Monday, December 6, 2010

State of Country Music Radio in 2011

"Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future." ~ Peter Drucker

Everything and the kitchen sink are under the microscope in 2011. Country Music Radio’s digital platforms, web, streaming audio, social media, programming trends and popularity, air talent coaching competence, marketing tools, PPM, sales needs and more. Compelling CMR (Country Music Radio) product will help the station attain and maintain growth status, year in and year out.

The future of CMR comes from a bond with the audience and CMR life group. Every element on the radio station has to go through the “is it good for the life group” filter. From morning shows to marketing and in some cases music, it’s presented without any regard to whether it’s good for the audience. Hard work and perseverance needs to be at the forefront with this mandate clearly spelled out to the programming team.

In this dazed media age, we have to make a mark and connection faster than we ever have. Proper use of social media, postings that are part of the stations compelling product, community builder promotions that reach out to the people without being phony and contrived, predictable, un-predictable entertainment and show-biz based programming, are all part of the magic recipe or the “X factor” that helps the station secure status and loyalists that will bring more occasions of listening to the party.

Air talent have to be real, the days of self-satisfied CMR disc-jockeys are done. Communicators with a real love of what they do need to be the foundation of a purposeful CMR. The goals of everyone concerned with the product need to be clearly spelled out and executed in harmony. Too many fail because the process is off-beat and not harmonious.

Country Music Radio in 2011 needs be alive, local, community building, purposeful, have meaning, fun, entertainment-based and most all real. Consultant Doug Erickson and I have the same thoughts:

Play great music, one of my favorite songs, every time I punch you up Help me discover new and interesting songs and artists on a regular basis Be interesting, and unpredictable, every hour. Give me something I can't get anywhere else. Provide companionship by making me feel you are speaking to me, not a faceless mass. In other words, act like a real friend. (If you don't know how real friends act with each other, you have far larger problems than spot set placement.) Let me know if something awful has just happened that I need to know about right now. This requires a live body in the studio. All the time. Don't ever bore me with mindless blather and self-aggrandizing liners make me feel a strong emotion: Move me. Entertain me. Challenge me. Relate to ME.

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