The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) represents more than 285 local television and radio stations throughout the state and is addressing an industry-wide talent shortage head-on. The association partnered with King Media to create an integrated marketing campaign designed to spark the interest of the industry’s next generation of storytellers, producers, writers, editors, camera operators and more.
The objective is to increase the number of people entering Michigan’s broadcast media industry. Revitalizing the broadcast industry’s identity and boosting awareness about the variety of in-demand job roles would be important to achieving success for this campaign.
We knew we’d need meaningful insights into our audiences’ motivations surrounding career choices, and we wanted to uncover the most positive aspects of broadcasting careers. Our research team explored dozens of topics from studies on generational communication preferences and the progression of the broadcast media industry to evolving perceptions, available career options, and post-secondary enrollment trends.
Primary research included focus groups with college students, pre and post surveys, and a series of interviews with broadcast media professionals representing a variety of in-demand careers throughout Michigan.
The “Be There” campaign emerged, a data-driven concept aimed at attracting professionals with a range of experiences, backgrounds, and skills to the exciting world of broadcast media.
As simple as it is powerful, the “Be There” campaign effectively combines foundational research, strategy, powerful messaging, compelling creative and efficient execution to produce a campaign that’s delivering results for the MAB in big ways.
The project scope includes research, creative development, and production of a robust toolkit of video, audio, digital, print, social media, and outdoor assets—including the campaign landing page. To inform the work, King called upon proven research strategies and deep experience mining for data. This has proven a real advantage for planning and strategic development.
Our audience includes individuals ages 14-34 who may consider a career in the broadcast industry. Intentionally diverse, there are no boundaries in terms of race, gender, creed, or geographic location in the state.
The long-form video is a cornerstone piece that shines a light on local broadcasting as an exciting and meaningful career path. The tone is uplifting and asks audiences: Who will “Be There” as a trusted voice in the community? To deliver important news and warnings? Or to give a voice to those who are not being heard? Key messaging explores the variety of in-demand broadcasting careers and their benefits.
To ensure we got it right, we showed early variations of the long form video to focus group participants, which allowed us to collect data on specific generational preferences and reactions. The final video is the result of several iterations to fine-tune our messaging.
Prominently featured on the campaign landing page at BeThereMichigan.com, the long form video is an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at the broadcast media industry in action. Genuine and exciting, actual footage from Michigan’s broadcast news stations and b-roll starring the state’s most recognizable cities, landmarks, and points of interest accompany key messaging and upbeat, emotional music. These touches make the video highly relevant, recognizable, informative, and interesting.
At four-and-a-half minutes, the “Be There” video forms the basis for a series of 12 additional video concepts with titles such as “The Storm,” “The Final Whistle,” “When History Unfolds,” and “Need to Be Heard.” Each of these were further developed into dozens of mechanicals. In addition to English, select videos were produced in Arabic and Spanish. The spots varied in length and included 10, 15, 30 and 60-second productions for use on broadcast and OTT television, digital ads, and social media campaigns, among others.
The “Be There” long form video provides a powerful context for effective recruitment. Authentic and full of energy, it connects with our audiences in a variety of ways. It appeals to audiences’ desires to serve others and the community; to be a part of something bigger than themselves; to get in on the action; to document history as it unfolds.
By using actual news footage and b-roll of some of Michigan’s most recognizable places, the content is highly recognizable, relevant, and gives an emotional tug. Through careful planning, the video effectively weaves key messaging and branding elements in ways that work together to create the cohesive piece, yet also work independently to promote the overall message and facilitate a robust library of 12 video concepts with dozens of assets.
The “Be There” campaign provides these assets and dozens more to support recruitment efforts throughout Michigan. The toolkit is now available to MAB member stations and recently launched in select markets. Initial MAB feedback has been entirely positive, and we are currently in conversations with associations nation-wide to tailor the “Be There” campaign for each state’s unique circumstances and geographies.