Jim Shepherd has a rundown of various attempts to get guns into the mainstream media outlets as of late. We all know about the recent Bushmaster Maxim ad, but others in the outdoor communication world have been beating down that path of new outlets for a while now. And we may see some payoff soon:
But the challenges of convincing other networks to carry outdoor programming – especially programming that’s not strictly fishing and hunting, is a constant struggle. Fox Sports, for example, won’t accept “gun shows” on their national network. Despite that refusal, they will their regional networks to accept those shows. Others, like ESPN, will accept hunting shows, but have absolutely nothing to do with handguns or pure shooting. In both instances, execs say it’s an owner’s policy (Disney owns ESPN), but don’t seem inclined to buck the trend.
Next year, however, the obvious concern of average Americans over their personal safety isn’t being ignored. A new two-hour programming block dedicated to the topic of self-defense, awareness and crime avoidance will air on a network that has not accepted any prior shooting programming.
We’re not cleared to say much more about it, but having seen the demo and spoken with sponsors already committed to the programming, it looks like one more step toward breaking down some resistance to shooting programming will happen. This programming block seems well-considered and a represents a significant breakthrough in getting elemental gun issues before the general viewing public. It’s also part of a broad media strategy, something that seems an afterthought for many other programs.
With a serious media strategy, there’s a good chance it can work.