By Bill Conway
KOIT, San Francisco
Program Director, 1997-2011
SAN DIEGO — The Duane Doobie column about “Golden Ears” published Monday (2/3) was terrific and I admit that in all my years as a PD, I never had “golden ears.” Instead I always had people around me who loved music, listened to a variety of styles and were always talking about it. Most DJs got into it radio either because they loved music or they wanted to be a star. I knew I needed the music junkies to complement my strengths. It was a way to learn about new music and let listeners know more too.
In recent years I have been espousing a format that doesn’t depend on only one consultant or one god-like national PD but used the music junkies and cutting edge technology to get involve the audience to reignite the role of radio in music discovery.
The All New Music Crowd Sourced Radio format. (Not a catchy name but I’m sure we can come up with one)
By Pete Gustin
Voice Over Artist & Creative Services Director
BOSTON — “Imaging” isn’t nearly as difficult a concept to define as you might think, even when it comes to radio imaging. In fact, it’s quite simple. What is the image that you wish to portray to your listening public? Is it cool? Is it smart? Is it irreverent, connected or quirky? When done right, your radio imaging will give your listeners the overall impression that you are exactly what you tell them you are. It’s extremely powerful in fact. If you’ve ever heard the old saying “act as if”, that’s exactly what you should do when it comes to your radio imaging. Act as if you’re cool, or in this case, image as if you’re cool… and you will be.
So what happened? Why is the true art of imaging fading away? PPM consultants are breaking everything down into 15 minute segments and telling us that the most important thing to do is to get people from one block of listening to the next. So how do they propose we do this? It’s simple. Just tell the listeners what’s coming up next and they’ll stick around to hear it, Right? Maybe, but probably not. I can’t remember the last time I went to see a stand-up comic who, after delivering a really fantastic joke stopped to tell the crowd “Hey, if you liked that joke, stick around. I’ve got plenty more to come.” The show just keeps on going… until it absolutely has to stop.
By Michael W. Dean
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host, The Freedom Feens
Live fast, die old of natural causes
Improperly grounded outlets can add noise to electrical equipment, which is not good when doing radio. And improperly grounded outlets can KILL you…which is absolutely not good when doing radio. It doesn’t make for a long career. It can also injure employees, which can kill a company.
Why Some of Radio’s Best Advertisers Are the Most Difficult to Find for Consumers – and How to Fix It.
By Chris Pendl
SEATTLE – One of the things that make radio an effective advertising tool is that it’s often the last message a consumer hears before making a purchase. This point-of-sale proximity drives results for advertisers and keeps radio as part of their marketing mix. With smartphone ownership now 56 percent among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase. A recent local search study, revealed there’s an 87 percent increase in local searches via mobile apps. It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.
Local search is a bit different than searching on your computer. Without going into the super-technical details (you can read more at the MOZ blog), know that even when a local business shows up on a desktop search – there’s no guarantee the same will happen on a mobile phone.
Let’s dive into some real-world examples.
Thoughts and observations about some of the best in the West: Ron Owens, K-EARTH 101, and listening to a transmitted signal on hallowed ground
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Vacation and I tend to elude each other. Although I live in a summertime destination, I bug-out JUST as seasonal funsters invade. The natural travel cycle for radio consultants is after-the-Spring-book and as-we’re-planning-for the Fall survey and budget-planning for the new year. OK, OK, it’s also convenient that my perennial seven week non-stop station visit trek occurs during baseball season. I see the Red Sox everywhere BUT Fenway Park.
And like anyone self-employed, in any industry, I feel like I never stop working! But I did last week…or at least I intended to. As I’m sure you do when you hear radio elsewhere-in-your-travels, I couldn’t help listening critically…yet I still experienced radio more like a consumer than a vendor to my client stations.
Three radio notes from my trip, and not just so I can write-it-off, honest…
By Holland Cooke
FILED FROM THE RADIO ROAD — After a couple decades of firings, “local radio news” might seem like an oxymoron. Less-so lately, based on what I’m hearing – and doing – in my travels. And I’m bullish for the future.
Note two recent news items:
SiriusXM announces it now has 25 million+ subscribers, after adding 715,000 (net) in Q2, “a post-merger record for quarterly net subscriber additions,” CEO Jim Meyer crows. “We are raising 2013 subscriber guidance to 1.5 million net additions.” They attribute improved new car sales.
And you might’ve seen that Gallup News Poll about Americans’ preferred news source:
SEATTLE — What if you knew how much an average listener contributed in daily, monthly, or even annual revenue to your station? And what if you could use that data to help drive decisions in what promotions make sense for existing listeners and which marketing channels are best for new listeners? You can, and here’s how to do it.
The ratings data used in the example below is standard for all Arbitron subscribers. The revenue figures are fictional.
By Holland Cooke
NEW YORK — Because radio depends SO much on in-car use, you’re probably intrigued by various reports from the Consumer Electronics Association’s Connected Car Conference. Maybe you’re even feeling info-overload about the techy mobile future.
Here’s the bottom line, from four-and-a-half-hours of thoughtful discussion, research, and prognostication by automotive, electronics, and media thinkers: Whatever the dashboard is about to morph into matters less to AM/FM radio than what’s already happened.
It happened several years ago, when I bought that cord at the Apple Store. Plug one end into what we used to call “the cigarette lighter,” plug the other end into iPhone, and whatever’s on the phone comes out the speakers. Still-to-come hardware and software evolution will merely help drivers sift.
By Holland Cooke
Your keys. Now there are two things. It’s tough to imagine a day without that everything-in-your-pocket thing we used to call “a cell phone.”
Texting and Twitter have raised the bar on Email.
When I first started consulting, client stations would mail me aircheck cassettes in padded envelopes. No, Harry Truman was not in the White House. That was first-term Clinton administration era technology. Tick tock.