Communicating Value with Media Partnerships
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Fla.
Tampa Bay news station WTTA Great 38 has been a champion for library services and an influential media partner for Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. WTTA features THPL resources on its morning show each month, reaching thousands of homes in the Tampa Bay area and totaling an in-kind value of $20,000 in 2018.
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library does not have a publicity budget, so larger-scale media coverage was not a consistent piece of our marketing plan due to cost restraints. In December 2017, while THPL’s director was being interviewed on WFLA News Channel 8 about our fine free initiative, Hillsborough County’s communications team approached the producer of WFLA’s local sister station WTTA Great 38 about the potential for a recurring library segment on its new morning show.
WTTA’s morning show averages a viewership of 3,000 homes in the Tampa Bay area and its anchors are familiar, trustworthy local household names. During monthly three- to five-minute segments on library-selected topics, they engage with THPL staff about our services from the perspective of the customer, injecting enthusiasm through off-the-cuff questions. The anchors also run Facebook Live sessions for their combined 60,000 followers and WTTA replays segment clips later in the day, further extending viewership to wider demographics.
In 2018 WTTA donated an estimated $20,000 of in-kind publicity, which could not have been achievable within THPL’s budget. The show directly reaches our target market because it only airs to homes in the Tampa Bay area, and increased use of library resources shows that we are making immediate impressions on a real, local audience. THPL’s first Passport Fair, highlighted in our December WTTA segment, received 156 passport applications from 500 attendees, resulting in $5,500 in revenue for Hillsborough County libraries.