ABC Owned Television Stations (OTV) launched a call-to-action campaign, #BeLocalish, to help support local businesses struggling to survive the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. ABC’s owned stations have taken an active role to help by telling the stories of the small businesses on the frontlines, showcasing the resilience, ingenuity and compassion of our communities and offering practical ways that local businesses can continue to thrive.
“We are facing unprecedented times and now more than ever, our role as a news organization is expanding beyond delivering critical information to also serve as a resource to the communities in which we live and work,” said Jennifer Mitchell, senior vice president of content development for ABC Owned Television Stations. “Building off of Localish’s focus to bring out the good in cities across America, the #BeLocalish campaign is a way for the entire station group to make a positive impact and rally support around struggling businesses at the heart of their communities.”
The #BeLocalish campaign will take a multiplatform approach to reach and engage the community, kicking off with a call-to-action PSA, launching immersive webpages across all eight stations, and building a community-driven social media activation movement.
The #BeLocalish webpage spotlights community businesses, lists helpful business resources and provides practical suggestions to viewers on how they can support struggling businesses. Featured #Belocalish stories will air on the stations’ linear broadcast and as a half-hour weekly special on Localish’s linear network. Stories will also be featured on Localish.com, and each of the stations’ digital properties, as well as social media channels to reach ABC’s owned stations’ 21 million social followers.
As viewers support their local businesses by ordering takeout, purchasing goods from businesses providing “contact-less” pickup/delivery, shopping online through local companies’ websites, or contributing to business GoFundMe pages, they are also encouraged to participate in the social media activation by sharing their stories on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tagging #BeLocalish.
The owned stations are already hearing inspiring stories of how local businesses and communities are coming together:
- KTRK-TV Houston The 70-year-old Houston business Three Brothers Bakery survived four floods, a fire and Hurricane Harvey. Finding its business once more in turmoil, the owners remained positive and offered advice to small businesses struggling during the pandemic and encouraged the community to place online orders to support local businesses. After Localish featured their story, the bakery experienced a dramatic surge of online orders which crashed the bakery’s website but successfully increased their sales. In a follow-up interview, the owners shared that Localish was saving their business “one pie at a time.”
- WABC-TV New York is airing a local special called “Retail Rescue” hosted by “Deals and Steals”’s Tory Johnson and Eyewitness News’ Sam Champion. “Retail Rescue” will feature interviews of local boutique owners in the tri-state area impacted by the pandemic, share a curated list of products and offer exclusive discounts to encourage business and boost sales. The “Retail Rescue” special will air on WABC-TV New York on May 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. (Learn more at shopretailrescue.com)
- KABC-TV Los Angeles featured Amazebowls, in their SOCAL Strong segment who showed they were #BeLocalish by creating “Smorgasburg” delivery boxes that featured food and beverages from their fellow vendors, to sell on their food truck when the stay home orders caused the temporary closure of the Smorgasburg food market where the company and other businesses normally sold its goods.
Additionally, beginning May 11, 2020, KABC-TV Los Angeles will include a #BeLocalish segment in its daily newscasts to highlight local businesses. Viewers can visit ABC7.com/BeLocalish to learn more about the featured businesses and, in certain instances, receive special offers, as well as submit #BeLocalish stories of their own.
Follow Localish (#Localish, #BeLocalish) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. View Localish series at abc.com/shows/localish.