A station in Germany held a contest to win a Mini Cooper, inviting listeners to do the “craziest thing to win a car.” One listener, Andreas Muller, offered to have the word “mini” tattood on his penis. The station accepted and even broadcast the procedure live on the air. The winner’s view of it all was, “Once I’m sitting in the car, it won’t matter any more. Then the pain will be gone and it’ll be all right.”
Ryerson University campus station CKLN-FM had its license revoked by the CRTC on Friday, January 28th. Found in breach of several regulations, the station was “unable to convince the Commission that it could operate the station in a compliant manner going forward.”
Among other issues, the CRTC was concerned by an incident leaving staff and management locked out of the studio premesis by the building manager for seven months. The ensuing on-air content was therefore “an intermittent loop of programming without any ongoing community involvemenet or oversight by the licensee.”
See the entire CRTC decision here.
The Conclave is putting on another free Webinar for the radio industry. It happens at 3pm Central time on Wednesday 26th of January, when Eve Mayer Orsburn will be addressing the right balance of communication through social media – COMMUNITY & THE SOCIAL MEDIA EQUATION. You must preregister in order to participate. Sign up here
Eve Mayer Orsburn is CEO of Social Media Delivered, a social media company that leverages the power of LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Facebook with proven strategies. Over 40,000 people connect with Eve for expertise on using social media explained in a way they can actually understand. She is interviewed often on media like CNN Radio and CIO.com and was selected as one of the 100 most influential people online by Fast Company Magazine.
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, January 21, 2011 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today wrote to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) asking it to review its determination that the unedited version of the song “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits was inappropriate for Canadian radio. On January 12, 2011, the CBSC’s Atlantic Regional Panel found that the use of a derogatory word in the song breached broadcast codes. Read the full sotry here
Regis is on vacation next week so five lucky radio announcers will get a day each to co host with Kelly Ripa. There will be lots of interst in Tuesday’s host because for the first time a Canadian actually made it to the finals. Jeff Mauler from Ottawa’s Hot 89.9 will be in the host seat and co host.Other winners are: Monday – Fitz from KKWF Seattle Wednesday – Bobby Bones from KHFI Houston Thursday – Eric Ferguson from WTMX Chicago Friday – “Psycho” Mike Catherwood from KROQ Los Angeles
Ted Williams was a homless man begging for money on a free way off ramp until someone captured his voice and images on video and uploaded it to You Tube. Within hours this vidoo went viral and was viewed more than 600,000 times in 24 hours. Now Ted has landed a dream job with Cleveland Cavaliers and perhaps even a free house.
Chris Byrnes – ByrnesMedia
Researchers who study relationships have discovered that a big difference between those people who make new friends easily and those who don’t, is that socially successful people tend to make eye contact with their conversation partners much more frequently than those who are less successful socially. In radio we also have to make eye contact in order to engage and connect with listeners. I was reminded of this in late November as I was listening to the morning show of one of our competitors. They were talking about the American Music Awards that had been on the previous evening. This morning show spent a complete break discussing if Eminem should have won two awards (Favourite Male Artist and Favourite Album). In the next break they talked about how Usher stole the show with his performance, which led to a discussion about how ABC had messed up the awards because the onscreen graphics listed Chris Brown as the winner, but they gave the award to Usher. By the way, this was a morning show on an AC radio station and these two breaks were about artists this radio station does not play.
If you look at the ratings for the American Music Awards you’ll find this show does not draw much of an audience, so I would question the wisdom of dedicating two breaks in the 7am hour in the first place. However, if you decide it is worth talking about, then tell me things about the core artists for this radio station. What was Katy Perry wearing? Does Bon Jovi still have it after all these years? And what about that new song that Rihanna performed? However, in order to pick the most appropriate, relatable content that will be of interest to your target audience you would either need to watch the show live or watch a recording of the show.
Perhaps this was a morning show that does not fully understand who the station’s target listener is and what things they are interested in. So here is a tip – at your next announcers meeting ask each of them to write on a piece of paper who the target listener is for your radio station. How old are they? Where are they likely to live? Where do they work? How many children do they have? What do they drive? What is their household income? What do they do in their spare time? What worries them? Chances are you will have a number of different opinions. By the way, when I looked at the ratings for this morning show I was not surprised to see they had not performed well. I suspect one of the reasons for this is because this morning show does not deliver content that makes a connection with their audience, and they fail to talk about the topics that are of interest to that audience. They are not bonding with their listeners and they are probably not creating that feeling of “If I don’t tune in to them today I might miss something important.”
