Targeted Television Strategy (1997)

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This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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June, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.3, 1997)


                       Targeted  Television Strategy
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                               by Andrew Booth*
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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 through 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
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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
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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 audio-visual 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 broad-
casters 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.


Your Ideas Please!
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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)

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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