Continued budget cuts and changes in national and state legislation have made it difficult for community media to serve individuals in their municipalities. Decreased funding for community media has increased station expenses and made it harder for stations to implement outreach and marketing projects. Money might solve a media station’s outreach problem, but putting whatever money is available to its most effective use can be a greater challenge.
Community media directors can effectively leverage social media, community management, and social influencers to survive ad thrive in the internet space. To leverage the benefits of these three tools, community media organizers need to distinguish between social media marketing and community management.
Oracle blog contributor Steve Welsh says “[s]ocial influence, or social proof, is earned by demonstrating your expertise through connecting, engaging and giving value to the people who matter to your business.”
More households are canceling cable television and choosing streaming services. This reduces the out-sized competition that network television once presented to community media programming, but it places community media in an even more competitive arena with streaming services and other internet distractions. The good news is these services are all competing on a more level playing field.
Community media stations that successfully engage their community members have a ready-made source of funding. Before getting started with any crowdfunding campaign, community media directors must develop a strategic plan to identify additional revenue through sponsorships, underwriting, and other avenues.
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