Sunday Morning Television Revolution
A lot has changed in television over the last 70 years. From broadcast to on-demand streaming, it’s been an exciting evolution. That’s especially true in ministry. Once an industry staple, prime time Sunday morning time slots have become scarce in today’s world of television.
Ministries interested in television should have a clear understanding of the industry’s landscape. Whether you already have a strong presence, you’re preparing to launch one for the first time, or you want to develop a presence that already exists, being knowledgeable in this platform is the best way to maximize your reach, influence, and impact.
With the advent of cable and then direct satellite, the industry landscape exploded with opportunities for ministries to use television as a tool for outreach. The opportunities were seemingly endless for ministries to reach both local and a national audience.
As sports and news coverage expanded, and network affiliation obligations increased, this began to dry up what was once prime Sunday morning time slots for ministry programming. Even the independents received pressure due to other time demands. And let’s not forget, there are more TV ministries than ever before vying for the same blocks of time.
Hence the reduced prime time availabilities and significant rate increases for Sunday morning programming.
We refer to this atrophy today as the Sunday Morning Squeeze.
Traditional Ministry Media Strategies
As television ministries began to grow, many successful media strategies developed over the years. Such as:
- Bible Belt – Targets the most “devout” mainstream denominations in specific media markets
- Rust Belt – Targets the blue-collar demographic in media markets where they live and work.
- Church Market – Target markets where there’s a high concentration of certain key denominations.
- Bible Devotional – Targeting regular bible readers in a strong religious market known for a high percentage of giving, .
Do these sound familiar?
The bigger question is – are these still being used today?
If so, will you see the same success as you once did in your media outreach strategies?
With today’s media advancements, exclusively using these traditional strategies are outdated and no longer provide an edge for ministry outreach, primarily for two reasons:
- There are so many media options available
- Viewing habits have changed
The reality is that successful ministry outreach strategies cannot rely on outdated methodologies.
The key is to stop using old notions and practices, dig into the data, and innovate to survive and thrive in today’s media world.
That is easy to say, but how do you accomplish this daunting task?
First step is to begin to think differently. Craft your own strategy based on YOUR ministry’s DNA. Enlist a group of trusted people who understand your ministry DNA. This is very effective in sculpting a strategy that works for you in today’s marketplace.
Below are some questions that can evoke a lively conversation when you meet:
- Are we only looking for a particular lead-in, like news? If so, why? Challenge the answer.
- Are you tracking weekly TVHH data? With today’s research availability, it’s easier than ever.
- Do you review the complete market landscape before purchasing a time period? If not, why?
- Affiliates are coveted – have you thought about trying indies in the market with a solid cross-channel campaign? If not, why?
- What kind of contingency plan do you have in place if you get the dreaded call from a station or network that there has been a programming change and they are moving you – or worse, canceling you all together?
Working through these kinds of questions and creating a strategy for YOUR MINISTRY DNA is what will create long term, scalable, and sustainable growth for your ministry in 2019 and beyond.
Also, be sure reviewing analytics and reporting regularly (at least monthly) is part of these conversations. It is a vital component of any complete media outreach strategy. Changes in media are constant; a “set it and forget it” mentality will not pave a pathway for ministry growth.
Your Ministry’s Impact in Television Today
The Sunday Morning Squeeze has crept up on ministries, slowly, over the last 15 years or so. Many ministries have been frustrated by the struggle to expand their reach, create market impact, and ultimately save lives through traditional media platforms.
Like anything else in history, when there are major shifts in the market place, new opportunities become available. Which means there is an opportunity to reevaluate your current media strategy and make a successful shift within the market. You can look beyond what was once the coveted Sunday morning time period and embrace other opportunities on television to reach your audience while creating the lasting impact of your mission… and saving lives.
As Sunday morning programming transforms and people consume more video content, there’s never been a more powerful time to create a strategy for sustainable and scalable growth designed specifically for YOUR outreach!
Click Here to have a lively conversation with us about the challenges of the Sunday Morning Squeeze, how it may be impacting your mission, and more importantly, how your ministry can shift and soar in today’s television marketplace. Your ministry deserves the power of data analytics working alongside an outreach strategy designed just for you!
Access the complete Sunday Morning Squeeze Infographic including further data and information here.