Being part of a news operation is like a marketing ploy. First, you have to think of your audience.
Many products were sold on the creation of need by a company. A network not only gives viewers “what they want,” but they continue to create more wants for viewers. Thus, it's a constant cycle of bigger and better shows, desirable anchors and reporters, and interesting information.
Earlier in the summer I was asked to be news director for our student run television station. There’s a lot of changes I’d like to put in place, but I realize it can’t happen overnight. However, in terms of knowing your viewers, my number one step is branding.
Creating a brand name for yourself is so important. Although our station will be on it’s 11th year in the fall, it’s logos, anchors, and routine is not recognizable. Because our viewers are college students, being overly professional won’t attract viewers. However, forming to what they want and need is so important, and eventually creating a brand and creating wants for each student.
Social Media is a must. It’s huge, it’s free, and it’s the easiest way to reach out to people and get your brand name out there. When I joined the crew last year I couldn’t believe we didn’t have a facebook or twitter account, and both our website and youtube pages were outdated. Facebook status’s should be posted at least once a week, more if breaking news is happening, or if an upcoming event in the community is around the corner. Tweets should be posted at least every other day, if not everyday. Pictures are great! Youtube video’s should be posted at the latest, a week after the show was aired. If a blog seems like a feasible idea, then try and post at least once a week.
Part of creating a brand is having people that viewers like and can associate with. I’m planning on holding auditions in the fall so that I can find not only passionate well spoken individuals, but those with personalities that are going to be engaging to the student population. As much as I love being a camera hog sometimes, I know that being news director leaves not a lot of room, if any, for me to be an anchor.
While it’s great to have a beautiful set, and top of the line equipment, whatever you have, work with it! If new students come in and are interested, don’t ever put your program down. The only way any organization can be better is with more members-all who believe in the basic principles of the org, and who want to continue to make it better. Trust the members on your team, and don’t be afraid to delegate and see your program go to the next level.
Melissa Prax is currently a student at The Ohio State University. As an editor and promotional video producer for the honors and scholars program at OSU, she is continuing to do what she loves in and out of the classroom. Her first taste in writing and editing goes back to her high school's Interactive Multimedia class. Now news director, PR manager, and a member of the cast and crew for Buckeye TV, Ohio State's student run television station. Melissa also writes for the Her Campus branch at OSU, a national online magazine geared for college aged women. Her hobbies include running, music, yoga, adventure sports, and traveling.