The Top 5 Things Radio Needs to Focus on in 2013

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters held a successful one-day conference in Toronto yesterday (November 6th)

I had the pleasure of moderating the programming panel and putting questions to some of the brightest programming minds in Canada, including Steve Parsons from Astral, Dave Farough from Corus, and Julie Adam from Rogers. Also on the panel were Stephanie Winans from the Randy Lane Company and Jaye Albright from Albright & O’Mally.

One question I asked the panel was to name the five things they feel radio stations need to focus on in 2013.

Steve Parsons:

  1. Nail your base music position
  2. Train the basics above all else
  3. Give your developing talent the opportunity to fail without the fear of retribution
  4. Train your jocks and entire station staff on how to effectively use social media as a marketing tool
  5. Think local

Dave Farough

  1. Growing talent
  2. Identifying new talent
  3. Increased engagement with the audience across platforms
  4. External: Convincing agencies and advertisers that we are not “old and stale”
  5. Internal: “How” can programming and sales at the local level work more effectively together to create truly “innovative” programming for listeners and solutions for advertisers

Steve Jones

  1. Differentiate yourself
  2. Sell the experience and not attributes
  3. Engage your audience relentlessly
  4. Measure everything consistently
  5. Have fun or quit!

 Julie Adam

  1. Talent – Coaching, development and recruitment. On-air, off-air and management.
  2. Music –  For the music stations, this is still the main reason people choose your station.
    Successful stations really understand what your audience wants to hear.
  3. Content
  4. Marketing
  5. New Ideas – it’s a balance but we have to be prepared to try new things on-air and on-line.
    In both sales and programming.

Stephanie Winans

  1. Develop and execute a digital strategy that makes your station a source of entertainment 24/7, across platforms
  2. Focus on engagement with P1 listeners (on-air, on-location at events, social media, website or podcast commenting) to build brand loyalty
  3. Don’t be wooed by ‘new media’ numbers. Focus on using social media to achieve ratings and branding goals instead of empty social media metrics
  4. Stay abreast and capitalize on ‘new media’ opportunities to give advertiser campaigns the best of both ‘old’ and ‘new’ media
  5. Invest in talent

Jaye Albright – “5 Formulae For Success”

  1. EV > CL   The entertainment value must always exceed the cost of listening
  2. E(P1) * n = L * N  Empowering P1 listeners equals a proportional increase in listener loyalty
  3. VBP = LL  Values-based-programming equals listener loyalty
  4. T(x) = B(x)  The stronger your talent, the stronger your brand
  5. B(n) = B(n)  Balance all the elements on your station