Change can be Hard. But It’s Worth it for Your Business.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”

-Socrates

Hesitant to Change Your TV Service? You’re not Alone.

Services like cable and satellite are bought and subscribed to as early as the point of purchasing a TV. From there on out, one’s choice of provider tends to adopt a Set It & Forget It sort of mentality. You’re comfortable with what you have, you don’t ever think to replace it, and you’re “happy with it.

But what does “happy” mean here?
• Are you excited?
• Does your TV service bring your customers real joy?
• Does it help your business every day?
Or is saying you are “happy” more like a nice way of saying that you’re settling for what you currently have because the alternative is something unfamiliar. Very few business and offices really LOVE or even LIKE the TV service they subscribe to.

Many of our clients hesitated at first to change from away from the TV service they had. Reasons included many false assumptions like needing to schedule an installation, reading long contracts, or having to make phone calls. These can all be avoided.

The single worst feedback we’ve heard is that some business owners don’t care about what’s on their TVs!  Even if you don’t care, your customers DO! If you care about them, it’s worth considering what you put in front of them. Our clients find their visitors enjoy the programming more, complain far less, and leave better educated about their business. This can lead to a real return on investment from your TV. On top of the benefits, it’s also quite easy to make the switch. The installation is simple and doesn’t require scheduling an “appointment window”. You can install it yourself in under 5 minutes.

Why Fix what isn’t Broken?

Business owners and office managers should not settle. If there is something that is better and most cost-effective for our businesses we should explore it.

People tend to favor what’s familiar to them, pure and simple. That’s because with familiarity comes a sense of trust, reliance, and security. While there isn’t anything wrong with this, it can leave you blind to alternatives better suited for your needs. It’s less about fixing something that isn’t broken, and more about upgrading to better options.

airplane-open-seats-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were in an airplane, squished in between two people for a flight, and were given the opportunity to sit in a set of seats completely open next to you, would you move? Of course you would! Your seat may not be broken, but it’s just not as comfortable as the open seats will be. The better option is worth taking, and the sooner you make the decision to move the more time you have to enjoy the results of the change.

Fit Your Business with something Made for Business

It’s Relevant TV is a cable alternative that’s designed for the business setting. It compliments the brief time that people are exposed to the TV and is tailored to the casual attention span of your visitors. It’s Relevant’s short-form content is easy to watch. And the diverse library of content gives your business enough categories to choose from, to be relevant to as many people possible.

Why It’s Relevant TV?

With It’s Relevant in the picture, you’re able to explore the ways in which your TV can be used to transform your business. Beyond short-form content that’s family-friendly, IRTV allows you to expose visitors to your social media and educate them about the services you provide. They become interested and engaged, come back more, and spend more on each visit. That’s where It’s Relevant TV excels. It’s built specifically for you, and it’s designed to MAKE your business money.

Generally speaking, when you see something new that you’re interested in, you look into it for more details. You take a closer look in order to see if it’s better or worse than what you currently have, and in the end chose whether or not to replace the old with the new. If you operate a business, office or public space with a TV take a few minutes to explore It’s Relevant TV. You can reach out to the staff for a personalized presentation by calling 855-ITS-RELE or emailing support {at} itsrelevant.com.

 

Triple Play from Cable TV = Big Strikeout for Businesses

Don’t TRIPLE PAY for TV Services in Your Business

Cable bills are a growing concern for businesses. If you’re like many of the other business owners in the country, you’re tired of it. How often do we hear about a new “promotional offer” for a “triple play” that gives us TV, internet, and phone with a great rate? And the rate is great – until the initial period ends and the bills go up. At that point it’s nearly impossible to get them back down. In fact, over time they triple for many. You thought you had a triple play when in reality it just became a triple PAY.

Whether you are looking for discounted rates with Optimum, Comcast, Time Warner, Xfinity, Charter, Cox Communications, Bright House, Cable One, RCN or Mediacom, it’s the value that’s missing from all of the business TV offerings.

