What TV Stands to Gain from Being Socially Responsible
Media, TV in particular, has a unique position as a source of facts and data as well as a societal moral touchstone. Now more than ever, consumers are scrutinizing the ethics of the businesses they support, and TV is no exception. Whether in the actions broadcasters take or the content they deliver, viewers are paying close attention to the societal implications.
For businesses in the industry, this means they too have to think carefully about the societal effects their content and decisions have. Media buyers and advertisers will be judging broadcast effectiveness and ROI based on frequency, viewability, and audience reach, which ties directly into audience perception of the brand. Deep consideration of the content aired as well as investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) can heighten a broadcaster’s appeal. Even massive conglomerates recognize this; in 2018 alone, Comcast reported investing nearly $6 million in Washington nonprofits.
On the whole, TV is already regarded as highly socially responsible, often being an avenue through which others can champion social causes and act as a “conscience-keeper” for corporations. With the convergence of consumers’ desire for hard data and ethical practices, many “fact-based” forms of media have come into question. In this regard, TV stands to benefit where other media has failed, so long as the industry is consistently assessing its societal impact and ethics. Additionally, addressability is a huge edge for TV, allowing advertisers to target the audience with whom their message most aligns so broadcasters don’t alienate a portion of their viewers needlessly.
While other media outlets are becoming more suspect, TV has the opportunity to become more conscious, fact-based, and targeted, which may very well be its saving grace in the ongoing digital transformations all of media is experiencing.