Monday, July 02, 2007

Local, but not necessarily Yokel

I was looking through the comments fields, and ran across one that I thought needed some clarification.

In my post "Television's White Lies," I expressed the hope that Sarah Honenberger's inteview on WTVR in Richmond would be posted on YouTube. The author left a comment about the post.

YouTube has copyright issues for most television stations, so the video can't be posted there. Should be on the website in a week or so. Media coverage for a book is absolutely crucial to spread the word, no matter the size of the publisher. Increasingly authors are having to do their own promotion.

Amen to that -- increasingly creative artists have to do their own promotion, and fortunately the Internet makes it easier to connect with their core audiences, but it's still a labor-intensive process. We'll explore that concept later.

But the comment kind of misses my point. The WTVR program "Virginia This Morning" was locally produced, so the content was under copyright to the station. If it had been a national program, then it would have been the network's call to post it or not. But since the interview was material owned by WTVR, they had the right to post it (or not) as they chose.

And they missed an opportunity by not doing so. As it was, a few thousand saw the interview when it was aired, and that was the end of it. If WTVR had posted the segment to YouTube, then Sarah Honenberger could have linked to it from her site -- and visitors across the country would have seen it, and become aware of WTVR. Fans of Honenberger would have something to link to on their respective blogs and/or sites, and so on.

This raises the profile of the station nationally. Artists, actors, writers and others with a national reputation on publicity tours become interested in the station, as an interview will not only help them locally, but gain them a wider audience through YouTube.

As the stature of the guests rise, so does the audience for "Virginia This Morning." And bigger audience means heftier ad rates.

Now not every segment of "Virginia This Morning" should be posted. The person talking about the local 5k run, for example, wouldn't be a good post. But interviews that would be of interest to people outside the Richmond area would be. And I don't think it would be that difficult to each day look over the scheduled guests for that edition of the show and decide which segments should be posted. An intern could handle the edits, convert the video files and upload the segments. There could even be credits attached that could drive traffic to the WTVR website. And higher web traffic can also mean higher ad revenues.

There are some WTVR posts on YouTube, but it looks like few actually come from the station. Artists aren't the only ones who need to do a little self-promotion. WTVR missed a chance to reach a wider audience. And perhaps a chance to monetize that opportunity.

- Ralph

1 comment:

  1. Update on White Lies author Honenberger, my TV interview with Blue Ridge Regional Library is posted at and bliptv, url is I'm trying to design my My Space page also, an old dog learning new tricks.