The Sunday morning ghetto

I enjoy watching the Sunday morning political talk shows as much as the next person. But, I also enjoy viewing the corporate advertisements that accompany these shows. There’s everything from a Tyco commercial for a new medical treatment that eliminates the need for stitches to a Bayer ad that depicts the many ways in which they "touch" our lives. And, of course, there are the endless General Electric spots that show us how imaginative the corporation is.

It’s interesting that we almost never see these commercials at any other day or time of the week. That’s because, as savvy marketers know, the Sunday morning political talk show circuit is where the intelligencia congregate for the latest and greatest "inside the beltway" gossip and scandal. I used to work for an advertising guy who referred to this Sunday morning programming as the "intellectual ghetto."

Obviously, there’s a public relations equivalent to the Sunday morning TV ghetto, which includes the Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio and New York Times, among others. In fact, when we write strategy proposals for clients, we often list reaching " influencers" as a second- or third-tier program strategy and cite the Monitor, Times and others as media we’d target for articles.

With an increasingly fractured communications infrastructure and simultaneous rise of the citizen journalist, however, I wonder how much longer the Sunday morning ghetto will continue to be THE place for the Beltway intelligencia to meet. Will we see bloggers and digital programming replace Russert, Stephanopolous and their ilk? Or will these gents merely move from a traditional to virtual "neighborhood" within the same ‘hood? Wherever they go, we in the PR field need to stay one step ahead in counseling clients on the best ways to connect with the Sunday morning crowd.

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