This document has been made available in electronic format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
Targeted Television Strategy (1997)

June, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol. 90 No. 3, 1997, pp. 60-62)

Targeted  Television Strategy
by Andrew Booth*

An integrated television strategy has been developed by the ICA communications department in collaboration with World Television, a specialist independent news agency providing news and current affairs programming to broadcasters around the world and communications support to international organisations.

The strategy  is designed to:
 * project a more modern and dynamic image of co-operatives worldwide;
 * position co-operative business enterprise as a major growing force;
 *  promote co-operative ideas and ideals in a targeted form with opinion leaders and  young people.

Developed to run over four years, the strategy is developmental in form and incorporates revenue generating projects. It has been divided into two phases.

During ‘Phase 1’ the strategy focuses on building and redefining the profile of the co-operative movement though the use of video news releases and a new updated promotional video. In ‘Phase 2’ the strategy refocuses to take advantage of the organisation's new position and profile within the broadcast world and secures more direct relationships with key broadcasters and agencies.

Phase 1: Creating a Profile - Outline strategy years 1 and 2
In recent years international broadcast deregulation has led to a massive reduction in the budgets allocated to news and current affairs. In combination with the increase in the number of low budget satellite and cable delivered news services, this deregulation has increased broadcasters reliance on prepackaged news from external sources, often delivered in the form of video news releases (VNRs).

Video news releases are used as a basic communication tool by a broad range of international organisations ranging from WWF International and Amnesty International to the International Business Federations like the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.

With members in over 90 countries presenting strong good news business related stories, ICA  is well positioned to take advantage of the profile opportunities presented by the deregulation of the international news market.

Rather than commit substantial resources to a large scale VNR based strategy, World Television recommends that the ICA should adopt a more considered approach. Initially they recommend that ICA produce two VNR’s in year one, moving on to a maximum of four a year by the end of year four. At least one of the VNR’s will be timed to coincide with International Co-operative Day (a news opportunity unique to the ICA)  with remaining VNR’s focusing on events or initiatives being planned by the ICA and its members in different sectors.

In year one,  to take advantage of expenditure on VNR’s, World Television will be producing a new promotional video to replace the one in use at present which presents a dated image of the organisation. The present promotional video is interview led and, in the new version, the picture content will be increased with music and graphics being used to present a more dynamic and business-like image of co-ops.

This first VNR will be launched to coincide with the International Day of Co-operatives in early July. It echoes the theme of the day which is World Food Security and features a widow who has been left to bring up the children of a deceased son in addition to the youngest of her own brood. By selling milk from her two cows through her local co-operative she can make enough to feed and educate her extended family.

A crew is currently in Nairobi, Kenya filming this VNR which aims to show how co-operatives can change the lives of ordinary people.

Phase 2: Establishing a Relationship - Outline strategy  years 3 - 4
During the course of the last six months,  World Television have been exploring opportunities to position programming within business news programmes about the ICA and the  co-operative movement. Following these initial discussions,  World Television believes it would be possible to negotiate a programming arrangement with a major business news provider like Reuters or Dow Jones to provide the organisation with regular profile opportunities either within business newsfeeds or in other related programme packages.

The project should be designed to allow ICA to develop other properties around the core concept, either to offer members access to other commercial markets or to increase membership.

Revenue Opportunities
During the course of the four year strategy,  the ICA would create a large archive of broadcast standard images on which it retains full copyright.

This material will be valuable both for future audiovisual projects planned by the ICA and its member organisations and as a source of external revenue. At present standard, world broadcast rights for one minute of video cost £2,000 for one use only. By the end of year one, we will be able to provide revenue projections for this aspect of the television strategy.

In any programming relationship negotiated with Dow or any other business news provider the ICA will retain copyright to the series. This will allow ICA to sell the series on to other broadcasters as part of a dedicated programme sales strategy.

With the planned revolution in digital broadcasting there will be an increased number of cable and satellite broadcasters anxious to fill air time with substantial budgets allocated to programme acquisition.

* Mr. Booth is a Director of World Television, a specialist independent agency providing news and current affairs programming to broadcasters around the world. World Television produced this strategy in collaboration with Mary Treacy, ICA Director of Communications.

Your Ideas Please!

Ideas for Video News Releases should be sent to the ICA Secretariat. They should meet as many as possible of the following criteria:

* Original (exclusive to the extent that new agencies wouldn’t cover it themselves or wouldn’t have access to it)

* Relevant (to a current news-peg or other related story  already in the news)

* Exciting (strong picture content before strong editorial content)

* Active (something has to be happening and an ICA member should be part of the action)

* Emotional (engages news editors and viewers' response in an emotive non-scientific way)