In order for local media organizations to stay competitive, they need to put an emphasis on the use of multiple platforms to distribute content, and need to have a significant presence online, according to a recent article by Carolyn Proctor in the Washington Business Journal. In her article Proctor talks to three local media organizations including WAMU, WTOP & WRC and Discovery Inc. to see how their organizations have garnered new audiences.
One of the ways that local media has added new audiences is through acquisitions. WAMU acquired local online news favorite DCist in February 2018. When WAMU acquired DCist, it helped the local radio station grow their readership online. Because WAMU and DCist both cover similar content it was important when WAMU acquired DCist, that DCist cover only news in DC, and WAMU cover news in the entire DMV region. Andi McDaniel, Senior Director of News and Content at WAMU, says although both media companies work under the same parent company it was important to keep the two distinct.
Another strategy that local media has used is when local radio station WTOP decided to feature on-air personalities from local NBC affiliate NBC 4 Washington on the radio station. This multi-platform approach has allowed the two media giants to promote programming on each respective platform. WRC’s team of meteorologists also appears on air on WTOP.
Finally, Discovery Inc., based in Silver Spring, Maryland, used social media as a way to capture new audiences on their shows. The programming and digital teams at Discovery create specific content for all of Discovery’s social media including its Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. One of the ways that Discovery tries out new ideas for their social media accounts is during the times of the year when it has increased viewership, such as Shark Week. With an increased social media presence, more eyes see what is coming soon to the channel and keeps audiences engaged in upcoming programming.
With these strategies and new approaches to increase listenership, readership and viewership, these local media outlets can keep new and old audiences alike engaged.