Incidentally, some of that station’s core artists did appear at the AMA’s, such as Michael Buble, Katy Perry and perhaps even Justin Bieber, but this morning show was not talking about these artists. The assumption is if I am listening to this radio station I probably like certain artists about whom I would like to hear information. I suspect they had quickly grabbed content from a show prep site, or looked at one of the many entertainment websites and took the easy way out.
So here are some other suggestions to help your talent and staff make “eye contact” with your listeners and potential listeners:
Know your community: To be successful in any market you need to know your broadcast area like the back of your hand. You need to know the names of important streets, where businesses are and who the “movers and shakers” are in your community. This will all take time and requires some additional effort on their part, but over time will really pay off. Roger Ashby told me that when he first moved to Toronto he would make a point of driving around the city after his show and made sure he took a different way home whenever possible to help him get to know the city. One tangible example of the benefits of knowing your area is you will be able to direct listeners via an alternate route if a major road closes down. You can also reference landmarks into your on-air breaks and name drop so people feel that important connection.
Talk to lots of people: The benefit of talking to lots of people in your broadcast area is that you will find out what is important to them, what they are concerned about and what you need to be talking about. Announcers are like politicians in that the smart ones are always campaigning to get re-elected. The recent local body elections saw lots of changes in key positions and in many cases the listeners voted out the incumbents because they felt these politicians had stopped listening to the people. So as an announcer, make the effort to go where your listeners go and listen to conversations. Where possible, get involved in conversations. Most radio stations do not have the budget to conduct regular focus groups in your market. However, many still conduct informal listener advisory meetings on a regular basis as a way to find out what is on the minds of the target listener and what they like and don’t like about the radio station.
Avoid the generic rip and read content: Doing show prep is quickly becoming a lost art, especially these days when there are so many websites, and options to find content. There are entire websites dedicated to “idiot of the day” or “real life stupid criminals”, but unless you can localize it or make it relatable then avoid doing it. “Here’s another reason to be thankful we live in such a safe community” might be a way to position such a story. But on any given day you are better off talking about things that are happening in your broadcast area that you feel will be of interest to your target audience than relying on the rip and read content that you find on the wire service or a show prep service.
Do things your target audience does: This is pretty obvious, but one of the keys to winning is to create the impression you live a similar lifestyle to your target audience or you can relate to them. This all comes back to understanding who your target audience is and what they are interested in. You are not expected to take up knitting or gardening if that is not your thing, but if your target audience loves these things then learn as much as you can about them and find ways to incorporate this content into your show.
Make the station liners your own: Take a moment before you pre-read a station liner or PSA and think about how you can make it sound like your own. I am not being critical of the PD or whoever writes your liners but they have probably written them as they would deliver them. Taking the time to re-write the liner in your own words can often make a better connection with your listener. I heard an announcer read a liner that was promoting a more music position and he said, “You know if playing music was like eating food, we’d have to go to Weight Watchers because nobody is playing more music than (station name).” Later I heard another announcer read the liner the PD wrote which said “(station name) plays the most music guaranteed (station name).” I think the announcer who took the time to modify the liner so it was more relatable to his target audience did the better job.
Know your music: There is nothing that gives the game away quicker than an announcer that mispronounces the name of a group or artist, especially when it’s a core artist of your station. Today it is common for an announcer to work on multiple formats in the same market. I know of one radio group that requires announcers to use different names on different radio stations. So the morning personality on one station uses a different name when they track PM Drive on the sister station. It’s clear that some announcers simply do not have an affinity for the music, and in some cases clearly do not know the music. I heard an announcer pronounce the 80’s American pop band REO Speedwagon as “Ree-oh” Speedwagon. That person effectively alienated himself from a large portion of his audience.
Make sure the imaging and jingles fit your station: Do your jingles sound like they are from this millennium? Do they promote a listener benefit and are the jingle singers from your time zone? There is nothing worse than hearing singers who are clearly from the Deep South trying to pull off a jingle sing for a station that’s located on a different continent. All this contributes to “stationality” which is part of the packaging and that can be the one thing that separates one station from another.
