Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WSBE Rhode Island PBS asks, "What's YOUR Source?"

'What's your source?'

In a multi-media promotional campaign targeting community stakeholders, policy makers, and local audiences, WSBE Rhode Island PBS asks that cryptic question, and then offers testimonial evidence of the public television station's role in local education, and its impact on the community. The campaign is part of a national 'My Source' public media impact communication grant project, administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Center for Media Engagement. WSBE's application was one of only 40 chosen from among 111 proposals submitted by public television and radio stations nationwide. WSBE's 'My Source' campaign launches this week.

"It's not often we have an opportunity to call attention to our work this way," said WSBE President and CEO David Piccerelli. "The grant made it possible to go outside our own air to remind Rhode Islanders about the great resource they have in WSBE – we're more than just great television."

The print and Web creative for the 'My Source' campaign sets the atmosphere of an investigation – complete with evidence folder, scattered notes and photos – and asks, 'What's your source?' The on-air component is comprised of six spots, presenting testimonial evidence from students, teachers, and administrators, as well as from local filmmakers and media professionals. The spots range in length from 30 seconds to one minute and 20 seconds, and are built around the themes of class enrichment, community connection, local storytelling, and adult learning success. The companion Web site adds background information and puts the testimonials into context. The campaign will link to the station’s Facebook page, and the on-air spots are available on the station’s YouTube channel.

The underlying message of the campaign focuses on WSBE's success in expanding the traditional definition of education, from classrooms to living rooms, from instructional programming to panel discussions and independent documentaries about local contemporary and historical issues and events.

"Education is at the core of our mission," Piccerelli said, "but it isn't limited to the classroom."

The first 'My Source' on-air spot starts in the classroom. It features students, teachers, and administrators from Lincoln High and Northern Lincoln Elementary Schools describing their experiences using WSBE's video streaming and education services. The spot concludes with, "Rhode Island PBS is my source for enriching my students' day-to-day curriculum."

All of the spots have a similar ending, "Rhode Island PBS is my source for…" with the final words fitting the particular spot's theme.

The second spot to air will feature four local independent filmmakers David Bettencourt (You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park, On The Lake: Life and Love in a Distant Place, and It's a Bash!), director of photography Jim Karpeichik (Rhode Island's Historic Lighthouses, When the Reds Ruled the Roost, Navy Heroes of Normandy), Professor Marian Gagnon (HERstory: The Founding Mothers of Johnson & Wales University and Johnson & Wales University's Men of Vision) and Maria Saracen (Ghost and Vampire Legends of Rhode Island). Their documentaries have aired as part of Rhode Island Stories, WSBE's one-hour Saturday night feature, dedicated to presenting local independent films with a Rhode Island connection.

In the coming weeks, two more spots with school connections will debut. One features adult Hispanic students at Progreso Latino in Central Falls, who are studying for their GED certificate using video streaming technology made available by WSBE. The other spot features the founder and director of the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), an independent middle school in Providence for students at risk of dropping out of school. Director Rob DeBlois shares the remarkable story about UCAP receiving several large donations from viewers after WSBE aired the documentary about three of the school's students, Accelerating America, by award-winning filmmaker and Brown University graduate Tim Hotchner.

The final two testimonials are by Dave Layman, veteran Rhode Island television news director and anchor, and a frequent panelist on WSBE's flagship weekly political affairs program, A Lively Experiment; and Barbara Morse Silva, health check reporter for WJAR NBC-10. Barbara hosted two WSBE specials, one about the H1N1 (Swine) flu outbreak in late 2009, and one about the rising costs of RI health insurance and its alternatives.

The print ad campaign will run in local newspapers and Web sites through January. The on-air spots will air throughout 2011 on a rotating basis on WSBE Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1, Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08, DirecTV 36, and Dish Network 7776; Comcast subscribers should check local cable listings) and on WSBE Learn (digital 36.2, Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 109, and Comcast 294).

Click here for more videos in the My Source series.