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Say Goodbye to Television News
as You Know It
& Say Hello to the
Future of Television News

What Does the Future of Television News Mean for PR and Marketing?

I was deeply saddened when I learned that Action News of Jacksonville, Fla., is letting go of five of the station’s main television news anchors. These journalists have supported many of my public relations efforts over the years, and they are community influencers who often spend their weekends advocating for nonprofit causes. However, the move by Cox Media Group, owner of the stations (a duopoly including WAWS and WTEV) signals the end of television news as we know it. Just like marketing and public relations have changed drastically in the era of the internet, I believe TV news is set to focus more on broadcasts designed for viewing and reading on the web instead of the traditional television. I’m calling it inbound journalism.

In marketing and public relations, content has become king. Instead of using traditional advertising techniques (such as television advertisements and billboards), most marketers now utilize content to drive customers (content marketing). Dubbed interruption marketing, the old form of advertising was created to stop what you were watching or reading to show you marketing and promotions. In content marketing, writers develop content to drive you to their website, social media network or other online channel and catch your attention. Content marketing is often used in inbound marketing, a term coined to describe the switch from the old interruption (or outbound marketing), to the focus on creating quality content to pull people to a product or service.

With the recent announcement of Action News’ move to lose five of its main anchors, I can’t help but think Cox Media Group is leaning toward producing more internet-ready content. Just like you can now watch your favorite television shows on demand, I think you will soon be able to watch any news story on demand whenever you want to see it. You can currently watch news clips on a station’s website, but I believe the parent companies of many news stations will take things a step further, creating content that is designed for viewing at any time and in any order.

What does this mean for your marketing and public relations efforts? I don’t think journalists are going anywhere, I simply think the job of a journalist will change. Instead of writing teases to compel a viewer to stay tuned after a commercial break, I think broadcasters will develop teases designed to encourage people to click on links and watch clips on the station’s website. (Think of a Facebook post telling you about major changes to your child’s school curriculum or a tweet announcing a key new player on your favorite sports team). Reporters will be producing even more stories on the go and developing content to publish throughout the day. Just as you currently pitch journalists newsworthy information about your product or service, I believe your pitches will be just as important to journalists seeking four to five stories to produce per day. I also believe the content you create as an organization will become much more vital as members of the media do more online, on-the-go searches to find leads and sources for stories.

As for television anchors, I do not believe their jobs will change drastically in the future television newsroom. While it may seem like a simple job, it is quite difficult to keep your composure while hopping from story to story with a producer’s voice in your ear telling you to wrap or a studio technician’s arms waving reminding you there are only 10 seconds left to finish an interview (I’m speaking from experience as a former TV reporter and fill-in anchor. One particularly difficult incident for me involved an audio technician teasing me about the size of my smile while I was live on the air reading the news. It just looks easy because good anchors have spent many years honing their craft). Instead of presenting the news in the wee hours of the morning, noon, 5, 6, 10 or 11 p.m., I think many in-studio interviews will be available for viewers on demand just like stories done by reporters in the field or television shows on Netflix or Hulu. I think anchors will be charged with sharing breaking news as it happens via a station’s website, allowing a viewer to watch via a web-enabled television, a computer, a tablet, a smart phone (or some yet-to-be created device). Local news will be everywhere and available all the time.

While I utilize the phrase inbound journalism to liken the future of television news to inbound marketing, I have no idea what term will prevail. I also have no clue if my theory is correct, and I don’t think your regular news programs will disappear any time soon. I do however think that television news as we know it is about to undergo a huge change, and I know I’ll be glued to the TV (or the computer or tablet or smart phone) to find out how this story will wrap.

Point Taken Communications is a Jacksonville, Fla.-based company specializing in public relations, marketing and web design for corporations, medium-sized businesses, small businesses, firms and nonprofit agencies across the country. We increase the return on your investment by managing your brand and messaging across all channels to ensure clarity and consistency. We are a full-service agency built to help businesses and nonprofits promote their products, services and mission to drive more dollars and donations. At Point Taken, you only work with senior-level professionals with a wealth of marketing, PR and web design knowledge who can maximize your budget, guide your marketing efforts and get the job done right the first time.

Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.