Roku Platform Business head of communications Dallas Lawrence talks with Doug Simon about how streaming has changed the rules for communicators in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

Lawrence says that one challenge Roku faces is communicating the whole range of services it offers to consumers. He emphasizes that the company’s streaming devices are just one part of its overall business. After those devices have brought them in, the company faces the task of “what we then do with those consumers.”

The three core components of that effort, he says, are advertising (consumer engagement with brands), content (deals with such platforms as HBO Max and Disney) and programming, which includes the Roku Channel, with its more than 190 choices.

The streaming boom, he tells Simon, is pretty much a one-way street. “These folks have cut the cord. Survey data shows that. Ninety two percent are never going to go back.”

He says that the shift toward streaming has forced communicators to think outside the box. “They're recognizing for the first time there's actually a medium that provides the full funnel of consumer engagement,” Lawrence says, “So that has led them to recognize it's time to go beyond that traditional 30 second spot and do some really cool and engaging things.”

Roku’s Brand Studio, he says, opens the door to some of those cool and engaging things. “You have these content creators or talent that are saying, I have a great idea for something I want to do. Is there a brand who will sponsor this? At the same time, you get these brands saying, I would love to do a show.”

Local TV news and live sports, once thought to be something of an insurance policy for traditional cable operators, are making the move to streaming. “What has shifted dramatically in the last 12 months is that those were the final two hold outs that were driving cable bundle adoption.”

Another key change is the access to consumers that streaming gives advertisers. “If you think back to what Nielsen would give you, which was age and gender and a DMA demographic, and now we have the ability to go to the to the household level with data and insights,” Lawrence says. “You can now get the same data you might have gone after for your social media buys with Facebook or your search buys with Google. You can now get that on the biggest screen and most engaged screen in the lives of your audience. “

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D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.