How to Avoid Controversial Programming When Placing Local Media

Local Media Strategy

An important consideration when placing a local media schedule is content.  Where are these ads going to run?  Does the environment make sense for your brand?

When it comes to blogging, you know that “Content is King”.  It is mentioned in every seminar on blogs and SEO, because it’s the truth.  Content also rules when it comes to local media placement.

You may think that when a local media buyer is putting together an advertising schedule, they are only immersed in the ratings data.  I won’t lie, analyzing the data is one of my favorite parts of media buying, but it is only half of the equation.

This consideration became very apparent when some advertisers fled from being associated with Rush Limbaugh, after his controversial remarks on contraception.

This can be a fine line for advertisers and agencies.  Often where you find controversy, you find ratings in some demographics, whether this is “South Park” or “Jersey Shore”.  Higher ratings result in more effective schedule because you are reaching more people.  However, it’s even more important to reach the right people and maintain the proper image for your brand.

We highly recommend establishing a “hit list” for content upfront, so that everyone agrees on the appropriate environment for the brand.  Especially, with viewership shifting to cable, it’s critical to evaluate the programs airing on the networks that best fit the target demographic.  You may want purchase a spot in Top Chef to reach your female demo but not purchase a rotator to include Real Housewives of everywhere.

Clear expectations will help avoid any major surprises.  Unfortunately, there are always editorial comments or controversial content that no one can anticipate.  At that point, we can only adjust future local media schedules accordingly.

Shelby Nichols

About Shelby Nichols

Shelby is the Manager of Digital Media and Associate Media Director at Sheehy+Associates, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With over 10 years in the industry she has planned and purchased a wide range of media and has a passion for all things digital.

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