Make sure your external marketing relates: Creating some consistency with your external marketing and making sure you are selling a clear listener benefit are basic and to be expected. But simply putting your logo and dial position on a billboard is unlikely to motivate lots of potential listeners to tune your radio station, given they already have their pre-sets tuned to their favourite radio stations. A logo and dial position may not tell a listener enough about what they will hear on your radio station so keep this in mind when creating external advertising.
Make sure all your station staff understands the target audience: There is little point in spending lots of time and effort ensuring your announcers understand who the target listener is if your sales staff don’t get it. If your station is running advertising for products or services your target audience is not interested in then you are hurting yourself twice. Firstly you will likely tune out listeners who don’t care to hear about this product and secondly it will probably not work for the advertiser who will then walk away saying, “I tried radio and it does not work.”
Conclusion: As you start 2011 take some time to carefully listen to your radio station and look for areas where you can improve in order to make a better connection with your target audience. Even better, bring in some outside help to conduct a station monitor. The benefit of employing an objective, experienced set of ears is that we will catch things your staff will miss because they are too close to the product. Provided we are open in your market we will send in one of our dedicated specialists to conduct a detailed monitor for you. Call us toll free at 1-866-332-1331 to get the ball rolling.
Jan 1-31 “Alzheimer Awareness Month”: For info see www.alzheimer.ca.
Jan 1-31 “Book Blitz Month”: Focuses attention on improving authors’ relationships with the media in order to create a best-selling book. For info call Barbara Gaughen 805-968-8567 email email@example.com. Web: www.goodmorningworld.org.
Jan 1-31 “Financial Wellness Month”: For people to establish financial balance after credit card bills pour in from the holidays. For info call Angela Brown Oberer 704-849-2900. email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.wordsofwellness.com.
Jan 1-31 “Be On-Purpose Month”: An observance to encourage us to start the new year by putting our good intentions into action, personally and professionally. For info call Kevin W. McCarthy 407-657-6000 email email@example.com.
Jan 1-31 “Clean Up Your Computer Month”: Dedicated to the education of computer users with simple tips and methods to increase the efficiency of their systems. For more information call Denise Hall 251-986-6650, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.specterweb.com.
Jan 1-31 “International Creativity Month”: A month to remind individuals and organizations around the globe to capitalize on the power of creativity. For info call Randall Munson, Pres. Creatively Speaking 507-286-1331, email Creativity@CreativelySpeaking.com. Web: www.CreativityMonth.com.
Jan 1-31 “National Mentoring Month”: To raise awareness of mentoring, recruit individuals to mentor and promote the rapid growth of mentoring. Call 1-800-567-3700 or 250-595-3505 for info. Email email@example.com. Web www.mentors.ca.
Jan 1-31 “Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month”: To educate women and teens about realistic self-defense options that could very well save their lives. For info call 305-868-NSDI. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.nsdi.org.
Jan 1 “Polar Bear Swim 2011”: English Bay Beach, Vancouver, BC. 91st Annual. The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the oldest in the world. Call 604-873-7011 or see www.vancouver.ca/parks/events/polarbear.
Jan 1 “New Year’s Dishonour List”: Each year since 1976 on this date the most overused words and phrases in the English language are announced and “banned”. Examples include chillaxin’, bromance, toxic assets, to friend/unfriend.. For info call 906-635-2315 or see www.lssu.edu/banished.
Jan 1 “Z Day”: To give recognition to all persons and places whose names begin with the letter Z and who are always listed last in any alphabetized list. Email email@example.com for info.
Jan 1-7 “Silent Record Week”: It’s the anniversary of the invention of the silent record in 1960, which was played on Detroit jukeboxes. The following year a silent concert was performed, featuring a full 120 piece Hush Symphonic Band. A good opportunity to have some fun with this, and perhaps dig out the recording and play it!
Jan 2-8 “Someday We’ll Laugh About This” Week: 34th Annual. We’ve all said, “Someday we’ll laugh about this.” Why wait? A great way to start the new year – laughing at the humourous human condition. Call Dr. Joel Goodman 518-587-8770, email chase@HumorProject.com.
Jan 4 “Trivia Day”: In celebration of those who know all sorts of facts, and/or have doctorates in uselessology. For more of it call Robert Birch 703-533-3668.