Cable’s problem isn’t just the cost, it’s the lack of VALUE.

We compared the rates among many of the top cable companies offering service to businesses. The average customer we work with pays between $300 to $700 a month on their cable subscription services. Cable won’t compete with itself, which has left us with cable monopolies across the country forcing these high rates. In the end, that’s not just unaffordable for many, it’s unpredictable and gives nothing back to your business.

Regardless of how much your business’ cable bill is costing you – in all likelihood you’re missing a real return. TV has always been seen as a utility. At It’s Relevant, we see it as an investment. Instead of just paying for programming to distract your customers, we would encourage you to draw their attention to content that will grow your business.

Triple Play Cable TV Cut Cost

The Cable TV Alternative for Businesses

It’s Relevant TV has developed a service that draws the attention of your customers and directs their focus to the things that make you more money. Services that they might not have been aware of, special deals or offers, and even local events. All of these things can be promoted on your TV with It’s Relevant, allowing you to get closer to visitors.

 

 

 

Controlling Multiple TVs Across Your Business or Organization

Easy to Manage One or Multiple Business TV Screens

Do you have a business or practice with more than one location? Many managers, franchise owners and practice managers have found it to be increasingly difficult to get a consistent message out to multiple locations.

Printing and distributing fliers or emailing announcements often get overlooked and are hard to police. We’ve found that being able to put the messaging up directly is the best way. But how can you control all of your TVs from one place? It’s Relevant TV makes it easy.

iPhone X (iPhone 10) - Home Screen
iPhone X (Apple iPhone 10)

It’s as easy as accessing logging in to the website or free iPhone/iPad app and selecting what you want to have shown on your screens. The settings can be updated 24/7 from anywhere.

You can control one or multiple screens at once. This gives national brands dual level control. You can design ads, mix in images, change your social media preferences, and upload videos of your own. And best of all, the messages you distribute get seen! They garner more attention by being mixed with TV programs your customers want to watch.

It’s your TV, make it work for you!

It’s Relevant features more than just TV content. Custom messaging and weather from each location’s zip code are easily added and managed. The service gives you the ability to reach out to visitors in ways you can’t with basic cable. IRTV can be linked to your social media feeds, showcasing your most recent posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It’s Relevant TV’s platform boasts a number of features that make the digital signage/video service an invaluable tool for businesses. Its library of 500,000+ short-form content licensed for public display is the largest of its kind, with the videos are spread across 40+ categories – allowing you to customize your waiting room TVs in ways that just aren’t possible with basic cable. One might expect a system as innovative as IRTV to be complicated, or run the risk of being too confusing to operate – but it’s easy!

You’re always in control

One of It’s Relevant’s most handy features, is Competetive Ad Block®. Competetive Ad Block® does what it says, it blocks competitive ads from showing up on your TV. With it in place, you never run the risk of people in your business seeing an ad for a “better” or more enticing deal across the street. Businesses that settle for basic cable have no control over outside messaging.

The most valued feature of It’s Relevant TV is the free ad space which allows you to expose visitors to your brand and promotions. Between, and during videos, you have the option to showcase your brand on the side of the screen and inform visitors of any services or specials you want them to see. New products and services, catering, limited-time offers, members rewards, or even staff highlights, are just a few of the things you can promote.

It’s Relevant TV is found in restaurants, medical offices, malls, retailers, sports arenas, car dealerships, pharmacies, salons, spas and more.

Free TV Services: What’s the Real Cost to a Medical Office or Business?

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
and there’s no such thing as a free TV service.

Nothing is free, including TV

If you’re using a TV service or platform that’s free, sooner or later you’re going to feel the cost of it – even if you didn’t put a single cent down. Even a homemade slideshow, or video that only cost the time it took to make it can bring detriment in the long run. The structure of such a video or slideshow may stand out as unprofessional and tacky and do more harm than good.

