Chris Franklin, Director of Marketing for WANT, an ABC affiliate in Memphis, shares his thoughts on what he looks for in a great marketer and his system for fostering growth and teamwork.

Paul Greeley Sep 19, 2022 7:00 EDT

Chris Franklin

welcome to another episode of check-inis a market share feature that surveys local TV marketing and creative services directors to reveal who they are, their challenges, successes and future vision.

Today we meet with Chris Franklin, Marketing Director for Tegna’s ABC affiliate in WATN Memphis. After leaving the industry for his 14 years working for a large Presbyterian church in Memphis, Franklin has been with WATN for two years.

The reason he returned to local television was [reporting on] It’s a crime to hold someone in power accountable for partnering with a nonprofit. “

Through the Tegna Foundation, Franklin said, WATN will be able to partner with nonprofits in the Memphis community, like the local blood bank, which had very few blood donations.

“Our TV station is not just about what’s on the air,” says Franklin. “It’s integrated into people’s daily lives.”

Since he was at WATN, the station has launched a new brand, ABC24 Memphis. Since then, “we have experienced exponential growth both digitally and linearly,” says Franklin. “Digitally he’s about 600% better.”

Additionally, the station won its first Creative Service Emmy Award.

“It was a huge deal for us,” says Franklin.

Winning an Emmy does a lot to motivate marketing staff, but Franklin also helps them grow and learn by pairing them with someone in the department who has experience in that skill set. System started.

“They work with team members to develop the skills they want to learn,” he says. “As teams begin to build authentic relationships, that natural learning and growth begins.”

Sydney Neely

Franklin cites Sydney Neely, who spent extra time learning how to use Instagram, as an example of that teamwork.

“Since she joined my department, our Instagram followers have tripled,” says Franklin.

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When hiring local news marketers, Franklin says, look for the right people to be “inspirers, motivators, or people who are passionate about marketing news, who are talented in helpful ways and who aren’t.” I’m thinking of looking for He needs to be a traditional marketer,” he says.

Kevin Barbie

According to Franklin, his promotions manager, Kevin Barbie, had never worked in promotions before. He was an on-air sports reporter and photographer who cared about doing a good job.

“That’s what makes him a good promotions manager,” says Franklin. “We’re just looking for great people.”

On balancing the demands on his department to market digital and social media as well as traditional linear news, Franklin said:

And sometimes that might mean he has to say no.

“We talk to sales, news, content teams, and even engineering about why we can’t do that,” says Franklin. “You have to have a very clear conversation about why and communicate that they understand that sustained excellence is a priority.”

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