It seems rather frequent these days that Bulwark Exterminating gets calls from individuals “with the news station” wanting to “feature a pest control company”.
And now, more often then not, I am disappointed when a call gets through to my line with an intro of “They said they were with the news station.” Very few of these individuals are actually reporters covering news. Instead they are solicitors who have coat tailed in on the name of CBS News. Granted they don’t usually say they are covering a news story, or that they are reporters from the news station. They simply drop the familiar “News Station” name into their introduction and those answering the phones make great haste to get them to the proper PR person. But really, all they want to do is pitch a spot on their news website.
Now I know that a lot of traditional media stations are suffering with how to adapt to the internet. The online world is sucking viewers away by the millions. Reporters are getting scooped left and right by bloggers and youtube videos shot from smart phones. It is a tough new world for traditional media. But these phone calls make them seem even more desperate to me. And strangely, the “News Stations” just don’t get it. And sadly, most of them cave to running Google Adsense, feeding their biggest competitor.
And what they don’t see is the power they still wield. I am more than happy to bend over backwards for reporters, when they do actually call. I am happy to rearrange schedules, clean up a truck, find an ant mound, let them video our live scorpions, and even spend 2 hours to be dropped for breaking news. Because the news is still watched. Not by all demographics, but by the good majority of the demographic that will actually buy pest control. And your stations are still being watched. Yes, you may have to adjust for the loss of viewers. Yes, your prices will probably need to drop. But you still have an audience and you can make it profitable.
And for those solicitors that keep calling, you are making making your stations look bad. You are not reporters. Don’t pretend to be such. Don’t pretend to be offering a “news” feature. Further, online views are not the same as TV views. They shouldn’t cost the same, it’s not a bargain. The prices I’ve been offered for impressions on a news website are ridiculous. Especially when the ads are below the fold. So “No Thank You CBS Broadcasting in Charlotte NC. We don’t want to be solicited for a feature PAID spot on your website. If you do however want to feature our fabulous Charlotte Pest Control company in the news my lines are open.”