In Rise of Digital are PR Pros Ignoring Television Where Their Clients Advertise?

by Kevin Foley | December 13, 2018

KEF Media Blog

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We live in a digital world and there is little doubt it has supercharged the public relations agency business. But if digital were the best and only way to communicate, corporations, not-for-profits, and others would have long ago abandoned television advertising.

The recent Super Bowl aired on NBC, which charged $5 million for a 30-second spot and the network sold out all of its Super Bowl advertising time. Major advertisers are all over popular network and cable television programs. Local market TV stations have been reaping big advertiser profits since the end of the Great Recession.

Thus, in the minds of brand managers, television has a vital role to play in their marketing mix. If they thought TV wasn’t driving sales, they wouldn’t spend the kind of money they commit to television advertising.

PR pros, especially those who grew up in the digital environment, certainly understand and appreciate the value of video, so they should look at television publicity as a means of amplifying the programs they develop and manage for their clients. There are many ways to include television, from B-roll to satellite media tours, but to generate results that will impress clients, these need to be well thought out and repurposed across all available digital platforms.

We recently worked with a sporting goods brand and major TV advertiser, which retained a major celebrity to appear in one of its television commercials. First, we distributed B-roll shot behind the scenes during the making of the commercial to a wide range of TV outlets, where it aired repeatedly. Then we offered the video to relevant major and secondary web sites, bloggers, and other digital platforms.

All of this happened before the commercial actually aired, but by the time it did, there was considerable Internet chatter and additional interest from digital media who missed the video the first time around. In addition, the agency made sure the clients used the video on its internal digital platforms so stakeholders could see the results.

That’s just one way to use TV to close the PR loop, and there are many others. It’s also the best way to demonstrate your agency understands how important television is to your clients.

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