Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WZZM One of 10 Gannett Markets to Go 'Hyper-Local'

Grand Rapids is one of 10 Gannett markets that will soon have hyper-local web-based coverage, according to an article in Washington Business Journal.

WZZM TV 13 is the Gannett station in Grand Rapids.

Gannett says the "community web sites", which will include user-generated content from viewers, will be integrated with current TV station web sites and be attractive to advertisers who want to reach specific audiences within a broader coverage area.

There are not a lot more details at this time. But I do wonder a few things, such as:
  • will this new effort work with or compete with the Rapidian, Grand Rapids' year-old 'citizen journalism' and neighborhood news effort?'
  • will there be scope and scale for advertisers to reach more specific demos within the community (i.e. what will they be willing to pay and will that be enough, and will there be enough advertisers, to make this effort really pay for the TV station?)
  • will others follow suit and make reaching hyper-local markets more hyper than local?
  • how will this affect PR people in terms of pitching hyper-local stories, to whom should the story ideas be pitched if user-generated, will the station accept a well crafted user-generated story from a PR professional (so long as it's legitimate news I would hope so), will PR professionals adapt and learn to shoot and post online video?
One thing is for sure--this new media environment is interesting and ever-changing.

1 comment:

Phil de Haan said...

Thanks Tim for flagging the article and the WZZM "hyperlocal" approach. I still don't quite know what to make of that term, nor am I sure as to what it means for a TV station (or newspaper, etc) to create a "community website" with "user-generated content about neighborhood happenings and events."

I wonder how much of this actually gets integrated with the rest of the news coverage and how much it's simply a stand-alone news aggregation site within an existing news site. It would be pretty easy to create a community website which allowed viewers to submit stories, video, images, etc and keep it apart from the "real" news site, while cherry picking the best stuff now and then to import into the main site.

Nonetheless, as you said, things are changing at a hyper clip. I have found it interesting in recent weeks to watch FOX 17's promotion of its Facebook presence. Seems to me WXMI has decided to make Facebook its defacto community website which might not be a bad strategy either.

Phil de Haan, PR specialist
Calvin College