Better Outdoors
Sarah Barns, Michael Killalea

Rethinking outdoor media for creative and resilient communities

It’s time to reimagine the potentials of outdoor media.

In recent years outdoor media has evolved from being a relatively boring medium to one that is more technologically-sophisticated, data-driven and profitable.

Despite being able to reach mass audiences outdoors, outdoor media platforms are not required to contribute to the health, vitality or amenity of the public spaces they inhabit. They remain advertising channels only.

The Better Outdoors campaign aims to change this. It advocates for a more inclusive approach to the design, curation and management of new and existing outdoor media assets to deliver greater public benefits.

Through new partnerships between government agencies, not-for-profit service providers, public facilities, and donors, the campaign repositions outdoor media as ‘public space media’, supporting local creative talent and diverse community voices.

What could we do?

  • Facilitate partnerships between NSW Government agencies and creative agencies, storytellers, schools and artists use outdoor media as a platform. For example, the NSW Department of Education funds a temporary campaign celebrating the work of Year 12 English students using billboards throughout the city;
  • Investigate ways to incentivise outdoor media providers to commit to ‘minimum quotas’ of community, arts, health and public interest content.

This campaign builds on the work of ESEM Projects in leading new public space media and placemaking. This includes a STORYBOX digital cube in Parramatta Square, supported by the ABC’s Content Ideas Lab and City of Parramatta, and a creative media & advocacy program with Story Factory and Sitelines Media supported by the City of Sydney.

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