What’s the Cost of TV?
Cost runs a little deeper than money. The initial cost of cable, for example, might be a some-hundred dollar subscription for an inclusive package – but that’s not all there is to it. There are many hidden costs of running cable in your business. The lack of program control, contributing to visitor anxiety or showing competitor ads all can harm your business.

Everything has a cost, but not everything has a strong level of return. Cable is an expense that gives nothing back. Industry-specific TV providers, like the ones often seen in medical offices, benefit pharmaceutical companies while showcasing drug ads and medical information that tends to raise anxiety among patients.

What’s the alternative?

You can do better than free. Business owners are moving away from paying for TV as a utility, and are instead putting It’s Relevant TV in place to generate revenue from their TVs.

It’s Relevant is an alternative to cable that is less expensive, gives you control over what appears on your TV, and is comprised of short-form content that’s family-friendly and structured with business settings in mind. The service gives you access to a living TV network, not a loop or slideshow, that pulls videos from a vast library of licensed TV programs. It’s interesting and fun.

The IRTV platform generates new revenue by promoting additional services, specials, and events that people might not have been aware of. The service represents a significant return on investment (ROI), and is focused on customer retention – getting customers to spend more, and come back more often. So while there is a monthly subscription cost, the value and benefits far outweigh it.

For a personal look into how It’s Relevant can draw in more business for your business, check out our ROI Calculator and see for yourself how much of a return you can expect from our service.

 

 

 

Amazon Fire Stick: Don’t Risk Sticking Your Business

Technology is Changing TV

Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, and Smart TVs are steadily emerging over the horizon, more so now than ever. With access to services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Go and devices that allow you to stream those services on your TV, cable is on its way out.

TV has come a long way since the 1920’s, and as we get closer to 2020, looking back on the history of television during the last one hundred years and seeing how far we’ve come is pretty amazing. Today, televisions are just about everywhere you go. Everywhere. And they have been for a while. That’s because TVs are a staple of technology – we use them to reach out to one another, stay informed, and keep ourselves entertained.

If you’re a business owner who caters to crowds, or often has people waiting or sitting for lengthy periods of time, then chances are you’ve got a TV within sight for the exact reasons just listed above. Which is great, the comfort of your customers is key – but in this rapidly advancing world of technology, it’s easy to get carried away when trying to build an inviting waiting room experience.

Between all the technology available to business owners coupled with the drive to maintain customer satisfaction, the ease of putting something up like Netflix powered by an Amazon Fire Stick is second nature. So why wouldn’t you do it? The answer is simple. Because it’s illegal.

NETFLIX TERMS:

The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing limited license, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.

Using those services with a “set it and forget it” mentality without regard for the licensing terms and conditions can be dangerous for your business. The people who enforce the rules on media licenses take this very seriously. For more information regarding why you should think twice about setting up services like that in your business, check out this article on using Netflix in your business.

Personal Use is Different than Business Use

In the end, the licensing rights tied with those services only applies to personal use. Setting them up in your business is a no-go. But if you think about it, TVs and plug-ins like Fire Stick and Chromecast were designed with the home setting in mind, not business settings anyway.

fire

So you can’t use a Fire Stick in Your business to deliver any real TV content. Up until recently, this left you with only one real choice: cable TV. And while it’s legal to run cable in a business setting, cable TV isn’t designed for the benefit of your customers and your business. It’s Relevant TV is.

Custom TV from It’s Relevant

It’s Relevant TV bridges the gaps between TV, customer satisfaction, and business messaging using unique digital sinage software – creating a more inviting place for visitors. The service provides businesses with content and control that makes for an all around better TV experience. IRTV creates a custom TV network for each business with access to a vast library of original content divided into a number of categories you can pick and choose from. On top of the TV content with more meaningful controls, your business also gets room to advertise additional services, reach out to customers, and share your latest social media posts. It’s Relevant TV turns your television into a tool for your business.

Using Netflix & DVDs in Your Business: Don’t Put Yourself at Risk

fbi-warning-3

There it is – did you read it? You probably saw it, but did you really read what it says? Me neither. At least not after years and years of seeing it, or a similar message at the beginning of every movie I’ve ever watched.

