Güd Marketing

The importance of media partnerships

by Sara Williams on July 23, 2021 4 -minute read
A successful media campaign can be taken to new heights with a great media partner. When you have one, you get great results because a great media partner:
  • Becomes your advocate
  • Helps you make smart decisions
  • Communicates with you early and often
  • Gets to know you and how you work
  • Is someone you can trust.
  • Will be honest with you
  • Will give you the buy-in you seek but won’t if you’re wrong.
  • Makes it all worthwhile.
Several illustrated hands coming together.
PBS is a great media partner.
One example of the value of a great media partnership is when we worked with six Public Broadcasting Service partners across the state for a Build Up Michigan campaign targeting parents and caregivers of children 3-5. Build Up is the overarching name for Michigan’s public preschool programs that aim to get children 3-5 who have exhibited developmental delays prepared for kindergarten. It’s a sister program to Early On Michigan, which provides early intervention services to children ages 0-3 and their families. With the pandemic hampering in-person preschool programs, we needed to highlight activities and exercises parents could do at home with their children to ensure they were meeting key milestones for development. Working with Michigan PBS stations, we developed the Thrive From Home campaign, which included videos that aired during PBS Kids programming and focused on aspects of early childhood development, including science, communication and gross motor skills. We were surprised to discover how distinct the coverage was for PBS. Each station had different strengths and weaknesses when connecting to its audiences, with different levels of penetration in its market. For example, in the Upper Peninsula, the PBS station didn’t reach southern counties we needed to be in. Luckily, PBS fits the description of a great media partner, and we both quickly figured out a solution.
All things really were considered.
When we realized the PBS station did not cover some of the southern counties, representatives immediately told us their highly influential National Public Radio station did. Which was great. We worked out a way to develop a campaign that included both PBS and NPR market buys to successfully reach our audience.
Organic isn’t a smart choice only at the grocery store.
Since PBS is focused on “organic content” for programming, it was important that certain copy points were incorporated into our messaging – including written setups for the video content we provided. The campaign included email messaging as well as digital display on the station’s website – none of which was based upon strength of reach.
You can move a lot faster when you have a great media partner by your side.
Our biggest challenge was the timeframe we had to execute our plan. We had to act fast and we had to be smart. We faced a deadline that didn’t give us much time to plan. (Nobody had enough time, in fact. The pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of everyone everywhere.) Despite the challenges, the tight timelines and the pandemic, it was successful. What got us through it all was – you guessed it - working with a great media partner. Is this starting to sound like a broken record? Maybe … but a successful media campaign is music to my ears.
Even though it all worked out great we still learned an invaluable lesson.
The lesson we learned was surprise! – the importance of having a great media partnership. Our PBS/NPR partnership was highly effective, and we hope to foster such productive partnerships again in the future. When developing campaigns similar to this, it’s important to engage partners as stakeholders in your campaign. “What’s in it for me?” goes both ways – especially when “what’s in it for me?” actually is about “what’s in it for the greater good?”
The whole point.
It’s always important to consider the point of what we do. In this case, it was getting a message out to parents and caregivers who needed to understand that if their children were having developmental issues, our Early On Michigan client could help them. This is important stuff, and important stuff needs to be heard. It always feels good when a media plan works out well and a client gets results, but when a media plan works out and somebody somewhere is able to make a big difference in their child’s life … because we were able to communicate to them … that feels great. There’s nothing better than that.

Sara Williams

Media Manager
Family first, lover of dogs and shopping, “I am who I create myself to be”
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