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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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A Radio Industry Message

Everything follows suit. Downsizing of packages at the grocery store started with ice cream going from a half gallon to 1.5 quarts. Then potato chip bags got smaller yet cost the same. Cereal boxes, spaghetti sauce, candy bars, toilet paper rolls; you can name hundreds of products that now are smaller because the packaged goods industry followed suit.
"The radio industry proved reach and frequency matters less with its HD Radio campaign."

At most chain or big box stores in our area, the cashier's last words have also recently changed when completing a purchase. "Have a great day" seems to have replaced "Have a good day."

Admittedly this is simplified, a minutiae of words. Still, why the change?

Here's another question poised by my wife as she commented on the McDonald's drive-through clerk telling us to have a great day: "While I like hearing that, why couldn't they tell us to drive safely or be careful?" The point to her observation was why not use that time to deliver a message of meaning, not one for marketing.

"Have a great day." "Drive safe." Which makes more sense to you when said to someone in a vehicle about to get on the road with food, and a need to feed?

Let's take a giant leap now and extend this to positioning statements used by the radio industry - online and off. We won't go through it in detail. Here are a few examples: "(Station name) The Best Mix of Music," "(Station name) plays the hottest and newest Hip-Hop & R-B," "(Station name) plays the best local (city name) bands and artists past and present," etc.

Each reflects what the station does. As is common within radio, none speaks of benefit to the consumer, nor carries a message of meaning.

By now everyone sees that Detroit, Japan, Korea, and European auto manufacturers are redesigning the dashboard. Radio's monopoly will soon end.

To help stay relevant, the radio industry online and off needs to redefine its messaging. Why? Because audiences have changed.

No longer is it true that all you have to do is repeat a slogan enough times so eventually the masses will believe it. The radio industry proved reach and frequency matters less with its HD Radio campaign.

As minute as this may be, the growth of personalized radio stations speaks to a person's desire to change their own environment - not to follow suit. People are spending energy locating a message of meaning (to them).

You can't give less in radio programming and expect to grow your following, yet that's what the radio industry has been doing for over a dozen years.

If you are in any type of radio, your need to air something worth hearing is greater today than ever. To help, produce a message of meaning over promotion. It's the difference between being "good" and "great."

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Today's indie introduction is to...
Pop artist Pierre Opperman
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When an artist has the power to please they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Pierre Opperman's "Slow Train" a listen.

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