Well, in case you still haven’t read it, it says:

“Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures, video tapes, or video disc.”

So what does this mean exactly? In short, it means that if you own something like a DVD of a movie, or a CD, you can’t legally burn copies of that disc and sell them to people – or even hand them out for free. Nor are you allowed to show that movie or play that album for the general public without the expressed consent to do so.

You might be wondering where the line is drawn, and it’s a fair question. Just like when you get a driver’s license that allows you to drive a car, when you buy anything like a DVD, you’re buying the license to watch or listen to that media privately.

Now before you go taking a hammer to your home theater, it’s important to note that while those licenses are private, it doesn’t exclude friends and family from enjoying them as well – the means to actually traffic and enforce that would simply be ridiculous. So long as your viewing is limited to personal and non-commercial use, you’re not in violation of the Terms & Conditions.

Is it legal for me to show Netflix in my business?

In short: No.
But this is an easy question to clarify by looking at Netflix’s terms of service.:

“The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing limited license, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.”

This is a prime example of how companies lay out licensing agreements. Does this mean you can’t show Finding Nemo in your waiting room? Unfortunately, you can’t. The difference between throwing the movie into your DVD player at home, and the TV at your office – is that one is at home (personal), and the other is a business (public). It’s the same reason you can’t buy a Taylor Swift CD and play her songs outside your store to attract customers. You can try, but it’s illegal, and it’s not good when you get caught. Companies take this sort of thing very seriously.

But were DVDs or Netflix a good idea in the first place?

When your visitors are at your location do they really want to watch a movie? Not really. They’re there for a reason and don’t want to be around long. People want to watch the TV as a distraction while they wait, but can’t be invested in a long-form program or movie.

The average time spent in a waiting room varies from business to business. Dentist offices come in at 5 to 10 minutes, whereas you could be waiting up to 20 minutes at a doctor’s office. Even if you could play the movies you wanted, a typical feature-length flick usually runs over or just under two hours. So unless you’re waiting over an hour for your car to be serviced, you’d only catch 1/12th or 1/6th of the movie – starting from who-knows-where.

The sort of programming that runs in a lobby should compliment the length of time people are going to be waiting there, with the notion that they’re not going to be fully invested in whatever’s on the screen.

So what can you play instead?

It’s Relevant TV features a network of original content spanning across a vast selection of categories. And unlike a DVD or Netflix, all of the content is licensed for public display. From kid’s entertainment to the national news, the programs are on average two and a half minutes long – long enough to hold someone’s attention in a waiting room and feel as though they left entertained or informed.

Dentist Offices: Playing the Waiting Game

“The waiting, is the hardest part…”

-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

You don’t need to appreciate classic rock to agree that waiting rooms take their toll on more than just time. We’ve all been there, the rows of padded chairs with wooden armrests, the piles of magazines, the TV, and the plant in the corner that may or may not be plastic. It’s these elements, and more, that make up the traditionally dull waiting room experience we know so well.

Empty Medical Waiting Room with Chairs
Empty Medical Waiting Room with Chairs

But does it have to be dull?

Sure enough, plenty of businesses and offices work hard figuring out how to make a waiting room more inviting, and put forth a lot of effort into improving their lobbies for their clients. But no matter where you go, whenever you end up having to wait for more than a few minutes you’ll likely see a TV.

And there’s a reason for that. TVs are an effective distraction. TVs draw people’s attention, and they’re a familiar element that we’re used to looking at on a daily basis – providing a quiet atmosphere with the comfort and white noise of what’s on. While televisions are great in that respect, there are many reasons that cable and satellite TV are not the best options for your office.

When you’re waiting to be seen by someone, you aren’t necessarily invested in a long program when you’re expecting to miss some, or most of it, as soon as you’re called away. And in the case of having the TV turned to any one station or giving visitors control over the remote, with a waiting room full of people it’s impossible to cater to them all and it’s likely that someone is going to get alienated.

So what’s a business owner to do about that?

