On digital’s cutting edge

Aug 5, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Washington is home to a growing number of technology companies that have been seeking ways to gain exposure with potential clients. NBC-owned WRC-TV answered that call by hosting a technology expo for advertisers.
“Technology is changing quickly and these companies are anxious to get exposure with potential customers,” said WRC General Sales Manager Craig Robinson. “Our second annual Digital Edge Expo allows them to get out and meet customers.”
WRC will promote companies that buy a schedule on its air at this year’s expo, which will take place Sept. 7 to 8. “It is a wonderful community event for us because we know in some way it helps to bridge the digital divide,” he said. Last year WRC saw about 25,000 people pass through in the two days of the convention to see 61 exhibitors, from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to Motorola.
Over at Allbritton Communications’ WJLA-TV, General Manager Christopher Pike said having a separate new business development department with a separate sales manager and staff for the past 20 years has worked well for the ABC affiliate.
Thanks to the diligence of that department, “We have put a lot of resources into developing the content on our Web site and also in generating advertising that uses the Web site as either a stand-alone advertising opportunity or in support of an on-air campaign,” Mr. Pike said.
One such campaign with an on-air and Internet component was for Hawaii tourism. It was tied to people registering to win a free trip, Mr. Pike said. Others included public service campaigns with the American Savings Education Council and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Both were geared toward encouraging consumers to open savings accounts.
Tribune Broadcasting’s WB affiliate WBDC-TV has found that viewer involvement works well for the station. For Black History Month, WBDC involved viewers with its “Unsung Heroes” campaign that focused on local, contemporary Washington people who are making things happen in their community.
Amy Katz, an LCI, N.Y., client services supervisor who has bought spots for clients on several of the D.C. stations, said advertisers are “looking for the most added value and biggest bang for their buck.” Last year, a “Watch and Win” promotion for sitcom “Just Shoot Me” was a good buy for client General Motors Corp.
D.C. TV revenues were about $447.7 million in 2001, according to BIA Financial Network, and are expected to be about $467.8 million in 2002.