KTTZ-TV incorporated online engagement for the first time during the drive.
Texas Tech University Public Media recently hosted its annual August pledge drive for KTTZ-TV. The drive raised $30,009 during the nine-day program from Aug. 7-16, exceeding its goal of $25,000 and reaching the highest amount of donations of any August pledge drive.
The station wanted to modestly increase its goal, said station manager Paul Hunton. The decision was based on the amount raised in previous years: $20,000 in 2014 and $18,500 in 2013. The pledge drive was KTTZ-TV's most successful drive since 2009 when $26,795 was raised. The station hosts three drives per year: in March, August and December.
“It means that Lubbock and Texas Tech are strong supporters of public media and believe in our mission to educate, innovate and inspire our region,” Hunton said. “It ensures that we can continue to deliver great programming, exciting productions covering local stories of interest in the arts, science and education world, and world class events that celebrate the South Plains.”
During the drive, Texas Tech Public Media focused on online engagement. The team created online spots featuring the Shia LaBeouf “Just Do It” video, reaching more than 20,000 people by integrating the viral video. Public Media also collaborated with the Office of Communications and Marketing to brainstorm engagement ideas including a hashtag (#MYKTTZ) for the station and to design elements to further implement the drive's message.
“As the media world continues to shift and our culture becomes more in tune and reliant on day-to-day communications through the Internet, it requires public media entities to think of new ways to meet viewers where they are, with content directed in a way our culture consumes it,” Hunton said. “We also identified influencers, or people at Texas Tech and in Lubbock who support public media and can reach out to their families and friends and help us communicate the importance of contributing to our pledge drives. Collaborating across the campus and city and truly making it a university wide effort are both ideas we hadn't embarked on before and something we'll continue to do in the future.”
Public television stations throughout the country rely on financial support through public and private contributions from the communities they serve, said program director Michelle Dillard.
The Texas Tech Public Media team in charge of the drive included Becky Ivey, marketing manager; Jonathan Seaborn, production director; and Dillard, who was in charge of the on-air broadcast aspect of the drive.
“Everyone in the station is involved in the pledge,” Dillard said, “from selecting the programs to producing fundraising spots for on-air and online use, to master operations that ensure all elements air as scheduled, to promoting the fundraising drive, to gathering information from viewers' pledges.”
The pledges go toward programming, local productions and events, Hunton said. Texas Tech Public Media provides PBS content yearly, including “Downton Abbey” and “Antiques Roadshow.” The station also hosts PBS Kids Club events and screenings of PBS shows before they air, providing access to national content. KTTZ-TV was one of four stations to screen an episode of “First Peoples” before it aired.
In December, the station will offer an early screening for the final season of “Downton Abbey.” Texas Tech Public Media also supports local productions, including “Inside Texas Tech” and “24 Frames,” a show about local art, music and culture.