Tuesday, March 23, 2010


April 1st (insert joke here) kicks off Spring 2010 for rated Country markets and there are a handful of purposeful changes and adjustments you can make to conquer the listening challenges. Bring more occasions of listening and setting yourself apart from your competitor will help a great deal.

1.) IMAGING - Make sure you freshen your imaging with branding, localized, listener-based and entertaining imaging components. Make sure you do more than write a page full of sweepers. Spell out the material so it changes in your clocks from quarter hour to quarter hour. Jingles, artist drops, listener sweepers, morning show topicals, image sweepers, short sweepers and more. Use male and female voices.

2.) MORNING SHOW - Be aware of the new concepts for morning shows in the PPM world. Shorter, but entertaining. Seamless transitions between news, traffic and weather information. The show has got to be talking to the life group. Take the low-ride out methodology. Take out what doesn't work and add some fresh new ideas. STRAIT AT 8, 90'S AT 9, SALUTE TO THE TROOPS.

3.) TALENT - Does the talent know the vibe and feel of the station? Are they saying something? Make sure the talent is relating to the listeners and not delivering break after break of nonsense (music breaks). Do they relate to social media and use it? Air check the talent and work with them now and through the ratings period. Remember in the PPM world, seamless, entertaining programming will help with your consumption.

4.) ENGINEERING - How's the audio? - If your competitor is banging away and you sound like a home stereo, you need to talk to your engineer. Competitive audio will help you in the loudness game. Decide if you have a great at work signal or not. You can pimp "listen live" if you don't. Comb your digital playback system for mistakes and improper coding or labeling of elements that cause errors.

5.) PROMOTIONS - Create fun video spots to play on social media sites. Find a new and inventive, memorable and entertaining way to giveaway concert tickets and new CD's. Work with the account executives to find life group and listener targeted promotions that will work well with customers. Morning shows need to be on TV several times a month for community service, heavy local and emotional campaigns. Community service campaigns every weekend will help you relate to the real people in the life group working for a better community.

6.) SOCIAL MEDIA/WEB - The talent or a morning show team member needs to man the fort here. You need to make a connection with social media user's of your station. Simply telling everyone you have Taylor Swift concert tickets is not enough. Look at what they write in the comments when you post this. "Can I win", "Give them to me". When you bring more to the social media sites, like trivia, local impact stories, funny, comedic incident and more - The comments lines expand. Change the look of your web site. If it looks like a Holiday Inn or Best Buy web site, change it. The dynamics should look like a social media site without the hype.

7.) SALES - I defer to Glasco Media's 3-22 blog from Bob: We all know the best kind of business is repeat business. A Radio station that is working for the client results in a client that will talk about your station to other people about their success. The more the sales person and copywriter know about the product and its target, the more able they will be to generate a copy strategy that produces positive results worth talking about. Here’s a quick test you can give to anyone responsible for writing sales copy. Have them write a promo for the morning show or whatever contest that you’re currently running. Maybe even a music promo. You’ll quickly learn how much they know about the station, and how well they can communicate to the target. It will give you a good starting point to begin their education. Nuture, guide and help propel the account executives in the right direction.

8.) PRODUCTION - Programmer's need to work with production people to drag them into the 21st century. We need to cease mundane phrases and copy points. The WGN memo would work well here. Located at 3rd and Main needs to be replaces with "Call or Click" or "On retail row, Main St, downtown Oildale". Bob says in the blog this week: Does your sales staff write their own copy? In all but the largest markets, this is often the case. Regardless of who writes the copy, they must have a thorough understanding of who the target is and what the hot buttons are that will pique their interest and cause them to take action. The programmer is the “keeper of the strategic flame.” One of his or her responsibilities is to insure that sales copy also goes through the target filter. 

9.) STATIONALITY - Is your station more than a music machine? Does it reflect the community and the spirit of the life group in every thing it does? A generic sounding Country station will make no mark with P-2 and P-3 user's of the station and consumers of other formats that likely cume Country. Showbiz, attitude and entertainment creates distinction between you and your competitor. 

10.) MUSIC - The best road to take is a mainstream Country approach that involves contemporary Country sounding powers from the 90's and 2000's, mixed with a stable of new Country from now. www.ksks.com is a perfect example of how to balance the world of new and not so new. A balancing act is what I refer to it. Like a teeter totter and it goes both up and down, from median to lower and lower to median and higher in the demographic appeal of the song titles.



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