When four news-producing TV stations in Richmond, Va., joined together in a promotional campaign pledging solidarity to the people of their city during this coronavirus crisis, little did they know that they would end up influencing “journalism on the other side of the globe.”
“The Good Stuff,” billed as stories that inspire, always delivers with stories so uplifting that they often produce a tear or two. And if ever there was a time when local TV news viewers needed a dose of inspiration, it’s now.
“As the need has doubled and even tripled locally in recent weeks, knowing this campaign will help provide millions of dollars in groceries for our neighbors statewide when they need us most is simply incredible—there’s never been a more important, impactful time for a campaign like this than right now,” said Julie Yurko, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s president.
The donations included $100,000 from Sean Payton, the New Orleans Saints head coach. “During times like these, it is not only our duty but our privilege to join in and help our community,” said Joel Vilmenay, WDSU’s general manager.
“We wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to produce fresh promos with our commitment to #MichianaUnited,” said Nishan Gilmet, the creative services director for WBND South Bend, Ind. Finally, a local girl tried out. We knew right away her voice fits perfectly for our ABC 57 promo.”
A Patriots’ Day of Giving rallied people in their homes with special Boston Marathon programming, including a rebroadcast of the 2014 and 2018 races as well as an airing of BOSTON: The Documentary, the definitive history of the race.
I got an email from Tina Veon, the creative director at KDKA, the CBS-owned affiliate in Pittsburgh, saying that the station did a PSA with some former Steelers/Pens/Pirates players to honor the real life heroes in her town and did I want more info about it. I told her yes, that if she gave me some background, I’d share her story but I would also tell her my Mean Joe Green story.
“The need is now,” said Dominic Mancuso, WTTV/WXIN’s general manager. “We asked the staff, can we turn this around quick, and they answered with a resounding ‘yes’.”
“Our community needs us now more than ever,” said Trisha Rayner, Freestore Foodbank’s VP of externa affairs. “A virtual food drive helps keep everyone safe. For every dollar we can provide 3 meals and $25 helps provide groceries for a family.”
One doesn’t normally think of local TV news and its marketing as a source of inspiration. But lately, it’s had its moments.