Did you know that there are exciting cost effective new ways to run a successful and even profitable radio station in the era of digital media?
Unfortunately, most broadcast operators are relying on old habits or new tricks that are compromising local radio at the expense of cutting costs.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Radio can be reborn with a new focus on what changing listeners are expecting from radio in the digital age and the new economics of doing local radio in a stagnant economy.
I find the list that I’m going to share with you empowering and encouraging.
I’ve been working on this module for my upcoming Media Solutions Lab in January and wanted to share it with you:
- If you do nothing else, do a live local morning show. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but media buyers will still pay a premium for a live morning show. 50-60% of a radio station’s total income should come from the morning show if you want a shot at being super successful against digital competition.
- A live afternoon show should be next when affordable. It is a way to put the station in the profit column no matter what happens in any other dayparts. In other words, this is a guarantee of fiscal success. It is no accident that the top consolidators who have gutted morning and afternoon drive cannot post a profit. You should know that there is a controversy as to whether radio attracts more listeners in the morning or afternoon according to new People Meter data. This is something we should strategize together.
- Live without PPM ratings. This huge expense is not necessary. There are workarounds that are better and will satisfy media buyers. Less money. Just as effective. What’s not to like if you know how to carry it off.
- Rethink the hot clock to include many content types and lots of interruptions contrary to our old way of clumping spots together with only one type of content. Big groups and their followers just don’t get it, but short attention span listeners will actually stay with you longer and come back more often if you interrupt (or disrupt) your traditional approach to programming. You’ll want a list of potential ways to disrupt listeners’ pre-conceived ideas about radio.
- Variable hours with different content. That’s a big change. I’m going to show you how to build variable hours that don’t look or sound like each other and stand back to watch what happens next.
- Shorter stop sets that never run at the same times but progressively keep moving. I’d like to draw the plan for you when we meet in person and take your questions and get input.
- Discover “found money” on the all-night show. Stop trying to put the cheapest thing on the air to fill time and space until morning drive. Here’s a plan that will cost pennies and I’ll bet it reaps many dollars right away.
- Schedule Saturday and Sunday night programming that is disruptive to your format. Do you have the guts to do it? Would you like to see the plan that more listeners would like?
- Pull the plug on your station website and instead do these separate sites that directly link to the airplay content that I’m going to ask you to adopt.
- A new way to do news that will not be cost prohibitive and will payoff with listeners and advertisers within the first few months. It can be really different and even non-traditional using listeners to submit pictures, audio, text and keep the conversation going.
- Get familiar with Tumblr. If you don’t have a Tumblr site, let me help you build it the right way because it is going to be the hottest new tool for acquiring on-air listeners.
- The magic bullet is to research how to make advertising more effective. Stop running spots that advertisers can easily walk away from when their campaign is over. Make their ads on your station compelling. I’m bringing in Dan Hill to share show how to make advertising 80% more effective for your local clients. He ought to know. His system helps Jerry Lee and Blaise Howard rake in the renewals at B101 in Philadelphia.
- Include salespeople in the daily creation of content. Do this wrong and it will backfire! Do it right and watch the revenue go up without having to offer a single new sales incentive. You’ll want to take notes on this.
- Never ever sell on-air along with digital. There is a better way and it will get you a premium for both instead of conceding a discount for each. After you hear this, you’ll never offer the excuse “I can’t afford a separate radio and digital sales staff”.
- The one on-air promotion that can even attract non-radio listeners and make them addicts. Yes, addicts! Never stop running this promotion that I will share. And don’t let a competitor get to it first.
- Name your radio station after the promotion not your format brand as everyone does now. Do I have your interest? You don’t want a competitor to do this because being number two on this is deadly.
- A way to try these ideas safely until you convince yourself of what I am saying -- that this disruptive change in the direction for radio would be welcomed by both listeners and advertisers.
My January 30-31 Media Solutions Lab will be at held at the beautiful Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona when it will be 70 degrees and sunny. Many of our previous attendees add a few days to warm up or share some family time in mid-winter.
The Media Solutions Lab -- 7 hours of interactive learning on day one.
The next morning we collaborate around the table to build custom strategies together.
If you would like to learn the vital new radio strategies you can’t afford to ignore, reserve a seat at this year’s conference here.
Take a look at the 24 Killer Ideas for Radio and Digital Media that will also be revealed at this conference here.
The Media Solutions Lab – not a convention or show.
Number one in media solutions for four years running.