It’s Relevant TV for Dentists and It’s Relevant TV for Medical Offices work to address those issues and more. Each custom TV network airs original content pulled from a vast library of categories tailored specifically for the practice it’s in. The segments run for two and a half minutes on average – meaning they’re brief enough to cater to an audience with limited focus, and the categories are varied enough that everyone is bound to see something that interests them on some level.

IRTV compliments an atmosphere in which people are looking for a distraction and aren’t there to be entertained. Going beyond aired content, the service can also be used to reach out to those people in waiting. Posts, photos, and even videos from your social media can be uploaded and played for visitors to see.

Whether you’re introducing your staff, highlighting local events, or even showcasing other services your business provides; it’s worth taking a look at: It’s Relevant TV.

 

TV Advertising: Traditional Isn’t Cutting It Anymore

The Main Goals of TV Advertising

Branding has long been the First, Middle and Last reason to advertise on Television. If potential customers don’t know about you, why would they buy your products or use your services? Brand awareness creates trust, generates leads, and ultimately creates sales and the growth of your business.

brand-reocgnition-funnel

 

For this reason businesses have used TV advertising to:
•  Create brand recognition by reaching the greatest number of viewers.
•  Attaining a frequency level that will promote memory retention.
•  Demonstrate value through emotion and visuals

And TV ads are great at achieving all three. But TV ads have become more expensive and less effective in the last few years due to a number of changes. Let’s take a closer look at the current state of Traditional TV Advertising.

The Current Characteristics of Traditional TV Advertising

  • Broadcast TV ads are expensive.
  • Television advertising is broadly targeted and ad buys usually include a lot of “waste” (the ad reach you pay for that is not relevant to your message).
  • Clutter Ridden – Television is overflowing with advertising. 25% to 35% of the broadcast airtime is now being filled with commercials
  • Ads are purchased based on ratings. Ratings are based on a small sample of the population and cannot guarantee how many people actually tune into any particular program.
  • TV ads are sold on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis.
  • Audience delivery is impossible to measure, as ratings are estimations and it is impossible to track what percentage of viewers stay tuned during your ad’s playback.
  • Under-delivery is fairly common
  • Reporting is horrible and slow. Actual run time/placement is only available by requesting a program log. It is nearly impossible to receive a log in a timely fashion. Especially from a Cable Operator.
  • Return on investment is very hard to calculate. Direct marketing messages are the only surefire way of seeing true ROI and actual effect on purchases based on the ads

Modern Television Advertising from It’s Relevant TV

It’s Relevant TV allows advertisers to forge brand recognition with pin-point accuracy and benefits. Unlike cable TV that targets channels and times of day, IRTV goes deeper.

1. Reach screens that are located in businesses in specific categories.

2. Market through televisions in specific zip codes.

3. Your commercials are shown in single ad breaks. This means that your ad is the only ad in a break, so all attention is on it.

4. You can target location types that have screens near point-of-purchase, allowing product owners to push their products in areas that they can be immediately purchased.

5. Reliable and immediate reporting. You can see the exact screens and the minute and second your ads have played on them.

6. Affordable at just $0.30-$0.50 per play per screen.

7. Extremely scalable with 24/7 controls. You can concentrate your ads when it makes the most sense for you, and scale back when it doesn’t.

8. Multiple ad messages. You can run multiple video ads at the same time and It’s Relevant will automatically distribute the messages evenly.

9. Ads are associated with family-friendly programming displayed in prominent public places.

For more information on this new advertising platform please contact John Lunghi by emailing him at: john {at} itsrelevant.com or by dialing the main office at: 203-588-1689.

Top 10 Reasons to Cancel Cable TV or Satellite TV in Your Business

Are You Using Cable or Satellite TV in your Business?

Cable TV and Satellite TV costs are on the rise, while they continue to offer little benefit for your business. Business owners are finding a better way to utilize their TVs, to not only entertain their customers, but to make the business more money at the same time. Why only spend money on cable/satellite when you can be making money with  It’s Relevant TV?

