WASHINGTON, DC -- Jonathan Collegio of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) was honored today by PR News with its 2009 Public Affairs Executive of the Year award for his work on the transition to digital television (DTV), which was completed in June when full-power television stations nationwide began broadcasting exclusively in a digital format.
Each year the PR News People awards honor top PR executives in a variety of different categories. Collegio, who ran the broadcast TV industry's public affairs campaign on the DTV transition, accepted the award on behalf of NAB.
"The broadcast television industry's campaign truly demonstrated not only local broadcasters' commitment to public service and their communities, but the incredible reach and power of broadcast television as a platform to reach consumers everywhere," said Sen. Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of NAB. "Jonathan Collegio did a magnificent job quarterbacking the industry's campaign to make sure America was ready for the switch."
NAB's multiplatform campaign wove together a variety of initiatives: a large PR effort including a nationwide road show and speaker's bureau; an online component involving three Web sites as well as use of social media platforms; a grassroots coalition of more than 241 organizations and outreach to tens of thousands of minority churches and local elected officials; as well as a massive on-air campaign with public service announcements and other messages. The campaign raised consumer awareness of the DTV transition among U.S. television households from less than 38 percent at its inception to more than 98 percent by January 2009.
Collegio, who was called "the Karl Rove of digital television" by POLITICO, came to NAB with a political campaign background. He previously served as press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, deputy chief of staff to Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and worked on dozens of campaigns at the federal, state and local levels. The broadcast industry's campaign utilized a variety of campaign techniques, including the massive grassroots effort and outreach to local elected leaders and churches.
Launched in January 2007, NAB's DTV campaign mission was to "ensure that no consumer is left unprepared, due to lack of information, for the federally mandated transition from analog to digital broadcasting." Independently valued at more than $1.2 billion, the campaign was the largest consumer education and public affairs campaign in the history of the broadcast television industry.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.