With the announcement today that STV2 will launch on Monday 24th April 2017, it’s clearly an exciting time for local television in Scotland.
The new channel (STV2) will reach approximately 85% of viewers in STV’s transmission area. In addition to Freeview access it will be available on Sky, Virgin and online via the STV Player.
With an exciting mix of news, features, drama, sport and entertainment, Scotland’s new channel will provide a unique opportunity to broadcast content that isn’t available for viewers anywhere else – and it clearly presents a whole host of opportunities for the PR sector.
Around the time STV launched its first local channel (STV Glasgow) in 2014, I spoke at a number of PR industry events with a view to convincing the audience that local television would work and they should factor it into their future media plans. While the idea was well received there were still a few question marks in the minds of PRs. How will this work? It’s not what we usually do? Are we taking a risk with the client? Where do we fit in?
Opportunity for PRs in Scotland
They had a point. Local television as seen in other countries was a slightly alien concept in the UK at that time. In other territories it’s the go-to-place to get you, your idea or story in front of a TV audience. In the UK broadcast was traditionally national, difficult to access and presented a challenge for PRs in that it was demanded by the client but difficult to deliver for the PR.
I’m glad to say there were a number of early PR pioneers who saw the potential of the new channels, embraced the idea and engaged with the STV team. Hopefully it’s paid off for them. With monthly audiences ranging between 800,000 to 1.1 million individual viewers, the channels have offered a platform through our extensive news programmes to our flagship magazine show “Live at Five”. In fact many PRs have taken full advantage of the platform and become regular contributors to the programmes, offering opinion on a variety of subjects.
I’m looking forward to answering any questions you may have on the channels at this year’s #PRFest but also to hear about your experiences of working with the channels and what you’d like to see from STV2. So, please come along to the session on Thursday, 15 June and say hello.