The Top 10 Reasons to Switch (Video)

1. Cable TV COSTS Money, It’s Relevant TV MAKES you money.

It’s Relevant TV is designed to make your business money by integrating your own promotions, videos and social media into the programming. These integrations lead to an increase in the average customer spend, social media followership and return visits/referrals. Traditional TV doesn’t give you any customization, while IRTV lets you customize every part of what’s being delivered to your customers.

2. Competitive Ad Block®

Cable and Satellite TV have a ton of commercials, often 16-22 minutes an hour. And while everyone expects to see commercials on TV, the one thing you as a business owner shouldn’t tolerate is a competitor to advertising in your location.

BMW-at-Mercedes

If you own a Mercedes-Benz Dealership, would you want a BMW commercial being played to your customers? Of course not. That’s why It’s Relevant has Competitive Ad Block®. It comes with all IRTV systems, and automatically blocks out ads from your industry competitors.

3. No Repetitive Loop & Better Content

If your TV is tuned to a news network you’re likely showing the same content over and over on repeat all day long. A repetitive loop just makes customers feel like they are waiting longer, and no one wants that! It’s Relevant TV is different. The programs never loop! Instead, we bring in fresh content all day long and switch between different content types to keep things interesting.

TV has a lot of channels, and you may find your staff and visitors having to change between them during the day. It’s Relevant TV has just as many choices, but instead of picking one channel, you choose all of the categories of content your visitors will enjoy most. We change the channel for you throughout the day, switching up the programming types every few minutes, increasing the number of touch-points you have with your customers.

4. Display Your Own Ads

Short of buying expensive advertising spots, Cable and Satellite offer no way to get your ads and messages across to customers. It’s Relevant TV makes it easy to feature your messaging next to the programming. You can create and upload images right from your computer or smartphone. IRTV handles the rest, rotating through your ads constantly throughout the day.

You can even set specific days or hours of the day to show specific ads. So for instance, if you run a restaurant, you can have breakfast specials shown until 11am, lunch until 3pm, and dinner for the rest of the night.

5. National News & 5-Day Weather Forecasts

Cable and Satellite TV offer a variety of weather and news channels. But you have to be tuned to one of the channels to get the information. As we all know, any extended viewing of news or weather leads to viewer boredom.

It’s Relevant TV allows you to mix in news and weather information seamlessly throughout the day amidst other more entertaining programming. So you can have food shows, travel programs, celebrity interviews, and news/weather all together instead of being stuck on a single repetitive channel for hours.

6. Real-Time Social Media Display (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Is your business on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? How do you encourage people to follow your accounts? Are you getting real customers to follow you?

It’s Relevant TV will display your posts in real-time, showing your most recent photo and text updates to your customers. This is great because it encourages people that have been to your location to follow you. People that have physically been there are more likely to return when following you than someone that’s never been to your location before.

7. Display Your Own Videos

Cable and Satellite TV offer no way for you to display your own videos. You’re just stuck with the channels they provide. It’s Relevant TV is different. If you have a TV commercial or two, you can run them on your TVs. If you have a video message from a staff member for your customers, you can have it displayed for them. It’s as easy as uploading a video from your computer, or recording one on your phone. It’s Relevant TV takes care of rotating your messages evenly throughout the day, and even adds subtitles to your video productions so that they can be displayed on the TV without sound if you desire.

8. Sell/Barter Your Ad Space

Are there businesses in your area that might want to advertise to your customers? It’s Relevant TV provides you with a platform to display the ads and make direct revenue from them.

Let’s say you run an office, and across the street there is a restaurant. As people wait in your office they could see an ad for a special deal at the restaurant. You could charge the restaurant $50 or $100 a month to display their image ad on your TV, however much you choose – you set the price. And you keep all of the revenue.

9. All Family-Friendly Content

Unlike Cable and Satellite TV, It’s Relevant TV only provides content that is prescreened and family friendly. It’s far too often that cable channels have a tame piece of programming one minute and something disgusting, offensive or inappropriate the next. It’s Relevant TV gives you as a business owner piece of mind.

