Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Local Media Gone Loco

We at Vanderbilt are smack in the middle of a great amount of success, but you wouldn't know it by watching the local TV media.

But, I do not blame the media. It's not their fault ... at least not entirely. Yes, there could be a little less Pacman Jones stories, and yes we are in the shadow of the Tennessee Vols to a certain extent, but the real problem lies in the era we are in. The internet era. (maybe we are past it, but for my purposes, let's call it that)

Here's the rub, we recently were at the SEC men's basketball tournament, and had a student send-off of our team to the NCAA tournament and one local station was noticeably absent at both. To some this may not be shocking, but the network absent has always been one our better partners.

When pressed, you would not believe the answer ... THE videographer was on vacation and the news department would not lend one of their video guys. Yea, the sports department of a major local TV media station in an NFL town has ONE video guy. Amazing.

This is just the nature of the beast. Those who know me have heard me preach for a while about the inability of mass media to accomplish my goals. (nothing new there, everyone sees that trend) Therefore, the media outlets' ad revenue is plummeting. With no ad sales, no budget. No budget, no video guy.

But this blog is not to whine and complain, but rather to propose a solution to what will be a problem to everyone. I think there are a few things that can be done to stem the tide, and perhaps allow for more coverage.
  1. Provide video footage for media - create a system by which the media could be able to pull video clips from a server as needed. Perhaps they could even request questions to be asked thereby keeping the reporter in the station or another assignment
  2. Enhance your website - your own website should be the leader in ALL content related to your entity. This includes press releases, opinion columns, video, audio, message boards, etc
  3. Develop the infrastructure now so you will not need the media in the future - even as poorly as I perceive the ad value of the media, they still push info to a broader audience than our website can currently reach. However, our website is more targeted to those interested in VU. Therefore while in this transition period, your site should leverage every opportunity and every new technology to push info to those not necessarily interested in you. I wish I could say right now what that is, but I am sure it will be developing soon.

We are in a transitional period relating to local media. Those that embrace it, enhance it, and address it will be the winner in this race.

Take care.

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