Who can tell an entrepreneur's story better than the-entrepreneur-him/herself?
This applies to two constituencies that are fundamental to Talk Radio's business model: advertisers and content creators.
1. One reason I LOVE riding-along on sales calls with reps from client stations: Local direct retail advertisers
are such CHARACTERS. They're dogged entrepreneurs, hungry-for-ideas, as they slug-it-out on Main Street USA, workin' long days, and fuelin' our economy. And NO -- repeat, NO -- other marketing medium can be more valuable to 'em than well-done radio advertising. Especially when it comes to defending against big-box competitors by selling SERVICE. I LOVE writing those spots.
2. Similarly, as I have advised stations, WHO BETTER than Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Glenn Beck
to describe what their shows are about? We create a promo template -- often a one-or-two-hole-donut -- and insert succinct sound bites lifted from Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck shows. I've recommended culling "espresso-strength, not latte-strength" clips, caricature-quality excerpts, because, mathematically, our goal is to get the-like-minded to listen same-time as-many-consecutive-days-as-possible.
I am now advising stations to be more careful in this regard; because I fear that station promos have the potential to frighten advertisers and listeners.
1. What Arbitron calls "horizontal maintenance" is the ballgame. Listen-every-day. If you listen a lot lately, you're hearing Rush/Sean/Beck strain to rise-above-the-cacophony, and compete in-an-era when people-line-up-for iPhone and have-a-conversation-with-their-wired/wireless-dashboard, etc. The gloom-and-doom we're hearing is relentless.
2. Radio is a reach-and-frequency machine. Properly-exposed promos can make the-whole-station sound unduly negative.
Two unintended consequences:
1. TSL erosion.
2. Advertisers hearing the consistent message that the-world-is-going-to-hell...thus the inference that consumers will hunker-down. So why bother advertising, at least for now?
Recommendation: DO continue to cull Rush/Sean/Beck bites for promos. Just be more selective. It'll take longer to find amusing sound bites, but shoot for clips-that'd-make-the-listener-chuckle...rather than crouch-in-the-fetal-position.Radio is powerful.
Let's be careful that we're not using our clout to send-the-wrong-message.