10. Easy Installation

Cable and Satellite TV require long installations, large windows of time for an installer to come, complex wiring, drilling holes and a lot of headaches.

It’s Relevant TV comes as an easy self-install kit. It takes just 5 minutes to get going, and you can do it on your time, when it’s convenient for you. No holes to drill, no shady installers to have to deal with- Just the TV programming your business needs on your terms.

Consult with a TV Expert

It’s Relevant TV offers a free consultation with business owners. You can reach TV specialists by emailing retail {at} itsrelevant.com or by calling (855) ITS-RELE between 8:30AM and 6:00PM EST, Monday-Friday.

Television Decided the Election. What Decisions is it Making for Your Customers?

Regardless of  who you voted for in the presidential election, your decision was influenced by television. Between the constant TV news coverage and the paid ads that ran, everyone formed judgments and impressions based on what they saw and heard. TV makes a lasting impression. Let’s take a look at what this means for broadcast television, and for TVs inside your business.

24/7 News Networks Care About Their Businesses, Not Yours

Today’s 24/7 news networks turn a 1-day event into months of drama. They take the normal “coverage” and inject scrutiny, conspiracy theories, and sex scandals to bring viewers on a rollercoaster of ups and downs before the grand finale (election day). News feels more and more like entertainment, and that’s not by accident. Plenty of intelligent people have already pointed out that networks do this to boost ratings and generate greater revenues for the crowded networks. And while I would agree that revenue is a driver, I feel that the larger problem is a growing laziness among the people that design the format of these shows.

The News used to be a place that you would come for facts and knowledge. It was the work of large teams of people that spent days or even weeks to bring you researched programs that included quotes from actual experts and your trusted newscaster.  The best part was that you left each broadcast better informed than when you began watching.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite reports that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Trusted CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite

Things have changed. While the basic format of having a news anchor inside a studio reporting on the day’s top stories has been constant for decades, the pressures to do more with less money is changing the face of it. The fact of the matter is it’s much easier and far less costly to put a few people around a table to argue about a topic than it is to research and report on a news story.

News reporting can be extremely costly, especially for TV. I ran a video news company in the Northeast for almost 4 years, and we put a lot of work into each story the staff produced. From sourcing a story idea to setting up interviews, cross checking facts, recording the actual video, finding b-roll (cut-away shots), editing the video, fact checking, publishing and distributing the story – it took hours just to produce a minute or two of content. It’s hard to sustain a business with the kind of effort needed to do news reporting right.

Replacing the Reporters & Experts

Taking a look at most prime time cable news shows you see a familiar pattern these days. At the top of the hour you have the team of reporters and experts that are unbiased and reporting the facts of the day without forming judgments. All sitting or standing in the beautiful professional studio.

Then a few minutes later the professional journalists and experts peel away, and a panel of professional-looking people start to share their opinions – in the same space. Panel members can say whatever they want to say and their statements appear to be researched, authoritative and official. It feels like you are hearing from other experts when in reality you are hearing from surrogates (people that will stand by the candidate they support no matter what).

If you recognize any of the people below, then you have come across exactly what I am writing about:

clinton-trump-surrogates
Some of the many 2016 Election Surrogates

This Would Never Happen Anywhere Else

Imagine a doctor’s office for instance. You schedule an appointment with a well-established practice. You go to the office and sit down with someone in an exam room. The person gives you their opinion on your physical condition and makes recommendations on things you should do once you leave. It feels a lot like you just sat down with a doctor and got a medical opinion.

But what if the person you sat down with isn’t a doctor at all?
What if he/she wasn’t a nurse, or even in the medical profession?
What if you found out that the person you saw and heard from is merely someone that knows of the doctor, nothing else? Their medical opinion would hold absolutely no weight.

This is exactly the problem with the overuse of surrogates and non-experts in news programs today. They have the appearance of authority and are happy to share their opinion even though it’s not necessarily in your best interest.

