Switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting


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Baltic PR Awards 2012
Organization: TEO
Country: Lithuania
Project name: Switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting

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Switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting

  1. 1. Category: ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT TEO (Lithuania) Switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting Summary On 29 October 2012 Lithuania shall switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting. For TEO, as the largest pay-TV services provider, it meant a business opportunity to increase the number of pay-TV customers and eliminate digital divide between urban and rural inhabitants in terms of TV services availability. This context and low level of people’s awareness of forthcoming change has led TEO to start its own public information campaign back in 2008, gaining the momentum in 2011-2012. The goal of the campaign was positioning of TEO as an expert in TV digitalization. TEO ‘digitalisation’ campaign included special TEObus road- show around the country, meetings with local communities in remote and rural areas, press events for journalists (with the special focus on regional press), meetings with experts, issue of special newspaper. By 2011 population awareness increased from 50% (in 2008) to 95%. However, one fifth of the population was still watching analogue television and did not know what actions to take, especially in the rural areas. The information campaign led by governmental institutions did not address these issues sufficiently. TEO had to refocus its public campaign and launch internal communication campaign to meet challenge of the people’s last moment decisions. Situation According to opinion polls in 2009 (three years before the switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting) 41% of Lithuanian households were watching analogue broadcasting using air antennas, mainly in rural areas. Only 16% were using digital pay-TV services (CRA report). Network for broadcasting of digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) was already up and running. TEO operated 2 out of 4 digital TV signals transmission networks and provided DVB-T services to end users. People’s awareness of the forthcoming switchover was low (50% in August 2008) and government was not planning to launch information campaign till 2011. Objectives The main goal was to position TEO as expert in TV digitalization and inform about switchover in 2012, while increasing the users of pay-TV. Internally, the aim was to mobilize TEO salesmen for the switchover. Businesswise, TEO aimed at increasing its IPTV and DVB-T customers. DVB-T targeted rural consumers, being available all over the country, easy to install. IPTV targeted urban population, where fiber-optic access gives more added value, but competition is tougher. Polls revealed the challenge - to deliver the message to the rural population. Target audience - people from smaller towns and villages, where 60% of households in 2010 were watching analogue broadcasting. Actions locally were tailored according to regional differences. Strategy Campaign, positioning TEO as TV digitalization expert and informing about switchover embraced:• “planting the idea” in the minds of multipliers – journalists (press conferences, initiated articles), local trusted leaders (librarians, community leaders);• showing public opinion trends;• TEO speakers as ambassadors;• going local – special focus on regional media, small towns, rural areas;• educating the consumer (publications, meetings, local events);• demonstrating benefits of digital TV. In 2011 the campaign was tailored as opinion polls showed that people are aware of the switchover to digital TV (95%), but did not know how to prepare for it, postponing their decisions and actions till the last minute (29/10/2012). On this basis, the messages of the campaign were fine-tuned: from informing the consumers to calling them into early action. Baltic PR Awards 2012
  2. 2. Category: ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENTThe internal communication campaign was launched, in order to mobilize TEO sales people: to grasp theopportunity and to prepare for the last-minute ‘digitalisation’ wave of customers.Execution2008: launch of DVB-T service, press conferences; journalists’ trip to Malta to meet experts.2009: “Future TV” tour, visiting 12 towns with TEObus, as services demo place and event platform, broadcastedlive on TV (1 million spectators). Journalists’ trip to London: conference on TV digitalization.2010: journalists’ trip to Estonia; first TEO promo newspaper “Digital television” (517 thousand copies, in smallertowns and rural areas).2011: 2nd “Digital television” issue (500 thousand copies); press conference with expert from Estonia in October (1year till switchover). 19 messages to the media on the topic.2012: April-October - 65 meetings with local communities, libraries – general presentation and digital pay-TV inaction; 10 press conferences in regions in July (“100 days till switchover”) making TEO the initiator of active‘digitalization’ campaign; in August – 3rd issue of “Digital television” (419 thousand copies); September-November– internal communication campaign “Mission – digitalization” involving motivating publications, competitions,special prizes, on-line sales results, etc.Documented ResultsTEO information campaign has triggered other market participants to follow and to speed up official governmentalcampaign.People’s awareness about the fact of switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting increased from 50% in 2008to 95% in 2011(public opinion polls), even before the government has launched its active campaign.In 2011 – 147 publications in the media (on the basis of 19 messages). In 2012 August-September TEO media-actions resulted in 89 reports (TV, radio, internet, newspapers; national and regional). TEO experts - among mostquoted on the topic.Number of TEO pay-TV customers increased by 2.4 times from 67 thousand (31/12/2008) to 162 thousand(30/09/2012). Total number of pay-TV users in Lithuania over the same period increased by 1.4 time and number ofdigital pay-TV viewers per 100 households increased from 7.9% to 26.9%.After the launch of internal communication campaign, TEO sales in September 2012 were more than 3 times higherthan a year ago.Final results of the campaign - after 29/10/2012. Baltic PR Awards 2012