Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Morning Meeting for November 11, 2009

Your eBlast is a total piece of….

If image is everything in the radio business, why is your station wasting an opportunity to impress with an eBlast? In 2008, the eBlast market grew exponentially as eco-conscious consumers and business embraced the medium with enthusiasm. I, like many media buyers, subscribe to several-dozen radio station eBlasts to get a better sense of out-of-market products. A well-produced eBlast helps us to formulate opinions about your product. 

Over the years, I’ve seen some great eBlasts—especially from Clear Channel and Citadel brands, and CBS Radio properties in major markets.  But some (especially from smaller companies and independents) are total pieces of garbage.  The graphics are all wrong, the content is as compelling as toast, and many are syndicated too frequently.  So, I’ll offer some advice: here are a few quick steps you can take to improve your station’s eBlasts:

1.  Be visually appealing! Use an easy-to-read font.  Need help?  Take a look at a few print ads in some magazines that attract your target audience. Don’t forget to select attractive images/photos.

2.  It’s an ad for you!  Your eBlast is essentially an ad for your radio station.  What does your eBlast say about you, your product, your market, and your listener?  

3.  Keep it simple! Stick to no more than 2-3 topics in your eBlast.  Readers won’t stick with a cluttered blast that involves scrolling down significantly.  

4.  Powers first! Most compelling topics belong at the beginning, always.  What your listener cares about goes first, (not a weak NTR promotion).

5.  Ease up, man! If the eBlast is about a big station promotion or big announcement, it can be sent out at any time.  For lesser news, try blasting bi-weekly or monthly.  If you have significant revenue tied to your eBlast and need to send weekly, consider repositioning it as a “what to do in the local area” blast. You can then list important community happenings (like a H1N1 flu shot clinic or a farmer’s market to benefit the Girl Scouts), then provide station information and sell a few banner and skyscraper ads on the side.   

By taking these small steps to improve your eBlast, your open rate should begin to increase, and more importantly, your audience (and media buyers) will begin to view your product as more important.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.  Please e-mail me: or follow me on Twitter @BobKnightAdMan  

Next week:  Gross means gross!

Bob Knight is Vice President, Advertising and Digital Media with Harrison Edwards PR & Marketing in New York and oversees the company’s advertising and HEdigital divisions, which include podcasting, webcasting, blogging; and print, electronic, and broadcast advertising and media buying. Prior to joining Harrison Edwards in 2005, Bob worked for some of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, successfully developing programming in some of the most competitive markets including Chicago and San Francisco; his stations and shows were consistently top-rated.  In addition to Bob’s work as program director and on-air personality at AMFM, Inc., Clear Channel Communications, Citadel Broadcasting, Entercom, and NextMedia Group, he served as a consultant to Internet radio stations during the dot com boom. Bob’s national and regional radio commercials have won a Gold Clarion Award (AWC) and Gold “Big W” Awards (Ad Club) for commercials he produced. In 2008, Bob was named a “Rising Star Forty Under Forty” by the Business Council of Westchester and is a graduate of Leadership Westchester (Class of 2009).

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