Jan 4 “World Hypnotism Day”: 6th annual. A day when hypnotism professionals promote the truth and benefits of hypnotism to the people of the world while removing the myths and misconceptions. Call Thomas Nicoli 603-598-8389, email TomNicoli@WHDCommittee.com. See www.worldhypnotismday.com.
Jan 3-9 “New Year’s Resolutions Week” To show people how, why and what resolutions/goals should be set and the necessary action and steps to make the new year the best ever. Call Gary Ryan Blair 877-GOALSGUY, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.goalsguy.com.
Jan 3 “Thank God It’s Monday Day”: Besides holidays, people everywhere start new jobs, have birthdays, celebrate promotions and begin vacations on Mondays. A day in recognition of this first day of the week. For info call Dorothy Zjawin 908-241-6241.
Jan 3-9 “Women’s Self-Empowerment Week”: Women wear many hats these days, and this week is a time to stop, take stock of your life and recognize all that you have accomplished. Let it inspire you to establish new goals and reach for the sky. Call Robin Gorman Newman 518-773-0911, email email@example.com.
Jan 7 “I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore Day”: A day to fight back and take control of all events that happen in one’s life. Stand up for your rights – it’s so easy to walk away. Call Bob O’Brien, Consumer Advocate 646-233-6610, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 8 “Greece – Midwife’s Day or Women’s Day”: Women stop their housework and spend their time in cafes, while the men do all the housework and look after the children. In some villages, men caught outside “will be stripped…and drenched with cold water.”
Jan 8 “National Joygerm Day”: Celebrating those happy people who share joy and are “delighted, ignited and excited.” For info call Joan White at 315-472-2779, email email@example.com.
Jan 6-9 “Elvis Presley’s Birthday Celebration”: Lots of Elvis events going on at Graceland. He was born on January 8th 1935. For more information call 800-238-2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.elvis.com.
Jan 10 “National Cut Your Energy Costs Day”: A day to educate people on the ways they can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer while saving money on their energy bills. Call Tom Peric 856-874-0049, email email@example.com. Web: www.cutyourenergycosts.com.
Jan 10 “Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day”: One day early each year for every desk worker to see the top of the desk and prepare for the following year’s paperwork.
Jan 16 “National Nothing Day”: Created by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin in 1973, this is one national day when people can just sit without celebrating, observing or honouring anything.
Jan 16 “Appreciate A Dragon Day”: In school and public libraries everywhere, children will have the opportunity to choose dragons from popular literature and participate in activities to share their enthusiasm for the dragon of their choice. Call Donita Tompkins 719-635-3940, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 17 “Kid Inventors’ Day”: Water skis. Earmuffs. The Popsicle. What do these have in common? All were invented by kids! Celebrate the ingenuity and value of these young brainstormers. See www.kidinventorsday.com or email Lee Wardlaw at email@example.com.
Jan 16-22 “Healthy Weight Week”: People who diet the first week in January and binge the second are ready for better living by the third week. Email Francie M. Berg at firstname.lastname@example.org (please put “Berg-Healthy Weight Week” in subject line). See www.healthyweight.net.
Jan 16-22 “National Non-Smoking Week”: Includes Weedless Wednesday. The theme is “There are hundreds of reasons to quit… what’s yours?” See www.nnsw.ca.
Jan 23 “National Handwriting Day”: Held around the anniversary of the birth of John Hancock [born Jan 23 1737] to encourage more legible handwriting. Hancock was an American statesman and the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence. Get a sample of writing from all the jocks at the station and judge the best and the worst. For information call 800-826-7774 or see www.handwritingfoundation.org.
Jan 24 “National Compliment Day”: A day set aside to compliment at least five people. It forges bonds, dispels loneliness and just plain feels good. For info call Debby Hoffman 603-783-4446 or email Debby@DebbyHoffman.com or see www.complimentday.com.
Jan 24 “Belly Laugh Day”: A day to celebrate the great gift of laughter. Smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. Call Elaine Helle 503-344-6428, email email@example.com. See www.bellylaughday.com.
Jan 27 “Thomas Crapper Day – Death Anniversary”: Born at Thorne in Yorkshire England around 1836 he invented the flush toilet in 1881 and lived a happy and wealthy man until 1910.
Jan 28 “Fun At Work Day”: Inject some laughter into your workplace by planning a fun and relaxing activity. For info call Diane Decker 847-394-0994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.qualitytransitions.com.