Double Pitching Is Welcome Here: Orlando TV Station’s Web Presence Dwarfs Over-the-Air Audience
Long seen as the kiss of death for media relations pros – pitching the same story to multiple editors in the same newsroom – has been endorsed by the news director of Orlando’s NBC affiliate, WESH.
With the Hearst-owned station’s online communities dwarfing viewership for any single newscast, the station’s web site and Facebook pages may the appropriate place for pitched content, says Bob Longo, Channel 2’s veteran news director. Orlando is the 19th largest designated market area, or DMA.
“A pitch these days needs to be a two-person pitch,” said Longo, suggesting PR pros reveal to the WESH web editor that the assignment editor is also considering the story.
WESH and just about every TV station these days programs the news primarily for the 25-54 age demographic, a favorite of advertisers. The station attracted 26,000 viewers in that age group during its 11 o’clock newscast this past spring, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Even if total household viewership of all ages were double that, the on-air audience is still much smaller than a number of the WESH online communities:
- The WESH News 2 Facebook page has 53,000 likes.
- The station’s Facebook page dedicated to updates about Casey Anthony has 287,000 likes
- The WESH Facebook page on the Trayvon Martin case has 30,000 likes
- A Facebook page focusing on Orlando’s theme parks has 25,000 likes
- The WESH Twitter feed is followed by nearly 12,000
- WESH.com has 287,373 unique visitors
- The more than 12,000 videos uploaded to YouTube by WESH have been viewed 27 million times
With the web presence of major market TV stations growing, marketers may also want to consider the challenges of driving web traffic through aired coverage versus a story published on one or more of the station’s online assets.
WESH’s on-air news coverage is rarely accompanied by a third-party web site displayed on the screen. However, live links are often part of stories viewed on phones, tablets and the web, said Longo.
“In my opinion, some of these people, events and product stories are better pitched as web content for a web presence rather than for a TV audience because it is such as fleeting image for TV,” he said.