PRs should tune into London's new TV station

London Live launched last night to great fanfare and a cross-promotion by the London Evening Standard and The Independent that would have done Auntie proud.

London Live: Offering hyper-local news
London Live: Offering hyper-local news

With broadcasting minister Ed Vaisey describing the new station as a "beacon" that would guide its subsequent regional counterparts at launch, PRs across the city will need to set aside their copy of Metro for a moment and turn a keen eye on the new station to explore the opportunities that it offers them and their clients.

By opening with a mix of landmark locations from the top of the O2 and live Noah screenings from Leicester Square, mixed with attitude (Not The One Show), daytime slots and new London soaps and sitcoms, the station is clearly taking no prisoners.    

It seems that London Live will also offer collaborative opportunities. Much of this will be enforced by the difficult brief that London Live has written itself. The station hopes to target the 16-34 demographic while offering five hours of "hyper-local" news and current affairs a day.

Current affairs and the advertisers’ dream segment haven't always been happy bedfellows so London Live will need to create and fill a market that hasn't ever had a terrestrial precedent.

To achieve longevity, the station will need to glean multiple audience insights in order to help establish a news agenda that will likely sit somewhere been Radio 1 NewsBeat and the Evening Standard.

This can be partly achieved through the reader polls that already appear on the tablet product, but it’s not difficult to imagine strong London research and case studies from smart PRs helping shape London Live’s output in its early weeks.

London Live has ambitious aspirations and has the potential to be a hugely positive force for the city and its ongoing story. It is a shame for them that they didn't launch with a major event like The Olympics to focus on.

However, as the channel’s raison d’etre has been so clearly trailed, the onus is on PRs to consume its content in the formative stages, understand the tone as it is established and ensure they aren’t talking Ceefax to the YouTube generation.

Andrew Baiden is CEO at Thirteen Communications

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