways from this valuable presentation:
- Local imagery is important. In Baltimore, shots of the inner harbor and Federal Hill are expected. However, those are mainly tourist destinations.
- Local language is important. In Boston, your promo copy better pronounce Worcester as “WUSSS-TAR.” If not, you’re sunk. Speaking like a local helps build authenticity with your audience.
- Music. Music is also a key driver. It needs to reflect the diverse makeup and tastes of your market while remaining well branded and identifiable. It’s a tall order, but a good music cut or package can make a campaign sink or swim.
- Know what matters to your audience. It sounds like a simple concept, but I’m surprised to see how many stations fall short in this category. We may have the latest radar, the newest traffic helicopter or the largest team of investigative reporters… but that alone isn’t going to drive ratings. “Build it, and they will come” no longer applies to local TV. Consumers are exposed to more messages and are growing savvier every day. Thanks to social media, they now have a platform to deliver instant feedback. The most successful stations find creative ways to explain and package the value of their product using a tone that fits with current “trends.”
KEEP it local.
Demonstrate what’s in it for the viewer. What impact will this (or did this) have on them?
Get to the point. Don’t spend a lot of time ramping up the message – just get to the message.
The music element is scene setter. For example, this clip instantly tells everyone “Here’s the News!”
Start with the Music First – If you have a storyline in mind, try auditioning a few different cuts of music and see if one resonates well with the story in terms of tempo, musical style and arrangement or pacing. This can greatly help the process of your promo creation, in terms of both offering a type of template as well as presenting some sonic ideas that may trigger production options you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Establish the Emotional Connection – The ultimate victory in a promo is to persuade a viewer to watch. Whether it’s an immediate story airing later that night or a POP that’s reminding viewers how you, the station are connected to the community, they have to be emotionally invested to turn to you and not your competitor. Music can not only support that point, but communicate it on its own.
Try a Contrarian Approach – If the subject of a story denotes a typical musical underscore, try temping in a cut that has a mood that would come from a different emotional place. This can be a great attention getter. Sometimes, this can be more effective than a musical piece that parallels the subject matter.