By Rick Griffin
The recent election cycle may have been a cutthroat riot of attack ads and media saturation. However, for some broadcasters, it was a stimulus package.
Political campaigns often emerge as a welcomed source of revenue because TV and radio stations benefit from piles of campaign cash that buoy balance sheets. Of course, some elections produce a bigger windfall than others, but this one wasn’t too bad, according to leaders of local TV and radio stations. It helped to have 17 statewide propositions, the most on a single ballot since March 2000, along with the two stadium measures, both the Chargers ballot measure and the Citizens’ Plan. Among the comments:
“I know we exceeded our station estimates,” said Chuck Dunning, XETV/CW6 San Diego VP and GM. “It was driven to a large extent by the record number of local and state ballot initiatives. Since the threshold for qualifying signatures is based on voter turnout from the previous election, the low 2014 turnout made qualifying an initiative easier in 2016. In 2018, the high 2016 voter turnout may raise the bar for qualifying.”
“Local broadcast TV is the biggest influencer of voter decisions,” said Scott Heath, president and GM, KSWB-TV Fox 5 San Diego. “According to the Voter Funnel study, at every step of the decision-making process, 70 percent of respondents rated TV as the most important medium for issue awareness, 52 percent turn to TV to get more info, and 51 percent cited TV as most important in getting them to pull the lever, almost nine times the respondents citing social media.”
Heath said early estimates say that about $30 million was spent this year in the San Diego market in political campaign spending. That compares to $39 million in 2006 and $32 million in 2012.
“When voters were asked which platform they trusted the most for information,” Health said, “84 percent of respondents turned to local broadcast TV, 70 percent cited cable TV while only 41 percent listed social media. This was evident across all ages, genders and political affiliations.”
In addition, the local radio industry benefited this election from campaign advertising.
“Radio’s big win was seen in both the statewide propositions and local measures C and D,” said Melissa Forrest, president, iHeartMedia Markets Group, San Diego and Riverside region. “Overall, political spending in San Diego radio was not as robust as the 2012 election cycle. This was due largely to lack of radio ad spend from the presidential and senate races. We are estimating the total radio ad spend for the election cycle will reflect a disappointing contraction for the San Diego radio market despite radio being the largest reach medium available.”
iHeartMedia’s cluster of seven radio stations in San Diego include KGB 101.5-FM, KHTS Channel 93.3-FM, KIOZ Rock 105.3-FM, KLSD/XTRA Fox Sports San Diego 1360-AM, KSSX-FM KISS 95.7-FM, News Radio 600-AM KOGO and KMYI Star 94.1-FM.
Brand Diego Awards Name Outstanding Local Brands
SDX has announced the winners of its 2016 Brand Diego Awards, recognizing outstanding San Diego brands and marketing and advertising professionals who build those brands.
This year’s winners included: Mindgruve, Agency of the Year; Adrian Escude, BusinessOnline, Agency Professional of the Year; Amobee, Business-to-Business Brand of the Year; JLab Audio, Business-to-Consumer Brand of the Year; Ocean Connectors, Non-Profit Brand of the Year; Paul Drohan, Mirum, Brand Professional of the Year; Power Digital Marketing, Community Partner of the Year; GigTown, Emerging Brand of the Year; Doug Buckley, Univision Radio, Hispanic Marketing Professional of the Year; Neyenesch Printers, Industry Affiliate of the Year; Zeeto Media, Marketing Employer of the Year; Hookit, Media Company of the Year; Josh Irvine, Kameleon Advertising, Young Achiever Award. In addition, Jon Bailey, i.d.e.a., was presented with the Paula E. Sullivan Award, a career achievement award, and Carmella Spencer was presented with the SDX President’s Award.
“The Brand Diego Awards allow us to take a moment to honor the brands, agencies and media companies and individuals who are doing incredible work,” said Brian Hilemon, 2016/17 SDX president. “As a San Diegan, I’m extremely proud of this talented, creative and inspiring community of professionals.”
Winners were announced Nov. 10 at the McMillin Event Center at Liberty Station. A complete list of winners is available at www.SanDiegoX.org.
Public Relations Society of America Announces 2017 Board
The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter has announced its 2017 board of directors. Melissa Cameron, Southwest Strategies, will serve as president, succeeding Blake Nelson, My Sage PR, who
will serve as past president. Other executive committee members include: Jenny Corsey, Corsey Communications, as president-elect; Brianne Mundy Page, Donate Life California, as secretary; Bill Gay, Reliance PR, as treasurer.
New board members serving three-year terms include: Craig Balben, San Diego County Water Authority; Lauren Fimbres Wood, i.d.e.a.; Katie Nieri, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker; Hope Reilly, Southwest Strategies.
Returning board members with terms expiring in 2018 include: Mike Daily, Booze Allen Hamilton; Danielle Johnson Hoffpauir, J Public Relations; Sarah Mojarro Lemons, Katz & Associates; Maria McGregor, Sempra Energy; Julie Smith-Taylor, Taylor & Coates PR. Returning board members with terms expiring in 2017 include: Nikki Jimenez, Focuscom; Ann Marie Price, Scatena Daniels Communications; Krystin Williamson, Allison+Partners. For information about the chapter, visit www.prsasdic.org.
Direct Marketers Retool with Marketing Research
SD Direct, formerly the San Diego Direct Marketing Association, will host “Retool Your Marketing Research for Better Aim,” a program on research tools beyond focus groups, mail intercepts and telephone surveys, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, at UCSD Extension, Room #317, 6256 Greenwich Dr., San Diego.
Topics will include do-it-yourself marketing research options for direct-response marketers, including intuitive segmentation of a customer base for sending relevant messages to each segment. Speaker will be Kirsty Nunez, president, chief research strategist, Q2 Insights, Inc. Nunez has two master’s degrees, in research psychology from San Diego State University and in biostatistics from Tulane University. Cost to attend is $20 for members, $40 for guests and $12 for students. Lunch is included. To RSVP, visit www.sddma.org/events.
Media Supporting Multiple Sclerosis Fundraiser
Three media outlets, including Ranch & Coast Magazine, San Diego Business Journal and iHeartMedia Market Group San Diego, are among the sponsors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 30th annual MS Dinner Auction on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Considered one of San Diego’s largest annual charity auctions, more than 600 people are expected to attend and bid on more than 600 silent and live auction packages. The event typically raises about $500,000 for multiple sclerosis research and programs for people with MS, a chronic, unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system with no known cause, cure or prevention. The 2016 MS Dinner Auction theme is “A Brazilian Carnival.” Tickets begin at $175 per person. For information, visit www.MSdinnerAuction.com.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.
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