Unbiased vs. Balancing Bias

For years the news industry has strived to be fair, factual and unbiased. However, in this election season we took one of the most noticeable turns away from that. The strive now seems to be more towards “balancing the sides”. Instead of sticking to the facts, these broadcasts allowed people to share their opinions much like facts, just as long as someone on the opposite side of the argument could do the same.

This created some real distractions within the campaign. Ultimately it may have created some single-issues for voters that moved them one way or the other in the election. Hearing that Trump “sexually assaults women”, or that Hillary “will be put in jail for deleting her emails” creates serious concerns for voters. But all of these kinds of things were being spoken countless times a day by people who looked to be authorities on what they were talking about.

You know it’s bad when the news broadcast has to fact check itself.

Television has Become Bad for Businesses

While television as a whole has more offerings than ever, and is seen in increasing numbers of stores and public places, it’s not helping businesses as much as it should. With endless channel choices at our fingertips, TV is great for the home. You can easily tune from one channel to the next when faced with something you don’t like, but not in a business.  More and more stores, offices, and public places are installing televisions simply because they can. Unfortunately, the programming the businesses choose to display on the screen often does more harm than good.

The bottom line is: even with endless channel choices, you can’t control what appears on any given channel at any given time. You could watch CNN for instance and enjoy a heartwarming story about one of the CNN Heroes.  But just one minute later you’re faced with disturbing images of war and terrorism half a world away. This can be off-putting and depressing to customers as they watch in a business.

Even when the topics aren’t disturbing in nature, they are often exhaustingly overplayed. It’s hard to forget the months of nearly non-stop coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370. With no new information CNN had to constantly improvise, bringing up new theories, even having anchors use toy planes.

cnn-malaysian-airlines-370-overplayed

It’s not just news stations that cause stress, discomfort, boredom or other negative feelings. I’ve heard complaints about even the most neutral of channels like The Food Network and The Weather Channel. People have different tastes, and leaving them with only one programming type for an extended period of time is a surefire way of losing their attention or worse: becoming a bother to them.

Take Control of the TV in Your Business

As a business owner, it is up to you to make the right choices for your business. You may have spent time choosing the colors of your walls, the hours you are open, the people you want representing your business, the type of music that plays, and the kinds of refreshments you offer to people when they visit. All of these examples are things that have some influence on the way people perceive your business. It’s the interactions your customers have with each element that dictates their overall satisfaction of your location.

TV has arguably one of the greatest abilities to shape how people feel. The combination of visuals and sound leave a lasting impression on people. What impression do you want your customers to leave with? How do you want them to feel when waiting at your place of business? What do you want them to know about your business, values, and offerings?

We’ve found that the happiest customers are the ones that get to see a variety of content.  They don’t want to feel like they are being bombarded by advertisements. For this reason, we created a platform called It’s Relevant TV that provides an ever-changing assortment of short-form television shows. The service blocks out competitor advertisements and gently brings the business’ own messaging and real-time social media onto the screen. The custom networks can operate with or without sound; all of the video content can be overlayed with optional subtitles.

It's Relevant TV

An experienced editorial team screens the included licensed TV programs before delivery to the businesses. All of the programs that we distribute are family-friendly.  We keep all political coverage short, to the point, and truly unbiased. It’s Relevant gives each business 50 categories of video content to choose from. This ensures that the programming isn’t just risk-free, but is topically oriented to visitors of the specific business. The business easily controls the messaging and social media syndication.

Learn from the Election

This election season, one thing was obvious: the campaigns understood the power of television. They knew that messaging seen on TV will stick in people’s minds and influence their decisions. This is why we saw the campaigns push their  surrogates to TV. The lazy TV networks were happy to invite them on because it saved money and filled their airtime.

TV has tremendous power over decision making. Don’t be lazy with yours.
Make sure your TV is working in your best interest as a business owner.

Written By: Jonathan Krackehl, President & CEO of It’s Relevant TV