“We don’t work in the television business anymore,” Larry Rickel, president and CEO of The Broadcast Image Group, told broadcasters and publishers at PromaxBDA’s Station Summit.

“We work in the evolving media business.”

The traditional lines between marketing and content are not just blurred—they’re gone. And local news stations must pivot by changing the way they think about storytelling. They must throw out preconceived notions, old assumptions, fixed ideas about who does what, and things that have “always been done this way,” and begin thinking of their companies as startups rather than television stations.

“You have to be willing to give it up and reimagine what you’re thinking and what you’re doing,” Rickel said. “It really is a transformative strategy if you are willing to step back and not hang onto the old stuff anymore.”

In this way, content departments and marketing departments should come together to build more holistic, integrated storytelling teams across news, marketing and digital.

“It’s not about inserting yourself into a process,” Rickel said. “You’ve got to be a part of the process from the beginning.”

It involves a deadline-driven process of planning, collaboration and more synergy between content and marketing, and often requires some reorganization when it comes prioritizing time and resources.

“The reality is there’s going to be resistance, but you’ve got to work through it,” he said. “Respond to it, evolve the ecosystem and continue to iterate.”

Content and marketing should be working together to plan out a story arc that presents and advances a piece of content across platforms.

It’s not just about the newscast, but the Facebook post asking the community for input on potential questions to ask a politician, a mobile push notification with updated news, an Instagram story that provides a behind-the-scenes perspective. It’s incorporating artificial intelligence tools and augmented reality,

“It forces you to think beyond the event,” Rickel said. “You’ve got to advance beyond the event, to the effect, to make the newscast relevant.”

Tags: station summit 2018

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