Siddhartha Mukherjee: MARCOMM PR: TV Industry offers Learnings!

17 Dec,2015

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


The PR and Corporate Communication professionals working for and in the TV Channels – especially for categories such as GEC, Movies, Sports, etc. – are doing fabulous work in the space of MarComm PR. In fact, their work on Programme/ Product PR management can lend learnings for the Non-Broadcast Industry.


On an average, a non-broadcast or non-media and entertainment sector, has 70-80% of its overall PR output contributed through Product PR. This means, the rest 20-30% represents news across various aspect of Corporate Brand dynamics such as Corporate Image, Human Resource, Finance, Government Affairs, CSR etc.


However, in the TV Channel space, the Product or Programme PR contribution is a whopping 90-95% of the overall PR coverage output. Well, as a passing mention, this has two implications – a) Focus on Corporate Brand of the Channel is less. However, with eventual digitization, this negligence on Corporate Brand PR is bound to change soon b) Programme/Product PR is very dynamic and works on a very disciplined mechanism of Pre-During-Post communications push.


What makes TV Programme PR such a wonderful case study for our professionals on what an ideal MARCOMM PR can be? A quick look:

1. Responsibility does not end with TV Programme Launch PR: The job of TV Programme PR doesnot end with just the launch or media announcement of the Programme. That is one part. The second and real challenge is to do PR to sustain TV viewer’s interest to continue watching the programme, day on day, week on week.


2. Probably the only Industry vertical where PR effort is getting equated with Input, Output (PR Scores) and Outcome (TV Viewership): While the rest of the Industry is yet to start galloping on the concept of equating PR efforts with Outcome objectives such as sales queries, sampling, sales etc., the TV Industry did the crossover to equating PR efforts to sampling and sales (viewership numbers) many years back.


3. Programme PR, typically, is a Print supplement or weekend reading: It is not as easy as it looks. Getting TV content news published in limited available editorial space is a matter of big challenge. To explain the challenge, if you look at any single Hindi General Entertainment Channel (HGEC), it has to maintain the viewer interest of at least 6-8 on-air programmes. Over and above this, they look at 1-2 new programme launches every month. That makes the total of about 8-10 programmes (product) requiring PR push. Even if one were to prioritise from this, roughly, on an average, at least 4 programme brands need PR push. To get this in a limited supplement and/ or weekend space needs a long haul.


4. Rare platforms on TV Channels: TV Channels, nowadays, rarely provide any platform for brand-building or marketing purposes in its true sense. As compared to a small (news space) contribution being given to Non-Broadcasting or Non-Media & Entertainment Industry verticals, the contribution towards TV Program PR is miniscule.


5. Unlike Toothpastes or Cars or Insurance policies, TV Programme sales happens every day: Elaborating on the sustenance part mentioned earlier, new/fresh programmes are meant to be sampled and consumed (viewed) everyday. Every single day, the dynamics of sales push and purchase take place. Unlike other categories where sales happen ones a week or month or more, TV programme PR push for programme sampling ever y single day. Creating scientifically planned and mapped PR news stimuli every day or every week is tough challenge. This requires tremendous discipline and manoeuvring skills.


If we dig deeper, we will find more such salient features. The Media & Entertainment sector, TV Industry specifically, is a high maintenance category. It guzzles up a lot of communications, through the year. Let us not categorise it as a Light, Easy Going & Entertaining industry category. There is in fact, a lot of hard work, discipline and planning. It is one of the very sectors where Marcomm PR has happily taken to being brought under the ROI scanner.


Marcomm PR in TV Industry offers wonderful learnings and case studies for various B2C industry verticals.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a senior PR industry professional and currently Senior Vice President, Eikona – Earned Media Planning, Audit and Advisory. The views expressed here are his own.


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